Harrogate Independents Join Forces to Raise Money for the Local Food Bank


Here at Watermark, we have teamed up with a group of Harrogate-based independent retailers to promote our charity ‘giraffle’, raising funds for the Trussell Trust Food Bank in the lead-up to the festive season.

We organised this initiative in conjunction with children’s illustrator, Jane Ray, with whom we collaborated for an exhibition last month in September. Jane decorated a bespoke 5ft tall papier-mâché giraffe for us, based on the main character from the book Zeraffa Girraffa, which she illustrated for author Dianne Hofmeyr in 2014.

Just as the giraffe from the book travelled afar to get to her new home in Paris, the 3D Zeraffa is travelling around the Harrogate district throughout the months of October and November, before being raffled off to one lucky winner. So far, Zeraffa has been showcased in the windows of Catherine Smith Vintage on Cold Bath Road, Bespoke Eyewear on Royal Parade, and Westmorland Sheepskins on Montpellier Parade. Her next stop will be the Little Ripon Bookshop on Westgate, Ripon.

Liz Hawkes, Owner of Watermark Gallery said “During our Jane Ray exhibition in September. Zeraffa was a real talking point in the window of our gallery, and we had countless enquiries about buying her. I think people saw her as ray of sunshine during a somewhat challenging time. This gave us the idea of creating an ongoing artwork initiative to unite local independent retailers as well as raising money for a great local cause.” 

Tickets to enter the raffle are £5 each and all proceeds are being donated to the Trussell Trust Food Bank, Harrogate branch. Tickets can be purchased from Watermark Gallery and the winner will be drawn on Friday 18th December 2020.

Encouraging our Children’s Love of Art

Sharing our Love of Art with Children

Whether it’s music, interior design, photography, ceramics or painting, most of us have a love of the arts. Although our tastes are all unique and individual, we can encourage our children to take an interest in art by sharing with them what we love ourselves and explaining the reasons why we do.

Listening to different genres of music together, letting them help out when we’re painting furniture at home and pointing out our favourite paintings at a local art gallery are all ways to help them discover their own tastes. By sharing what you love, you are encouraging them to take a real interest in the art available around them.

Inspiration through reading children’s books

The joy of books is something that is shared between children and parents alike. Not only do children learn from reading the words on the pages, but they are also inspired by the beautiful children’s illustrations that lie within.

Before children even learn to read, they are happy to turn the pages to discover vivid pictures and magical scenes. Their creativity and imagination are activated, and they begin to create their own unique versions of the story. You could encourage your child to tell their own story based on an illustration that they like. Or, similarly, draw a picture that encapsulates their favourite scene or character from a book.

If your child loves a certain book or a particular scene from a book, you may be able to find prints or even original works to hang in their bedroom or playroom. From Beatrix Potter to Sir Quentin Blake, and Jane Ray to Edward Underwood, prints and illustrations are perfect gifts for children. They help to keep their imagination flowing as they grow up and can even be passed on to their own children in the future.

Taking photographs & capturing scenes

Many artists are inspired by scenes of nature around them. From beautiful coastlines to fields of poppies or farmland, the list of inspirational places found here in the UK is endless.

Let’s remember that cameras aren’t just for holidays. You can inspire your children to appreciate the stunning scenery around them every day. Try encouraging them to take photographs and then re-create the scenes on paper once back at home. Whether photos are taken on a digital camera, phone or instant film, your child will be captivated with these natural landscapes. Whilst also discovering more about the world around them simultaneously.

Experimenting with materials and textures

Kids are naturally curious and creative. Therefore, you can be extremely inventive when it comes to the materials you give them to explore with.

Pencils, paint and markers are all natural choices when it comes to children’s art. But, why not think outside the box next time you have a craft morning? Charcoal, sand, salt dough, food colouring and even shaving foam are all materials that could be used to create a masterpiece.

Similarly, recyclable items such as cereal boxes, wallpaper, empty toilet rolls, plastic tubs and unused pieces of wood can all be used as blank canvases for a new creation.

Here at Watermark, we are a family-friendly gallery. We are always keen to welcome little ones and let them explore their favourite pieces on the wall. There is lots to choose from! We hope to see you and your family very soon.

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