Art Connections is a Chrysalis Arts project providing a range of services for visual artists in York, North Yorkshire and beyond.


UU Square Black

Art Unpacked is a series of touring art exhibitions curated and managed by Chrysalis Arts. The exhibitions tour to an evolving network of around nine small venues in North Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire, East Lancashire and North East Lincolnshire.

Art Unpacked is designed to bring new, high quality, contemporary art and craft to rural and disadvantaged urban audiences. There is an accompanying programme of professional development for the participating organisations and aspiring curators in the participating regions.

Artworks from Make it Slow


The first exhibition, Make it Slow, opened in 2014 at Woodend in Scarborough and toured to six venues. Make it Slow is inspired by the Slow Movement and encourages us to think about how we can apply ‘slow’ to our own hectic lives.

“The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed.” In Praise of Slow, Carl Honoré

The six selected artists consciously demonstrate some of the intrinsic values of Slow including a deliberate consideration of how something is made –  thinking, researching, drawing, experimenting, discovering new ways to use materials.


New worlds in contemporary printmaking

Unfamiliar Ground brings together the work of three of the UK’s most exciting contemporary printmakers. Rather than describing the familiar, the artists featured inUnfamiliar Ground create pictorial worlds that invite our imaginations to wander. In these worlds, city and nature collide, visual disruptions make us look twice, and the boundaries of traditional printmaking techniques are challenged again and again. A sense of utopia and dystopia is glimpsed through combinations of complex imagery, skilled drawing and a playfulness with the print process. Unfamiliar Ground draws us in, opens our eyes to the unseen and provokes us to look at the world in a new way.

Unfamiliar Ground is now closed but you can read about the exhibition themes and artists here >>


Explore the fragile beauty of paper landscapes

Curated by Natasha Howes
January – August 2015

Discover how the humble piece of paper is transformed into intriguing artworks telling stories from the forest

Our ancient forests are a source of inspiration for artists: fragile paper is transformed into beguiling paper cuts, sculptures and animation to explore our experience of the forest and its inhabitants.

Forests are a place to explore, to think, to encounter wildlife or to escape from life’s challenges. But they can also be a place of fear and peril, full of untamed branches, sinister shadows and silence. Fairytales often cast the forest as enchanted and mysterious, a site for initiation and self discovery. The forest holds many secrets and today is still a place full of potential and possibility.

“Our deep but unconscious desires have created stories about forests and fairy stories that make walking in the spring sunshine in … (a) forest feel so rooted in fairy-tales that we cannot see the trees for the wood.” Sara Maitland, author Gossip from the Forest, 2012

TEXTIL / JUVEL: Contemporary Craft from West SwedenJessica Johannesson Enough small

Curated by Katarina Karlsson/Konsthantverkscentrum and Grace Whowell

September 2015 – March 2016 

Textil/Juvel: Contemporary Craft from West Sweden is a stunning and thought provoking exhibition of contemporary jewellery and textiles from seven leading makers, reflecting current trends in Swedish making. Textil/Juvel is the fourth in the Art Unpacked series of exhibitions from Chrysalis Arts, and has been devised with Konsthantverkscentrum -The Crafts Centre, Sweden.

The artists in Textil/ Juvel weave together a high level of skill and story, combining traditional techniques and new technologies to explore our relationship with the world. The exhibition demonstrates how artists from West Sweden are taking their rich craft heritage to forge new ways of working, using natural materials- seeds, wood, appropriated machine made objects and finely crafted metal and textiles. Textil/Juvel is a snapshot of a dynamic craft movement in Sweden, concerned with the natural world and our impact on it.


26 May – 11 June, 10.30am – 5.30pm then touring

The Art Depot, Eshton Road, Gargrave

A celebration of the makers and tinkerers who explore movement in their art. Featuring a range of sculptures, from beautifully simple wooden automata to bespoke machines and homemade robotics, Marvellous Mechanicals will engage and inspire all ages.

Our first exhibition in the new series of Art Unpacked exhibitions will be opening as part of North Yorkshire Open Studios, then touring. More details coming soon!

Art Unpacked website >>