YORK Extremartistes are mounting an exhibition on the cutting Edge at City Screen, York.

On the corridor walls are the group’s contrasting interpretations of the theme of “Edge” to demonstrate their extreme range of interests, ideas and use of media.

York Extremartistes are a loose collective of art enthusiasts whose members met at an innovative drawing class at York Art & Crafts under the tutelage of Tim Morrison, whose teaching skills cover drawing, painting, collage, woodcut and 3D art.

The Extremartistes encourage each other by going on sketching days, visiting galleries and sharing work in progress. Several members have had work exhibited and they have held one group exhibition already.

“There isn’t a single group style but the artists come together to feed their passions for seeing art, talking about art, and most of all doing art, inspiring each other and being excited by the process,” says group member Joy Herman.

“It’s fantastic to be part of this diverse group of creatives. The camaraderie and support we all share is of great value when struggling with the challenges of making art.

“Through the excellent tuition and encouragement of artist Tim Morrison, we have all developed our artistic practice to where we are now, which we hope will lead to many group exhibitions.”

The work goes far beyond traditional painting and drawing. For example, the artwork pictured here was part of a six-week Extremartistes’ project inspired by Parade, Picasso’s collaboration with Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1916-1917.

Extremartiste Meg Huby sums up the spirit of the collective: “I really enjoy working in this crazy group with the strange and pervasive influence of its long-suffering mentor Tim Morrison,” she says.

The Extremartistes learn much from each other. Group member Madeleine Lockwood praises her fellow artists for their “intellectual stimulus through collaboration and constructive feedback, the unexpected, the humour and fun”.

“Being part of the group often encourages me to work out of my comfort zone,” she says. “For example, the selection of the theme ‘Edge’ for this exhibition and our subsequent discussions led me to think more deeply, conceptually as well as practically, about what I might produce.”

Retired academic John Sparrow says: “Being part of this amazing group has transformed my development as an artist creatively and socially.”

Over the past two years, works by the Extremartistes have been exhibited in Taiwan and Italy as well as York, London, Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bath, Hull, Crayke and Staithes.

Among the most prolific artists is Nicola Lee, whose “quiet art practice responds to the phenomenological aspects of looking” [phenomenology being the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness ].

“I value being part of an on-going and unpredictable conversation,” she says. “I feel very privileged to work alongside and witness the development of ideas of the others in a group who have a diverse range of interests.

“Looking through the eyes of others in this way is stimulating and enables me to ask new questions about my own work.”

The York Extremartistes exhibition runs until September 8.

Charles Hutchinson