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Yorkshire Post, Saturday 11th Jan 2014

Yorkshire Post, Saturday 11th Jan 2014

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YORKSHIRE POST
SATURDAY JANUARY 11 2O14
my yorkshire...
Kath Libbert
Having grown up in London, Kath Libbert went via Brighton University before moving to Leeds in the 1980s. Since 1996, the jewellery designer has run her eponymous gallery in the Salts Mill development in Saltaire. She now lives in the Yorkshire Dales.

What's your first Yorkshire memory?
Actually it is a strong memory and one that when I started to think about it made me feel rather emotional. It was 1980,1 was 21, and had just finished university and was living in Brighton. I came up to Leeds to go on one of the first Reclaim the Night marches as Peter Sutcliffe had just murdered Jacqueline Hill, a young student. Women marched across the streets of the UK making the point that they should not be restricted or blamed for the violence they face.

What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
The Yorkshire Dales - gentle and wild, vivid green against grey dry stone covered in moss. Lambs, rabbits, partridges - just beautiful.
I am not a religious or even a spiritual person, but I often find myself muttering 'God's own country' as I drive home from work up the single lane track to our home in North Yorkshire.

What's your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend, out in Yorkshire?
A bit of a play with Pushkin our new kitten then off for a bike ride to Bumsall cafe for a brilliant cooked breakfast, maybe a game of tennis with my partner Jon, then over to see an exhibition in the afternoon. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is
a favourite and I'm very excited about the new contemporary art space The Tetiey in Leeds. To end the day a good meal with friends followed by a game of canasta.

Do you have a favourite walk - or view?
All the views from our house in the heart of Wharfedale are wonderful, even when it pours I love to see the wildness of the weather bearing down on us. A lovely short summer walk close by is to go upstream from Grassington along the Wharfe have a quick dip and then back to Grassington for an early evening drink and hearty meal at the friendly Forester's Arms followed by a game of pool.

Which Yorkshire sportsman, past or present would you like to take for lunch?
Well I am not sure about taking him to lunch, but I have been so helped in my tennis playing by Simon Ickringill, the head coach at Ilkley Lawn Tennis Club. He's an inspirational teacher and player who has a great facility for bringing out the best in me and not focusing on die fact that I ain't never going to be Azarenka even though I do use the same racquet and exclaim a lot!

Which Yorkshire stage or screen star, past or present would you like to take for dinner?
Dame Judi Dench - a fantastic actress, supremely versatile, characterful, and gorgeous too. Jon recently introduced me to a powerful early BBC drama called
Talking to a Stranger by John Hopkins starring a very young Dame Judi - it is subtitled Anytime You 're Ready I'll Sparkle and this is exactly what she does - always.

What do you think gives Yorkshire its unique identity?
I am not sure it has just one identity, it is such a varied county which is its strength, so much to experience and enjoy from the beaches of Bridlington to the elegance of Harrogate and the wilds of the Dales. And I've always found Yorkshire people extremely friendly and hospitable which has helped this Londoner feel at home.

Do you have a favourite restaurant, or pub?
The Ilkley Moor Vaults never disappoints, a small but delicious menu all home cooked, often home grown and home smoked. Try Sabi's smoked sausage with
pickled peppers and the most wonderful sourdough bread I have ever tasted! Also the owners and staff are delightful.

Do you have a favourite food shop?
I love a pork pie once in a while and Stanforths in Skipton is the business!

How do you think that Yorkshire has changed, for better or for worse, in the time that you've known it?
Having been brought up in North London and then university in Brighton, when I moved to Leeds aged 23 I did feel there was not a lot going on culturally but that has changed massively over the last 30 years. The incredible Victorian architecture has been brought back to life and is now tastefully complemented by modern interventions such as Trinity - which has a great bar, Angelicas, with fantastic city views. The Hepworth in Wakefield is another great addition to the local cultural landscape.


Who is the Yorkshire person that you most admire?

It has to be Jonathan Silver, most well known for buying Salts Mill and reinvigorating not only it but the surrounding village of Saltaire which has since 2001 been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hugely enterprising, a creative innovator, a risk taker he used culture and art as a driver for regenerating a run-down area.

Has Yorkshire influenced your work?
Well firstly there are some excellent jewellers and silversmiths in Yorkshire, who we show on a regular basis at the gallery. I initiated an exhibition called Great Yorkshire Talent in collaboration with The Great Yorkshire Show, a competition for Yorkshire jewellers to enter one piece of jewellery inspired by the judging categories in the show, so lots of silver sheep, bees and bulls - great fun.


Name your favourite Yorkshire book/author/artistfCD/performer.
Can I have Andy Goldsworthy? I know he was born in Cheshire but he did spend most of his formative years in Yorkshire! I went to a wonderful Goldsworthy exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park a few years ago and was just delighted by his installations, particularly his giant but oh so delicate Leaf Stalk Room, a screen of horse chestnut leaf stems held in place entirely by black thorns.


If a stranger to Yorkshire only had time to visit one place. It would be?

Salts Mill A very unique place - a
fantastically creative use of an amazing Victorian textile mill in a beautiful setting. Great art to enjoy, delicious Salts Diner food, a wonderful selection of designer home wares, an unusual book shop - I just love it and feel so privileged to have been a part of it for the last 17 years.


Fragments - Nine New Graduates Find Their Place, Kath libbert Gallery, Salts Mill to January 26.
www.katlhlibbertjewellery.co.uk

Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Salts Mill, Saltaire, Bradford BD18 3LA. Tel/Fax 01274 599790. For directions see About Us
Open Monday - Friday 10am - 5.30pm. Weekends 10am - 6pm. Email:info@kathlibbertjewellery.co.uk