Self taught York artist, Rayford, will take his work in a new direction at the British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) from April 5-7 at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate, where he is exhibiting for the first time this year.
Speaking about life as a professional artist and what the future holds, Rayford said:
“It’s been ten years now since I left a career in design to pursue my passion for art, and I have been fortunate enough during that time to develop and nurture an individual style that has been widely well received. I think people like the surreal and fun nature of my paintings, while being able to clearly identify with the places in the picture. They’re not to everyone’s taste, but that’s the great thing about art – it’s subjective, and is intended to provoke a reaction.
“After enjoying successes with my paintings and limited edition prints nationally through gallery representation, including four years working with one of the UK’s largest fine art publishers, I have decided to take some of my work in a more gift led direction. Having built up a significant portfolio of images of my paintings over the years, I am using the BCTF 2020 to launch a new range of home and giftware items that feature images of my work, from York to London, Paris to New York. These new items will range from mugs and coasters, to tea towels, and I will continue to offer limited and open edition prints of my paintings as well as the original pieces themselves. This will be an exciting opportunity for me to make my work more widely available through independent retail outlets across the country and at a lower price point.
“Following the BCTF, I will be exhibiting and selling my work at various art led events during 2020, including the Sussex Contemporary Art Fair, in Goodwood in May, The Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate, and a number of seasonal Made in Yorkshire events in York City Centre, culminating the now famous York Christmas Markets”.
BCTF is the largest and most well-established event of its kind, focusing exclusively on high quality, British made artisan products across categories which include handmade ceramics, porcelain, fashion accessories and jewellery, glass, metalwork, woodwork, textiles, greetings cards and fine art.
BCTF organiser, Margeret Bunn, says: “We are delighted to welcome Rayford to the exhibition for the first time this year. He is an exceptionally talented artist and one of many from the North of England who are participating in the show. There are many indications that people want to support more local, sustainable businesses and are seeking beautifully designed British products which they know are of sound provenance. Research is backed up by strong anecdotal feedback we are receiving from retailers visiting the show and followers on our social media sites. If ever there was a time to support our heritage industries and independent designer-makers, then this is it!”