Autumn cards

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Remember the handmade paper I was making that was inspired by my trips to Brimham Rocks & Breezy Knees? Well it is now dry and I’ve been busy planning out the cards and painting them and the dried leaves and flowers with handmade metallic paint.

These are how they look today before I place them onto cards (top row) the rest have been edited and maybe printed onto cards.

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Art Gallery Visit

I visited the York Art Gallery the other day, I really enjoy my afternoon looking at the ‘Pictures of the Floating World: Japanese Ukiyo-e Prints’ and also the Aesthetica Art Prize 2021.

Pictures of the Floating World

“Ukiyo-e translates as “pictures of the floating world”, referring to the transitory nature of life. Visitors will see delicate prints depicting scenes celebrating everyday life, through themes such as landscape and travel, actors and courtesans, and folk tales.

Just a few of the many works of art that I fell in love with.

It delves into the history of the works, explaining why Japanese art became increasingly influential during the 18th and 19th centuries. With the variety of artwork on display, you can see how western artists were inspired by the use of line and colour, and how Japanese artists were influenced by western artists’ use of shading and perspective.


The works on display are unearthing the intricate layers of what it means to be alive today. Life was complicated before Covid-19, but the pandemic has placed a new set of strains and challenges on society. However, the artists’ works are covering themes such as the climate crisis, colonial histories, racism, new technologies and the impact it has on our lives. The pieces draw on both personal and universal narratives and in many ways that unique blend of the macro and the micro makes this exhibition immediate, compelling and highly relevant for the times in which we live.

Artists are the chroniclers of our times. Through work that digests the very nature of life in the 21st century, we are able to question further, make sense of and unite in this time of uncertainty and change. Human history has been re-written, and we are living in that moment right now.

Just a few that had be captivated & inspired me, there were many more in this exhibition. If you get a chance go for a visit. It’s FREE!

Genres include painting, photography, sculpture, video and installation, and these immersive works are part of a wider line of enquiry into our complex world. The featured projects span the UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Australia, Taiwan and Brazil.

2022 Alternative Photography april archive Autumn beningbrough hall birds blossom blue botanical butterfly cards cats Christmas cumbria cyanotypes february Flowers Gardens history lakes Landscapes macro march may memories months national trust nature Photography quote quotes SJ Butler snow Spring summer sun printing sunrise sunset travels trees video weather winter Yorkshire

Yorkshire Day

August 1st. A new month. Here in UK it’s Yorkshire Day.

What are the origins of Yorkshire day?

Yorkshire Day was first celebrated in 1975 by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, beginning as part of a protest movement against local government reforms that came into force in 1974

The date alludes to the Battle of Minden, and also the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which a Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, campaigned.

Dr Henry Irving, Senior Lecturer in Public History at Leeds Beckett University said: “Yorkshire Day is a relatively recent tradition.

“It began as a defiant way to celebrate the county’s history and heritages. Government changes abolished Yorkshire’s three traditional ‘Ridings’ and saw parts of the historic county transferred to Humberside and Lancashire.

“The day has a wider cultural value, as it gives the people of Yorkshire a chance to reflect on their heritage, and it’s a great opportunity to increase tourism and investment in Britain’s largest historic county.

“The fact that Yorkshire Day is still celebrated demonstrates the local pride and a particular Yorkshire ingenuity.”

How is it celebrated?

Typically Yorkshire Day involves eating a large amount of traditional Yorkshire food, but there are also some traditional customs which take place.

This year I celebrated by visiting Nunnington Hall and joining in with the festivities which include Morris dancing.

Leeds Morris Men at Nunnington Hall – Photography SJ Butler


There are many theories about the history of Morris dancing but whatever your viewpoint there is evidence that it has been around in England for many centuries often linked to seasonal celebrations such as the return of Spring and new growth, or at the return of the sun following the Winter solstice. The Morris dances of the Cotswolds, which we perform, are springtime dances. The wearing of brightly-coloured clothing, bells and waving of handkerchiefs celebrate the return of new growth or to ward off evil spirits.

Stick dances represent mock battles , and this again may be derived from a symbolic battle between Winter and Spring, Good and Evil, or Life and Death.  It is not known when dancing became a part of these annual celebrations but clear references to dancing can be traced to the Middle Ages and by the 16th century the Morris was recognisably beginning to assume the form in which it has come down to us today.

I like to give an insight into things that I see and photograph, it makes things that we see more interesting and knowledgeable, or it does to me anyway.

Images from National Trust Nunnington Hall. I love the structure of and that they have left part of the wall for you you to look at.

I also visited the gorgeous exhibition of works by Catherine Rayner. It’s so nice to be able to go and visit exhibitions again. They inspire me and sometimes help me with new inspiration for my own work.

2022 april archive Autumn beningbrough hall birds blossom blue botanical cards cats Christmas cumbria cyanotypes february Flowers Gardens lakes Landscapes macro march may memories months national trust nature Photography quote quotes SJ Butler Spring sun printing sunrise sunset travels trees video winter Yorkshire