Modern magi bear gifts with an artistic appeal

GOLD, frankincense and myrrh might not be everyone’s notion of ideal Christmas presents these days.

So a trio of modern magi are bearing gifts of a more artistic appeal in Morpeth Town Hall.

Original oil paintings of Northumberland’s hauntingly romantic castles, eye-catching photographic scenes, including some images of the county’s beautiful women, and a 3ft bronze Alan Shearer can all be found.

Painter Ivan Webley, photographer Gordon Thompson and sculptor Tom Maley are staging their Three Otherwise Men Exhibition for three days from Monday.

Visitors to the show will get the chance to view some of their acclaimed works, buy the exhibits and commission projects that fall within their range of talents.

Morpeth townsfolk will be familiar with Mr Webley’s river scenes and paintings of historic buildings, as well as his murals in the Old Grey Nag’s Yard off Newgate Street.

Mr Maley’s imposing 36ft tall figure of Robin of Pegswood celebrates the village’s mining heritage and thousands of football fans pay homage to the legendary Jackie Milburn at his statue outside St James’ Park, though his 18-inch figurines of Bobby Robson are easier to fit into a Christmas stocking.

Mr Thompson’s photographic artistry is all the more remarkable considering he has been paralysed from the chest down since a rock climbing accident in 1986.

“Ours is a three-man show by individuals who follow different artistic disciplines so there will be an interesting variety of exhibits for people to view and hopefully enjoy,” said Mr Webley.

“The works will be displayed in the Corn Exchange so there will be plenty of space and no problems with wheelchair access.”