TOM Wood's bird paintings have been flying out of Lotte Inch Gallery in Bootham, York. 

So much so that "Tom has very kindly agreed to provide some additional works for his Into The Garden show," says Lotte. "Tom will be in the gallery this Saturday to present the works, so, if you're out and about this weekend for York Open Studios, do pop in to be the first to see these new paintings and perhaps even meet the artist in person."

Wood may be better known for his commissioned portraits of HRH Prince of Wales, Alan Bennett and Professor Lord Winston, but the Yorkshire artist has ventured out of the studio and into the garden for this solo exhibition.

York Press:

Moonlit Wagtail, oil on canvas, by Tom Wood

Inspired by the views from his conservatory, where Wood sought refuge after a heating problem with his regular studio, the works feature a softer palette than many of his previous paintings. 

"This collection showcases various wildlife, in particular birds, in startling yet simplistic beauty," says Lotte. "They portray what could be easily considered mundane artefacts, like the green house or common starling, in a wonderfully charismatic manner, and we're delighted to be showcasing such wonderful talent from the north."

Wood has exhibited extensively both in Britain and worldwide. Latterly, his celebrated portraits of Professor Lord Robert Winston and Alan Bennett, both commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, London, were on display at the Australian National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

He has held solo shows at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, and Schloss Cappenberg, Kreiss Unna, Germany, and his commissions include portraits for the National Trust, Warwick University and for the Harewood Trust, for whom his large double portrait of the Earl and Countess of Harewood is on permanent display at Harewood House, near Leeds.

York Press:

Beach And Bird II, oil on canvas, by Tom Wood

Into The Garden also features ceramics by Wiltshire ceramicist Matt Waite and award-winning Lincolnshire potter Sue Pryke and hand-crafted furniture by Sam Parkin's Yorkshire company Last Leaf UK.

Matt Waite worked in potteries in Bath and the Hebrides throughout the 1990s before deciding to set up his own workshop in 2001 at Stowford Farm in Wiltshire, where he is still based. Producing a range of tableware alongside individual and larger pieces, Waite uses a Cornish stoneware clay and his pieces are fired in an 18ft gas kiln, built in 2004, which takes up to 14 hours to reach the top temperature of 1300c.

His glazes are mostly oriental in origin and include copper reds, iron-rich tenmoku, shino, kaki, blue jun and a cream-coloured chun. Other pieces make use of estuary mud and wood ash, creating the character and colour of the glaze.

Sue Pryke learned her craft at a small pottery in Lincolnshire, where she fell in love with working with clay, and since then, she has worked at Wedgwood as a shape designer. "It is this culmination of a creative mind and a knowledge of what works in retail that has perfected her signature style of beautiful yet very functional homewares," says Lotte.

In her own words, Pryke's pieces "aren't awkward, audacious or tricky to use or care for, but are familiar, have fluency and sit effortlessly".

York Press:

Tom Wood's Magpies

Sam Parkin runs his Last Leaf UK furniture design company from a purpose-built workshop outside York, where he undertakes all elements of the work, from the design and timber selection to hand crafting each individual piece and the finishing process.

Company founder and designer Parkin had studied luthirie [classical guitar making]]at London Metropolitan University, previously the London College of Furniture, and then worked on large furniture projects for Ripon Cathedral, Christchurch College, Oxford, and St Martin in the Fields, at the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square.

"Last Leaf create stunning, simple and modern furniture, all of which is created using the finest, hand?picked and responsibly sourced timber," says Lotte. "Every piece that leaves Sam’s workshop is truly unique with a character of its own, tailored specifically for the customer. New-kid-on-the-block furniture maker Last Leaf UK is one to watch."

Tom Wood: Into The Garden runs at Lotte Inch Gallery, Bootham, York, until May 12. Gallery opening hours are 10am to 5pm, Mondays; 10am to 5.30pm, Wednesday to Saturday; other times by appointment on 01904 848660 or by emailing