NEWS: Shipyard Painters @ The Old Low Light Heritage Centre | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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An exhibition showcasing works of art inspired by the local area, will be exclusively shown at The Old Light Heritage Centre, Clifford’s Fort, North Shields. The Shipyard Painters runs from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 18th September and provides a unique collection of paintings, prints and sculptures to our region. Created during their leisure and break times, the art comes from former workers of the North East’s shipyards.

Curator of the exhibition is former worker of Swan Hunter’s Neptune Yard, Dave Young, and it is presented by the Old Low Light Heritage Centre and Tynemouth Fine Art.

Although shown at informal exhibitions during the 1970s and 1980s, the pieces are very unknown in the wider art community. Arrays of the artists’ personal collections and previously unseen originals will be shown at the North Shields venue. Artists whose work will feature in the exhibition include: Peter Burns, John C Currie, Edward Jackson, Roy Francis Kirton, Peter Mayne, Terry Summerson, the late James Williamson Bell, the late Lewis Wilson ‘Alfie’ Thompson and the late William Fergie.

Many of the artists are local, with several either being born and raised or living in the Whitley Bay or the North Shields area. Some of these artists will be on hand to offer their memories and supporting tales to the exhibition to breathe life and first person emotions into what is being shown.

Only a few managed to use their artistic skills to break away from a life of shipyard careers and turn professional. The others remained amateur and continued their creations at their leisure. The images on show give an insight to the region of yesteryear – everything from the memories of the gritty industrial shipyards to the breath taking coastal scenery.

Also on display are 24 photographs, in relation to the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet. They are by a group of photography amateurs, known locally as The Swan Snappers. Photographs on show reflect the development of Swan Hunter shipyard alongside images of recognisable structures that have towered over the city and River Tyne for years. Shipyard memorabilia from Swan Hunter will be exhibited with the photographs.

Admission into the exhibition is £2 and free for under 16s.

The Shipyard Painters is at The Old Light Heritage Centre, Clifford’s Fort, North Shields from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 18th September.

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