A SPECIAL exhibition in memory of talented artist and much-loved mother and friend Julia Clutterbuck will be held at the Zillah Bell Gallery, Kirkgate, Thirsk, from Friday to March 31.

Organised by Julia’s 19-year-old daughter Izzy, the Julia Clutterbuck Memorial Exhibition will feature work by some of North Yorkshire’s most accomplished artists.

Julia, from Hornby Castle, near Bedale, had been diagnosed as bi-polar a number of years ago. In April last year, the depressive condition took her life. All the proceeds from Thursday evening's private view will go to the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a leading British mental health charity.

Izzy says: “I wanted to do something very special to celebrate my mother’s life and it seemed appropriate to hold an art exhibition. She loved painting, working mainly with watercolours, painting countless animals, both wild and pets, as well as Scottish and English landscapes around where we live.

“During periods of her illness, painting would bring her peace, at other times she found it difficult to concentrate, and this would frustrate her. Mum knew the power of mindfulness and loved to be absorbed in painting, as she did in gardening and music. She was talented in all of them.

“While she was ill, during the last seven years of her life, she didn’t do as much art, but she would occasionally dabble, when she was feeling well in herself. It would give her a sense of peace."

The artists taking part will include: Susan Wilmot; Tania Still; Colleen Vaux; Susan Dugdale; Jane Kitching; Jane Thorniley-Walker; Michele Bianco; James Guinness; Mairi Hunt; Emerson Mayes; Lynne Moore; James Naughton and Robin Furness.

"Some of the artists who are exhibiting were my mother’s friends, so the private view will be quite an emotional night, but it will be a celebration, too. When mum was well, she loved parties, giving them and going to them. Sadly, at other times, the depression meant she did not want to leave home. The Zillah Bell Gallery, full of her favourite artists and dear friends, would have brought her real joy.

"The charity that we collected for at her funeral was the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. Dad and I thought hard about who we were going to support. We chose CWMT as it's specific to mental health and promotes ideas and actions I feel are really crucial," says Izzy.

Roger Clutterbuck, Julia’s husband and Izzy’s father, adds: "Julia had an amazing ability to teach and help those who thought they couldn’t paint. She was patient and brought out the best in them.

“I am hugely grateful to the artists for their contribution to the exhibition and to the Zillah Bell Gallery for showing such support and kindness. They are an extremely talented bunch of artists and we are humbled that they have agreed to be involved in the exhibition. Well done Izzy."

Robert Beaumont, of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, says: "We are very honoured and privileged to be chosen as the beneficiaries of this very special exhibition in memory of Julia. It has taken great courage for Izzy to organise it and we thank her. The money raised during the evening will be crucial in battling depression."

Gallery opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.