ABOUT STAITHES ART
To the artist and photographer Staithes and the surroundings, from the rugged cliffs Cleveland to the stormy moors and coast, are a rich store of brilliant images at every turn.
Staithes in North Yorkshire is the coastal jewel of the area - the beck, the harbour, the village, and the coast, have unusual colours and light conditions resulting from a unique microclimate. Any Staithes person will tell you this is "God's own climate" - with many kinds of different weather – sometimes all in the same day!
Staithes was once one of the largest fishing ports on the north east of England. It is an attractive tourist destination situated within the North York Moors National Park. It has an amazing history and a marvellous pedigree in the visual arts. The shore and hinterland are an important source of minerals, jet, iron, alum and potash and it is of great interest to amateur and professional geologists, walkers, artists and photographers.
Since the railway arrived in the late 1800s, Staithes has been a popular haunt for artists, both individuals and groups, - some of who made their homes here – The Staithes Group being notable residents. The Staithes Group were known as the English Impressionists as they captured the fleeting light impressions of the coast, its landscape dotted with boats, and peopled with plenty of subject matter for portrait studies.
There are Staithes connections with James Cook, the famous explorer, who was apprenticed here in 1744. The maritime history of the village is full of tales of smugglers, adventurers, sailors and fishermen and of fisherwomen - such as the Flithergirls who were the backbone of the fishing industry.
The legacy of the Staithes Group continues with the Fylingdales Group of Artists who have annual Exhibitions in the Pannett Gallery in Whitby. Niamh Hanlon is an elected member of the Fylingdales Group of Artists.