New exhibition explores hidden Halifax

Watercolour of barn owl. Copyright Jane Austin

The hidden wonders found in the local Calderdale landscape are the focus of a new exhibition at Bankfield Museum, Halifax.

Works by watercolour artist Jane Austin are on display at the museum as part of the new exhibition, Three Miles from Home.  Each piece on display captures scenes which can be found within three miles of the artist’s Halifax home, including stunning images of the famous buildings, dramatic views, and the hidden wonders of nature.

Jane Austin has been a professional artist for 25 years. Her work has been exhibited nationally and locally, with many solo exhibitions at All Souls’ Church. Her work can also be seen at Shibden Hall, Halifax Minster, Dean Clough and the Piece Hall.

Jane’s work explores the effects of light and the changing of the seasons on architecture and the natural world, creating a deeply personal celebration of the local area.  

Jane will be visiting Bankfield Museum throughout the exhibition to give demonstrations of her painting, as well as leading a series of workshops where she will be teaching a variety of watercolour techniques. For more information and to book onto workshops visit

Jane said of the exhibition:

“I grew up in view of the museum, the fourth generation to live in the two small cottages facing the fantastic vista over Halifax.

“I have deep roots here and have lived around the hillside from my childhood home for the last twenty-one years. My home studio is the perfect base to watch the wildlife, the sunsets and enjoy the garden.

“Mum gave me a love of flowers and Dad gave me a love of animals, particularly birds so they all feature largely in my work. I paint freely on top of detailed structured observational drawing, so the local architectural gems feature too.

“As resident artist I will be holding free demonstrations and some bookable workshops throughout the exhibition on various Saturdays. Come down and have a chat.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:

“This wonderful exhibition explores the beautiful and distinctive features of our local landscape, demonstrating how the changes in light through the seasons affect the look and feel of the environment.

“It’s amazing that all the paintings capture nature, wildlife and buildings within three miles of the artist’s home in Halifax. It really emphasises the beauty of the varied features on our doorstep, some that we maybe don’t normally see, and others that we perhaps take for granted.”

The exhibition is on display until 24 February 2024. Bankfield Museum is free to enter and open Tuesdays to Saturdays and Bank Holidays from 10am to 4pm. Donations to support the collections and exhibitions are always welcome.  For more information about Bankfield Museum and other Calderdale Museums, including the latest events and booking information, visit

Calderdale’s culture and heritage is a key part of its distinctiveness, and in 2024 for our 50th anniversary the borough will host its own Year of Culture. In the build up to this major events programme, the CultureDale brand continues the development of the borough’s growing profile as a vibrant cultural destination. Find out more at link) or @CultureDale2024 on social media. You can also use #CultureDale on X, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to help promote culture in Calderdale. 


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