The day two nuns from Stanbrook Abbey called in to my Dove Tree Art Gallery and Studio in Harrogate.

by Anita Bowerman March 25, 2020 0 Comments

The day two nuns from Stanbrook Abbey called in to my Dove Tree Art Gallery and Studio in Harrogate.

It’s not every day you get a visit from two nuns. I was delighted to welcome Sister Julian and Sister Agnes into my Dove Tree Art Gallery and working studio in January.  

They had popped in to collect some art materials which I had ordered for Sister Julian’s amazing gold leaf art illustrations and to visit a sick friend at the convent in Harrogate. Sister Julian is a very accomplished artist, her work is exquisite.

I was thrilled to show them around my Harrogate art gallery and they loved browsing through my artwork. Sister Julian played the white mini grand piano which was said to have been used during the official opening of the Eiffel Tower. 

Sister Julian has the most lovey articulate way with words and here is her review of the day:-


"On Tuesday 28 January, Sister Agnes and I had the enormous pleasure of visiting Anita Bowerman’s gallery and studio in Harrogate. It was a rare opportunity for us to do this and it had to coincide with a visit to one of our sisters in a care home nearby. As soon as we stepped through the door, large and small paintings and marvellously intricate cut out work adorned the walls and a profusion of colour and variety of scene were a delight to see. Anita and her PR friend Helen welcomed us warmly and Anita told us about her work as artist in residence at the RHS Garden Harlow Carr."

"Anita’s love of nature and gardens was evident in the paintings she had on exhibit of scenes throughout the year, painted ‘en plein air’ using anything she can find such as twigs, feathers, pebbles, leaves, grass. This gives an unusual quality to her work not seen elsewhere and makes her work literally down to earth and original. It is a small gallery but bursting with life and I would recommend a visit if at all possible."

Sister Julian Falkus OSB

They come from a closed order of Benedictine nuns, a Catholic order which follow the rules of St Benedict. Their monastery is situated near The White Horse at Kilburn in Wass. The rules mean they don’t venture out from the monastery unless an urgent errand calls, such as visiting a sick Sister in hospital and they are allowed just one day's holiday for the year where they can choose to visit somewhere. The sisters spend their time praying and they carry out other religious and household duties within the Monastery. 

I have visited Stanbrook Abbey three times in the past few years. The nuns had discovered I created paper cuts, indeed they used to create paper cuts hundreds of years ago when the order was based in Cambrai, France.

The sisters showed me the most exquisite works which their order had done using tiny scissors. They then invited me to teach them how to paper cut so that they could revive this ancient art and they could ‘create’ in their spare time in their ‘cells’ or bedrooms. I am especially close to Sister Julian who loves painting and I have given her a painting lesson just outside the monastery. I love visiting, it’s so peaceful and fills you with tranquillity and inspiration.

 Dove Tree Gallery Harrogate

Anita Bowerman
Anita Bowerman



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