Dads are the focus

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Dads depicted in art are among the paintings on display at St Peter’s Church this month.

Featured artists include the gallery’s curator Ian Potts and his son Thomas, 19, whose work includes a painting of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers which he created when he was just 10.

A line drawing by Lawrence Stangroom

A line drawing by Lawrence Stangroom

Speaking about his artwork Ian, an art teacher at St Aidan’s School, said: “The passage of time is a recurring theme in my work. I often depict a space or landscape, not only as it is, but as it may have been, or perhaps as it one day may become, a fusion of past, present and future events into one.

“I want to show an ethereal moment, of shadow and substance, a trick of the light and the accidental. Often found objects from the landscape are built into the piece, or, I work making marks with things found around me.

“Once in the studio I often use text from newspapers, books and ephemera which are to hand at that moment.

“I sometimes even work with the lyrics from the song I might be listening to at that time, so the piece can be read like a passage from a book or diary of events.

“This records the mechanics and time of picture making, as well as the subject that is being depicted.

“Recently I have been developing a series around the theme of the fragility of life, something I am becoming increasingly aware of with advancing years. This series is moving my work into 3D relief pieces, glass and more mixed media collages.”

The exhibition also features the work of Lawrence and Paul Stangroom from Washington, who both attended art college in Sunderland and have gone on to make a name for themselves in the art world. Paul chose Bede’s Bakehouse Gallery for the first showing of his father’s pencil studies.

Paul found the drawings stashed in an attic after his father’s death and this is the first time that they have been shown in public.

Paul said: “I have been painting for as long as I can remember. My father was an artist and illustrator and this was obviously a huge influence in my life.

“From a very early age he would show me the traditional techniques that he had learned at art schools.

“It was only in later years that I realised how highly he was regarded among his peers and how lucky I have been to have had such a thorough grounding in the traditional methods from such a talented man.”

Speaking of his own work, Paul said: “My paintings are about my way of understanding why certain places create a resonance with me.

“I try to create this sense of place as accurately and clearly as I possibly can and my hope is that whoever looks at the paintings will be affected by the places in the same way.”

Meanwhile, father and daughter Ron and Linda Woolston both discovered that they had a flair for art after originally picking up their brushes for recreation. They now both attend regular art classes.

Ron paints at Fulwell Art Club in Chapman Street, and Linda is enrolled on a portrait painting class in London, where she now lives.

Linda’s portraits are of her mum, dad and niece and she brought them up from London for this special family show.

lThe exhibition at Bede Bakehouse Gallery, St Peter’s Church, Monkwearmouth, can be viewed until June 28. The gallery opens from Monday to Saturday, 10.30am until 2.30pm, and Sunday lunchtime by appointment only. For more information, Tel. 564 0431.