Fiona Odle was born in St Andrews, Scotland, but grew up beside the River Nidd in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, where she is now based. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Art & Design at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2000, quickly followed by an Adult Teaching Certificate. Over the years, Fiona has developed a diverse set of skills and techniques. Working predominantly in painting and drawing, she has moved from miniature to large-scale, landscape to portraiture; figurative to abstract.
In 2019, Fiona launched a new studio, Briggate Art, in the heart of Knaresborough. Since its inception, she has hosted regular art classes whilst producing new series inspired by North Yorkshire landscapes. These bright, abstracted works utilise acrylics in new ways, playing with colour, texture and materiality to transform recognisable landscapes. Fiona builds layers of paint intuitively with unexpected tools – discarded signs, cards, knife edges, metal, mesh and relief fabrics create innovative mark-making and textures. Fiona pushes the boundaries of process, exploring composition and balance in bold and visceral ways.
Fiona has displayed work in the UK’s most visited Heritage sites and National Trust locations including the Tower of London, Stonehenge, York Minster, Castle Howard, Harewood House, Winchester Cathedral, Bath Abbey, Salisbury Cathedral, Ripon Cathedral and Whitby Abbey. She has also exhibited in a number of galleries and prestigious festivals with a prominent focus on North Yorkshire, including Mercer Gallery, Harrogate; FEVA festival and Nidd Art Trail, Knaresborough; and North Yorkshire Open Studios. She has also participated in a number of the UK’s largest trade shows – with admissions reaching over 70,000 – such as Top Drawer, London; NEC Spring Fair, Birmingham; and Harrogate Trade Gift Fair.
Originally from Oxfordshire, Shirley studied fine art at Cheltenham and printmaking at Bradford. She has facilitated art workshops at Henshaws Art & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough for the past 22 years. Recently, she moved to Nidd and started to paint from her local environment, working en plein air and from her experience of woodland and the wider landscape. Shirley has many years' experience of painting people – her family, friends, pets, commissioned portraits and paintings from the life class.