I went to an exhibition at Stockport college recently. It was the end of year show for the arts students, of which a friend of mine was one. The work there was really amazing and all the books that the students had made to show the development of their ideas were incredibly inspiring.
The students had to show some of the work that had influenced them and put examples of that in their books. This was a really nice way to be introduced to artists I wasn't familiar with.
A couple of artists really stood out to me:
One was Stephen Gill, especially the photographs of everyday scenes which were printed and then embellished with fruit and flowers and then photographed again. There were some really beautiful effects, especially one of a dump-truck pouring out a load full of dried petals.
Another one that I loved, though for different reasons, was Jenni Penni. She's kind of cute a quirky, I thought this one was really sweet and this one.