Art space puts Purple Faye on high street

Artist Faye Johnson who has an exhibition space in an empty shop on Albion St Castleford until the end of March, as part of an Art House Wakefield initiative
Artist Faye Johnson who has an exhibition space in an empty shop on Albion St Castleford until the end of March, as part of an Art House Wakefield initiative
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Knottingley artist Faye Johnson is getting a foothold in the high street thanks to an initiative to bring art to empty shops.

Faye, 29, who trades as Purple Faye, has taken over an empty shop on Albion Street in Castleford, to use as a pop-up art gallery and studio space.

It has been made possible by The Art House initiative Sites in Sight: Art for the Quiet Times, which aims to transform empty town centre spaces throughout the Wakefield district.

Faye has been in the former Debra charity shop since October, and has just been offered a further six-month lease.

She said: “It’s nice to give people that opportunity because there is not a lot out there and with the recession to get art and studio space to make your work in is difficult.

“Having such a big space to work in is also encouraging me to something a bit different and try something more adventurous.

“Just before Christmas I had a lot of people coming in to commission portraits and I’ve really enjoyed that, and because I’m making the work here, people can see it progressing, which I think makes them appreciate what I do more.”