Keeping art in the family

Mother's Day themed art exhibition at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery - Kathleen Pickering, 86 (centre), pictured with her daughters Diana Raw and Margaret Chapman, both 61.
Mother's Day themed art exhibition at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery - Kathleen Pickering, 86 (centre), pictured with her daughters Diana Raw and Margaret Chapman, both 61.
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Mums and daughters have combined their talents for a new exhibition in Sunderland. Katy Wheeler finds out more about the different generations of talent on show in Me and Me Mam.

PRODUCING eye-catching art works seems to be in the genes of the latest exhibitors at Bede Bakehouse Gallery.

Mother's Day themed art exhibition at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery - Diana Raw, 61, with some of her sculptures.

Mother's Day themed art exhibition at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery - Diana Raw, 61, with some of her sculptures.

The cafe and gallery, based in St Peter’s Church, in Monkwearmouth, is showcasing the art of mothers and their daughters to coincide with Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Among the work on display is that of Kathleen Pickering, 86, and her twin daughters Margaret Chapman and Diana Raw, who are both 61.

Kathleen has always enjoyed painting and sculpture and this took a more serious turn when she studied Fine Art at Sunderland Polytechnic in the 1970s.

Today her interest is more focussed on water-colour painting, which is fuelled by her love and appreciation of the North East countryside, which is evident in her pieces which are hanging from the cafe walls.

Mother's Day themed art exhibition at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery - Florence Davis, 83, hangs one of her pictures watched by her daughter Alison Davis, 57.

Mother's Day themed art exhibition at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery - Florence Davis, 83, hangs one of her pictures watched by her daughter Alison Davis, 57.

Daughter Diana’s work, meanwhile, is being displayed in the church.

The ceramic orbs she has created showcase the skills she honed while studying a BA and MA in glass and ceramics at Sunderland University.

“I’ve done lots of exhibitions with arts group, but this was totally different. It was very supportive to work with your family, people you know incredibly well,” she said.

Each of her three orbs featured in the display has a different story to tell.

Mother's Day themed art exhibition at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery - Margaret Chapman pictured hanging one of her watercolours at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery.

Mother's Day themed art exhibition at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery - Margaret Chapman pictured hanging one of her watercolours at the Bede Bakehouse Gallery.

“One is untitled,” she says, “because I wanted to leave it up to people to imagine what they would put in it. It’s a receptacle.”

Diana, who lives in Chester-le-Street, added: “Another is entitled Damaged, like most people are damaged. It has a spiritual meaning behind it as it’s about developing and growing, like the inner journey we all go on to find out who we are.”

Twin Margaret works with watercolour to produce her art works.

She said: “The pieces I have chosen for this display are six paintings from a trip to Venice in October, when we had all that disruptive weather.

“I’ve always worked in watercolours. I often think I should try other media, but I like how versatile it is and how you can paint outdoors. It’s good for the lungs.”

Margaret, who lives in Newcastle, added: “It’s been very nice working with my sister and mum on this display. It highlights the connection we have in art in this generation and indeed in a past generation and future generation. It makes you realise that art, the need to create, runs in our family.”

Mother and daughter Florence and Alison Davis also feature in the exhibition.

Great grandma Florence, 83, first started to paint at 40 when she studied for her teaching certificate at Neville’s Cross College Durham.

Her daughter Alison studied Art to A-level at school, but then didn’t paint again until 10 years ago when she attended a demonstration with Florence at Houghton Art Club. Alison is secretary of club and enjoys painting in watercolour, pastel and acrylic.

* Me and Me Mam runs until April 13. A special Mother’s Day lunch will be served on Sunday. Booking is essential. Tel. 564 0431 for reservations.

Twitter: @sunechokaty