A former Alnmouth Arts Festival poster competition winner is set for her first solo exhibition.
Katherine Renton, from Hipsburn, is the first artist to be invited to have their work displayed at Newbiggin Maritime Centre in its newly appointed exhibition space.
Many people consider the Northumberland coastline to be rather bleak, but the more I look, the more colour I see.Katherine Renton
Katherine came to prominence when she was selected as the poster artist for the Alnmouth Arts Festival in 2014. She has since sold work as far afield as Australia and the United States of America.
And this exhibition will be another opportunity to put her in the spotlight.
It will feature Katherine’s most recent work – a series of oil paintings of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
She said: “When the exhibition was confirmed I made the decision to produce small studies of Newbiggin in the four months leading up to the exhibition.
“I have put myself under a lot of pressure, but it’s been an exciting challenge. I had already visited Newbiggin on several sketching trips over the last year, and I was keen to develop some paintings.”
Katherine’s images focus on the concrete-edged coastline of the seaside town.
She added: “Over the last three years I have been exploring the defensive nature of our coast, using watercolours and oil paints to depict man-made structures such as harbour walls, wooden groynes and the concrete tank traps from the Second World War – all set along our stunning coastline.”
Katherine was first struck by the bright open aspect of Newbiggin’s bay, which can be viewed along the length of the town’s modern promenade.
“The forms of this promenade are quite sculptural and I wanted to include this as a feature in my paintings,” she said.
“I was also more and more drawn to the remains of Second World War structures, all cast in concrete and situated around Church Point, including two very impressive pill boxes.
“Many people consider the Northumberland coastline to be rather bleak, but the more I look, the more colour I see. Initially my paintings may appear to have a bleached colouring that we associate with the coast, but when you look closer my paintings shimmer in the light and are often punctuated with an array of rainbow-like colours.”
Katherine grew up in Amble and has a degree in Fine Art from Newcastle University. She has been an art teacher in Alnwick for the last 13 years and now works part-time so that she can focus more on her painting.
She said: “The timing of this exhibition couldn’t be better – it has given me a focus and will help me to establish myself as a full-time artist.
“The maritime centre has been promoting local art for some time and the Latimer Room will be a fantastic new venue for exhibitions.”
The exhibition will run from Saturday, March 12, to Friday, June 10.
The maritime centre museum will be open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm, and Sundays, from 10am to 4pm.
You can view Katherine’s work on her website at www.katherinerenton.com
To find out more about the Newbiggin Maritime Centre and its exhibitions visit www.nmcentre.org.uk