The year that was 2020

Who knew?!

January 5th, 2021

Back To Blog

Round up of the year…

I am sitting in the Gallery writing this. It is the 22 December; jazz (tastefully Christmas themed of course) is playing the background and some of you are wandering in and out buying last minute presents. Some of you are just wandering in and out. Alice is dancing behind the desk (something to do with getting her steps in). Part of the Trouble at Mill team have turned up for a meeting that is tomorrow. The kettle is on.  

It feels the right time to reflect. 

Folders on my pc for this year include exhibition titles (we managed four), Covid (sorry), Old Woollen (never thought a new concrete floor could be so exciting!), an outdoor gallery (why didn’t we do this before?), Weavers Yard (open), and Website (new one launched). Feels like we have been very busy. 

One of the favourite aspects of my role as curator is choosing paint colours for the gallery walls, ordering from the lovely Seagulls paint, donning an apron (or not) and slapping a bit of paint on (we all do everything here and it is good thinking time). Our year in colour goes something like this…


January to March

A calming start to the year with deep green and a landscape exhibition… little did we know what 2020 had in store for us at this point!


Lockdown I


Lockdown was mustardLoved this colour (just saying) On Friday 21 March we completed setting up our annual Ones to Watch student exhibition and then shut down…


March to June


We worked (from our bedrooms, gardens, dining rooms and attics) – postponing, posting and preparing. Planting vegetables and rediscovering our inner artist/maker. For us, (although we did seem to spend a lot of time talking about food) it was full steam ahead on launching our new website, writing blogs, lots and lots of boring administration (such glamourous lives we lead), and learning how to live on teams and zoom. We also spent a month cleaning, dusting and stock taking – the joy. 

Sonia appeared in the Times with a piece from Ones to Watch to all our delight (and her Aunt’s) and we created an outdoor gallery with work from our lovely studio holders. 


Summer was green again – brighter this time with the joy and colour of Grasshopper Tendencies which included life size pictures of Mel Davies garden; colourful narrative paintings.

His story about Sicklejay still takes me smile! The horse was last seen heading towards the allotments and I did a lot of  crying but that was from the clip around the ear, I got from the “Fount of all horse knowledge”, because I had let Sicklejay run off and Basil from the Bag Wash had phoned from the pub to tell him the horse had overtaken his laundry van on the way to Leeds) and a garden shed by Zoe Eady!

The perfect summer pick me up 

Lockdown II

Was purple (a deep chocolatey one) and we went virtual: recording zoom calls with some of the pattern artists, learning how to add subtitles (and how to say pentahectatetracontahedron (try it)and welcoming lots of you back once we could open again. We were so busy in the weeks before Christmas and it was lovely to see so many masked strangers and friends supporting us and catching a bit of culture. 

As I finish writing this it is the 29th December. We are shut (although at least a dozen people have seen the lights and are meandering in!) deliveries are coming in for the next exhibition Body of Water; hopefully starting in January and we are waiting for yet another government announcement…

January is going to be pink. Or blue.



written by arts director Jane

Back To Blog Next (Suits) Prev (Ives and Co)


Arts & Culture General