Arts News


Butterfly Blake and Bong-Tree, Artizan Gallery


 A celebration of Butterflies, Blake and Bong Trees through the eyes of lifelong ‘nonsense’ fan and printmaker Mike Tingle will be coming to our Courtyard Gallery for 3 weeks as we welcome our second 2021 bursary winner to this intimate space.

Mike discovered the Nonsense Icon while sitting outside the Eliot Alms in St. Germans enjoying a pint of beer. ‘I was reading a newspaper article about the medieval stave church paintings from Norway, with a photograph of a vaulted arched ceiling depicting an enthroned Christ with Apostles. I asked myself why, as a non-believer, do I like such things. The answer was to do with Myth, and the structure of the vaulted ceiling which made it look like a small object. I then (with the help of the beer) made an imaginative connection with a small wooden panel with cut out painted metal images I'd recently made for the Devon Guild of Craftsmen's summer show. It was of the Cheshire Cat with a dodo standing on top of the panel. I thought, I've made a Nonsense Icon without realising it. The word icon led to the idea of hinged doors attached to the panel front, and this in turn lead to the use of text in conjunction with revealed images. I had found my ideal form.’

Alongside the ‘nonsense’ will be printmaking inspired by William Blake, who has been a constant inspiration and influence on Mike and finally, on a more serious note, a series of work produced during lockdown to highlight the decline of the humble butterfly. 

Mike has exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition many times and we are delighted to be showing his new work at the gallery for this exhibition. 

There will be an opportunity to meet Mike at an artist preview on Saturday 26th June 6 - 8 PM (Booking essential by contacting the gallery or visiting

For more information on the exhibition visit

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Photo, Crowds enjoying Garden of Light, by TILT. Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by Mayor of London. Credit Matthew Andrews 2016.

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Photo, Jennie Gill, Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield. Photo Our Favourite Places / Nigel Barker for Yorkshire Artspace.