A group of artists in South Tyneside are painting a picture of the past to honour the fallen heroes of a milestone military battle.
Enthusiastic etchers studying at Hawthorn Arts in Westoe Road, South Shields, are getting creative on the canvas to pay a fitting tribute to lives lost in The Battle of the Somme, which began 100 years ago on July 1.
Hawthorn Arts boss Graham Hodgson is marking the momentous anniversary of the bloody First World War conflict by hosting an eye-catching exhibition next month.
A rich array of thought-provoking pictures – capturing one of the bloodiest battles in history – will go on display for a month from July 1.
The raft of paintings – in a range of styles including oils, watercolours and acrylic – have been carefully crafted by Mr Hodgson’s students at Hawthorn Arts.
More than a million soldiers were killed or injured in the brutal conflict in France waged between British and French troops and the German army between July 1 and November 18, 1916.
Mr Hodgson is delighted to give artists a chance to showcase their skills – while recognising the selfless sacrifices of hundreds of thousands made in the trenches.
Mr Hodgson, who has been nurturing creative talents at the art centre since 2005, said: “The students I teach have been creating works with a World War One theme so we have brought it all together to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
“This is a good way for us to recognise the sacrifices that they made. It is important to remember them.”
The 48-year-old, who has been a professional artist for more than 30 years, has been impressed by the artistic efforts of his talented team of students.
He added: “There will be 20 paintings going on display in the exhibition, which will last for a month.
“There are paintings of all different types, such as ink, oil watercolours, and acrylics.
“The exhibition gives people an opportunity to put their work on display.”
The exhibition gets under way at 11am on July 1 and runs for a month.
For more information on the work of Hawthorn Arts, contact Mr Hodgson on 7847 689004 or pay a visit to the arts centre.