Memorial exhibition in Washington for South Tyneside artist

artwork by Ken Watts
artwork by Ken Watts
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A retrospective exhibition is being held in tribute to a South Tyneside painter.

The work of Ken Watts is to go on display at Washington Arts Centre from today until June 10.

artwork from Ken Watts

artwork from Ken Watts

Mr Watts moved from London to Jarrow in 1959 to find work as a joiner but - as an artist - specialised in capturing the fine details of the streets and buildings in the North East.

The talented painter died in 2014, aged 82, and the exhibition has been arranged by his two sons Joseph and Laurence Watts.

Joseph Watts said: “We decided to do the exhibition because we thought it was a fitting tribute to his life’s work.

“We thought Washington Arts Centre was good venue because it covers a wide range of community activities not just art exhibitions.”

artwork from Ken Watts

artwork from Ken Watts

He added: “People who visit can expect a 40-year retrospective of his varied styles.

Mr Watts work has in the past been exhibited across the North East and at London’s prestigious Serpentine Gallery.

The painter was a familiar face at the former Bede Gallery in Jarrow - where critics admired his representation of the streets of Jarrow.

Mr Watts said: “My memory of his painting was his attention to the minute details and his willingness to experiment with different styles and mediums. This showed me how to look at things, not just see them.”

artwork from Ken Watts,

artwork from Ken Watts,

Mr Watts continued to pursue his love of art in the later years of his life, converting a room in his house into a studio and completed a first class fine arts degree at Sunderland University in 2007.

His paintings and drawings of North East cities and towns had its roots in sexties pop art but gradually became more complex and technical through the years.

Some of his paintings include a study of the old Jarrow railway station and a striking painting on the former mineral line signal box between Jarrow and Hebburn.

artwork from Ken Watts

artwork from Ken Watts

artwork from Ken Watts

artwork from Ken Watts

artist Ken Watts

artist Ken Watts