Photo of Watermark Gallery Staff

Our Story

Watermark Gallery is owned by Liz and Richard Hawkes, a Harrogate couple with a shared love of art and design.  Richard has been involved with the art world throughout his career as a conservator for many of the UK’s museums and gallery collections.  Liz’s background is in marketing and retail but ever since taking a City & Guilds qualification in silversmithing she has sought a way to develop her appreciation for contemporary jewellery, art and design.

Watermark Gallery began in 2015 as an online gallery exhibiting at art fairs and gaining a reputation for regular, pop-up exhibitions in quirky locations in and around Harrogate.  Seeking a permanent home to grow the gallery’s offering of paintings, prints, sculpture, jewellery, ceramics and glass we have loved renovating the old Post Office on Harrogate’s historic Royal Parade, right opposite the famous Pump Room at the entrance to the popular Valley Gardens.

The building is full of history from the stunning, Victorian, turquoise Burmantoft tiles revealed along the front of the building to the evidence of a former sulphur well-head in the back.  The gallery always has a wide range of art and design on display alongside featured exhibitions, handmade crafts and a studio space for artist-led workshops.

Our gallery and website presents work by artists, illustrators, sculptors and designers from throughout the UK working in a variety of materials.  Alongside contemporary artists we also show and sell work by many modern British masters.  The gallery is supported by our sister business, Artworks Conservation Ltd, based nearby at Markington Hall, offering art restoration and bespoke framing.

For the latest information on our events programme please sign up to our email newsletter and visit our What’s On page here.

Main picture (from left to right): Liz Hawkes, Joshua Beresford, Astrid Hubbard, Cathy Lewis, Richard Hawkes


Liz Hawkes outside Watermark Gallery

“We’ve always loved visiting art galleries and our trips at home and abroad are often planned with them in mind."

Liz Hawkes, co-owner, We’ve always loved visiting art galleries and our trips at home and abroad are often planned with them in mind. In 2015, having started to buy and sell modern British artworks, we took the decision to set up Watermark Gallery. Initially, we specialised in the area which was our first love, artworks on paper. However, we have since expanded to include a full range of media; from  paintings and prints to ceramics, jewellery, sculpture and glass.”

Picture of Richard Hawkes owner of Watermark Gallery Harrogate

"My passion is for art on paper; the immediacy of mark-making that reveals so much about the artist’s thought process.”

Richard Hawkes, co-owner, “As an art conservator, I’ve been working alongside artists, curators and art collectors for thirty years.  Every aspect of art fascinates me: the materials, the themes and traditions but mostly the people and stories behind its creation. My passion is for art on paper; the immediacy of mark-making that reveals so much about the artist’s thought process.”

Picture of Joshua Beresford at Watermark Gallery Harrogate

"Working at Watermark has really helped me understand the commercial side of running a gallery business. It's also helped me develop my own professional practice through my involvement with so many different artists and makers".

Joshua Beresford joined Watermark Gallery in July 2021 initially as a gallery assistant, having recently graduated from Leeds School of Art with a first in fine art.

A key man in our team, Joshua keeps everyone on track knowing everything there is to know about our artists, their techniques and work available, both in our Harrogate gallery and online.

Josh is also becoming established as an artist himself. As well as exhibiting with us here at Watermark, he takes part in Roundhay Open Studios and in Autumn 2023 he will embark on his first solo exhibition at Lidgett Lane Larder in Leeds.

Photograph of Astrid Hubbard, staff member at Watermark Gallery in Harrogate North Yorkshire

"Helping customers to find beautiful things that have been created by our talented artists is the most rewarding part of my job".

Astrid Hubbard has been a valued member of the Watermark team since it first started and is well known for her calm persona and exceptional customer service.

Recently retired after 35 years in the NHS as a speech and language therapist Astrid is often heard speaking not one but four European languages with our visitors from afar. She is also particularly adept with our contemporary jewellery range which she displays and maintains with meticulous care.

Photograph of Cathy Lewis, member of the Watermark Gallery team

"I always look forward to working at Watermark, to meeting the customers and to playing a role in this creative new business which is continually evolving".

Cathy Lewis joined the Watermark team shortly after we opened our Harrogate gallery in 2020.

Having previously run her own milliner’s shop in Harrogate, Cathy has a wealth of experience in retail as well as education. As a knowledgeable art lover herself, Cathy is an invaluable resource in both visual merchandising and as a sounding board for the running of the business.


What people say...

This is a great gallery! The owners Liz and Richard were so welcoming and very helpful. We spent a bit of time there. Ended up buying some really good pieces for our anniversary. In fact I went back a couple of weeks later to buy a picture for my friends wedding anniversary, truly a perfect present. We very much enjoyed our visit and will be back...

Trip Advisor Review

Watermark Gallery is such a bright welcoming place with beautiful things for all budgets. The gallery comprises a series of rooms that unfold to reveal a myriad of paintings, prints, ornaments and jewellery presented as a coherent display. From mugs to intricate inlaid boxes, irridescent glass tealight holders, to carved stone sculptures for the garden, Liz Hawkes has a discerning eye and nurtures a talented group of artists and artisans who keep the shelves and walls well stocked.

Customer, Edinburgh

A haven of exquisite objects with all the temptations of a favourite sweet shop with none of the calories! Today Liz kindly downed tools and helped me with a longed-for purchase so do visit when you can to enjoy an uplifting sensory experience curated by delightful owners.

Google Review

Sign up for our newsletter

Be the first to hear about latest news, exhibitions and events.

We only use our mailing list to let people know about our news and events. We never share data with third parties. You can unsubscribe at any time. More about privacy here.