An exciting new exhibition “The Shipyard Painters” presented by the Old Low Light Heritage Centre in North Shields and Tynemouth Fine Art will open on the banks of the River Tyne this summer.
The exhibition will draw on private and public collections to explore the works created by employees of the Tyne’s famous shipyards.
The shipyards of the Tyne, such as Swan Hunter and Hawthorn Leslie, are renowned for the technical expertise involved in designing and building some of the world’s largest and most famous ships - including RMS Mauretania, HMS Newcastle, HMS Ark Royal, Atlantic Conveyor and Esso Northumbria.
As a relief from the meticulous detail of the drawing office and the precision engineering of ship fabrication, a wealth of original art was created in their leisure time by some of the artistically talented men and women who worked in the shipyards. Paintings by employees of the yards were shown at occasional exhibitions organised by an informal Swan Hunter Artists Group in the 1970s and 1980s, but most of their work is little known outside the local area.
This exhibition will tell the story of some of those people who were employed in the Tyne shipyards and will showcase examples of the art that was produced by the yards’ platers, carpenters and marine architects.
The artists work reflects contrasting aspects of the north east; from gritty industrial scenes depicting life in the shipyards, to works that depict the beautiful north east coast and countryside.