THE artwork of local artist, Ian Middleton, will feature on Bradford Big Screen daily at 12.30pm throughout March and April as part of the ‘Artist’s Choice’ presentation organised by Bradford UNESCO City of Film in association with the Not Just Hockney website. Arts supporter and Silsden resident, Colin Neville, who curates the Not Just Hockney website, organises these bi-monthly presentations on the Big Screen to showcase the talents of local professional artists. He said: “The March and April daily presentations on Bradford Big Screen will again highlight the diversity and range of visual artists in the district. Over the last 12 months it’s been a tough time for freelancers everywhere, and particularly artists, as exhibition spaces have dried up and galleries closed. But this presentation is a reminder that local artists are still out there working, because their artwork is a big part of their identity.”

Wharfedale Observer: Ian Middleton Polar BearsIan Middleton Polar Bears

Ian Middleton, an oil painter, says of his work: “I am a professional artist working in my own unique style, defined as ‘Rubistic Expressionism’. My studio is based in Burley in Wharfedale and my work is showcased exclusively in Otley at the Art Works. Limited prints of my paintings have sold in over 23 different countries and I have exhibited extensively, including the Royal Academy and through several online Galleries.”

Wharfedale Observer: Ian Middleton Yorkshire DalesIan Middleton Yorkshire Dales

Mr Neville added: “I hope that by illustrating the variety of art talent locally it will also help to support Bradford’s bid to be the City of Culture in 2025. If we win the bid all the creativity in the area will be showcased to the world, and it will do a lot of economic good for the whole district. And it’s not just the visual arts that will benefit – all forms of creativity will be highlighted, music, writing, drama, film, dance, story-telling, you name it. When Hull was the City of Culture, tourism visits to the city increased by 31 per cent from 2012 to 2018 and there was £676 million of new and public investment in Hull and district that can certainly be linked to them winning the City of Culture title. As Ilkley is one of the tourist jewels in the crown for Bradford, the town is likely to benefit from the district winning the bid. It’s a great opportunity, so bring it on, I say!”

Other artists to be featured include documentary photographer, Nudrat Afza and Andy Shaw, a sculptor, who uses recycled metal.