Matisse at heart of festival in the north

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Final preparations are taking place for the inaugural Glendale Arts Festival, which runs throughout June in Wooler and beyond.

And an exhibition of works by the famed French modernist Henri Matisse will be the main highlight.

Drawing with Scissors features the pieces that he carried out at the end of his career between 1950 and 1954.

They comprise 35 lithogrpahic prints, made after his cut-outs, when he was too ill to paint, during ‘la seconde vie’.

The exhibition, which is a Hayward touring show from London’s Southbank Centre, is at the Cheviot Centre from June 1 to 16.

Other events during the month-long festival include special exhibitions at art galleries in Glendale, open days at local art studios, an exhibition by Wooler Camera Club of artists at work, a series of talks and an exhibition of children’s work based on a Matisse theme.

Wooler U3A is also making a Matisse-themed montage which will be on display during the festival.

Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Picasso and Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments at the start of the 20th century.

His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

The aim of the festival is to celebrate different areas of artistic endeavour available in the local community, from internationally-known artists to the development of artistic knowledge in local schools.

“We know Glendale is a wonderful area for artists to work,” said festival organiser Frank Mansfield.

“It’s partly the light, the skies and of course the hills.

“The festival is our way of celebrating what this part of Northumberland has to offer, and perhaps even encourage more artists to live and work here.”

All the exhibitions and events at the Glendale Art Festival are free. The festival is run by a sub-group of Glendale Gateway Trust.

There are two fund-raising events taking place this year to help pay for the festival.

Last month, the Glendale Hall hosted a coffee morning and in November, the Andante Choir will perform at the United Reformed Church in Wooler.

For more information, email glendaleartsfestival@yahoo.co.uk