More than 600 visitors attended the Granary Gallery during opening weekend of Berwick’s special L.S. Lowry exhibition.
Its biggest event to date, ‘L.S. Lowry in Berwick & Northumberland’ sees Berwick Visual Arts display 24 original paintings by the iconic artist.
The exhibition, which is the culmination of 18-months hard work trying to track down as many originals as possible, officially opened to the public on Saturday.
Berwick’s Royal Tweed Bridge was adorned with flags bearing Lowry’s name to promote to exhibition at the end of last week.
The exhibition celebrates the artist’s great affinity with Berwick and the north east as a whole, and builds on the town’s dedicated Lowry trail.
Laurence Stephen Lowry visited Berwick in the 1930s and was drawn in by the hustle and bustle of our historical border town. He came back many times, visiting frequently until his death in 1976.
One of his most famous paintings of Berwick, included in the exhibition, shows the view from the top of Marygate down to the town hall.
Other locations brought to life in Lowry’s art include Dewar’s Lane, Palace Street, Berwick harbour and Spittal promenade and sands.
Head of Berwick Visual Arts, James Lowther, was joined at the launch by Claire Stewart, curator of Salford’s Lowry Collection, one of the places to have loaned paintings for the exhibition.
Speaking to The Berwick Advertiser, both James and Claire were in firm agreement that the exhibition at the Granary, which also features loans from Sunderland Museum & Art Gallery and the Lowry Estate, was a big deal for Berwick.
“It’s an amazing event for the town,” James commented.
“It’s the first time all these works of Berwick have been pulled together and displayed in public.
“Lowry has such strong connections with Berwick that it felt like a natural exhibition for us to do and I’m confident it will be our most popular to date.
“I’m hoping it will capture the imagination of residents but also bring in plenty of visitors to the town as well.
“Obviously the exhibition prioritises the paintings done in and around the town but we also look at Lowry’s love for wider Northumberland and the north east and his fascination with the sea.”
Claire acknowledged that Lowry was an artist whose work will be familiar to many people, but added that it is not until you see his paintings in their original form that you can really appreciate his craft.
“Lots of people grew up with Lowry prints on their walls but it’s not until you see the originals that you can really see what he was about,” she said.
“As well as his art, I think people were fond of Lowry because he was a very down to earth man; he didn’t like pretention which I think many identified with.
“And if you know Berwick or the north east as a whole you can see exactly why he was drawn to certain places. Many of those depicted in his pictures haven’t actually changed that much.”
l Lowry in Berwick & Northumberland’ will run until September 21.