Art in the shadows

South Shields artist Graham Hodgson, whose work is currently on display at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery.

South Shields artist Graham Hodgson, whose work is currently on display at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery.

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The latest exhibition at the Bakehouse Gallery in St Peter’s Church, entitled In The Shadows, shines lights on the work of a North East artist. Katy Wheeler finds out more.

FROM selling his first piece, a pet portrait, at the age of 15, to becoming an established award-winning artist, Graham Hodgson has accrued a fascinating body of work.

His latest pieces are a series of tree paintings which are proving a popular attraction at the city’s Bakehouse Gallery.

Hidden in the shapes of the branches are images and words which render each piece a romantic visual puzzle.

Graham, from South Shields, said: “Art has always been a part of my life.

“My early career focussed largely upon archaeological and reconstructional illustration.

South Shields artist Graham Hodgson, whose work is currently on display at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery.

South Shields artist Graham Hodgson, whose work is currently on display at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery.

“My work gained acclaim due to the realism I portray. At that time I primarily used watercolour and gouache.”

After gaining qualifications and experience as an artist, illustrator and tutor, Graham became managing director of Hawthorn Arts, a visual arts company based in South Shields, while continuing to create artwork commissioned by a diverse range of clients, such as local authorities, National Trust, English Heritage, schools, museums services and archaeological trusts.

His work has been used in books, academic papers, museum displays and information panels throughout the country.

He said: “A few years ago I began working more in fine art, painting larger canvasses using oils and acrylics.

South Shields artist Graham Hodgson, whose work is currently on display at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery.

South Shields artist Graham Hodgson, whose work is currently on display at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery.

“My first collection of paintings was entitled Beneath the Leaves portraying the soul of nature, particularly within trees.

“My current collection is called In the Shadows. I am exploring the effect of day and night upon people and places.”

“I try to paint in a style that is realistic, yet depicting my own thoughts.

“I admire the work of Ash Can artist John Sloane and Goya.

“Whilst I am sure my work is in some way influenced by them, I strive to be intrinsically different and aspire to be known for my own style.”

Last year Graham was named as winner of Britain’s Got Artists, a national art competition, and came sixth in the Global Art Awards international art competition.

For more information on his work visit www.wix.com/damnarty/graham-hodgson.

* In the Shadows runs at the Bakehouse Gallery in St Peter’s Church, Monkwearmouth, until February 16.

Twitter: @sunechokaty