Exhibition captures North East heritage

David Watson: Steel, Flesh and Bone at Woodhorn Museum.
 Picture by Jane Coltman
David Watson: Steel, Flesh and Bone at Woodhorn Museum. Picture by Jane Coltman

An exhibition of Steel Flesh and Bone, inspired by the North East’s heavy industry, has opened at Woodhorn Museum.

David Watson, from Middlesbrough, has spent his life working in, and making paintings about, the connected industries of steel and shipbuilding.

Watson’s work, like that of the Pitmen Painters, captures a working world and community now lost.

Woodhorn’s Public Programme Manager Liz Ritson said: “David Watson’s work resonates with Woodhorn’s industrial heritage and the related work of the Ashington Group. Like the members of the Ashington Group, David paints what he knows; life and work within the landscape of industrial, and post-industrial, Teesside.

“The Ashington Group Collection is now recognised as an important social document of life within Ashington’s mining community, and David’s paintings echo this, providing an authentic voice for the connected northern industries and communities of Teesside.”

It is only in recent years that David’s work been brought to public and critical attention. A quiet and reclusive character, he has created his paintings in obscurity for more than 50 years and now his work has been exhibited and celebrated locally, regionally and nationally.

The exhibition will run until March 5.