Lowry painting goes on show at Northumberland gallery

James Lowther with a portrait of L S Lowry
James Lowther with a portrait of L S Lowry

A rarely seen oil painting by artist L S Lowry has gone on show in Northumberland.

The work, entitled ‘On the Sands, Berwick’, was produced by the renowned artist in 1959 during one of his many visits to the town.

It has only been exhibited twice previously at the Leferve Gallery, London in 1961 and the Royal Academy, London in 1976.

It will be on display at the Granary Gallery in Berwick until late September.

‘On the Sands, Berwick’ depicts children and dogs playing around a shelter which is situated behind Berwick pier, in a typical Lowry style. In the painting, Lowry extended the roof of the shelter, transforming it into a slightly surreal pagoda.

James Lowther, Head of Visual Art at Berwick Visual Arts said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to bring this work to Berwick. We were unable to locate this work for exhibition in our ‘L.S Lowry in Berwick and Northumberland’ exhibition in 2014, but now thanks to the generosity of the current owners of the work, we are able to show the work over the summer. A real exclusive for Berwick!”

L.S. Lowry was a regular visitor to Berwick. The exact date of his first visit is unclear, but his first oil painting of Berwick showing the High Street is dated 1935 and he continued to visit the town a year before his death in 1976.

In total, Lowry produced more than 20 paintings and drawings of the town, from the harbour with its piers, the beach at Spittal, salmon fishing on the River Tweed and even a football match at the ‘Stanks’.

Three of Lowry’s Berwick paintings were included in his first one-man exhibition in 1939 at the Leferve Gallery, possibly because of his fondness for the town.

The shelter itself was almost demolished in 1999 but an outcry, both locally and nationally, gave it a reprieve. It was renovated by the Berwick Preservation Trust in 2001 and again with the support of the Trust earlier this year.

‘On the Sands’ will be exhibited at the Granary Gallery until September 25, running alongside the current exhibition ‘Space Craft – architecture meets making’.

The Granary Gallery, Berwick YHA (2nd Floor), Dewars Lane, Berwick-upon- Tweed, TD15 1HJ. Open Wed-Sun 11am-5pm. Free admission.

James Lowther, head of Berwick Visual Arts, with a portrait of L S Lowry which formed part of the 2014 exhibition at the Granary Gallery.