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South Shields art gallery helps North East artist live her dream

Kathleen Gracen
Kathleen Gracen

A South Tyneside art exhibitor is helping a North East painter follow her dreams by hosting an display of her work.

Padma Rao has opened up her gallery, based at 126 Talbot Road, South Shields to showcase the talents of Kathleen Gracen.

Work of painter Kathleen Gracen

Work of painter Kathleen Gracen

The exhibition - entitled ‘An artist’s journey never finishes. Mine has just begun’ - features work based on her love of the Nordic fjords, landscapes and colours.

The 71-year-old has held a passion for painting since she was a young woman.

She has studied art throughout her life, earning a BTEC at North Tyneside College and a BA Honours Degree at Sunderland University.

Padma Rao, Director ArtsConnect and owner of Makaan Art Gallery said: “Makaan Art Gallery is proud to present this exhibition by an artist who is in love with Nordic Fjords, landscapes and colours.

I loved doing art at school but I married and had children very young so couldn’t follow my dream and art got left behind.

Kathleen Gracen

“The exhibition is about Kathleen’s own journey in her life but most importantly her commitment to her art, her pursuit for excellence and her honestly in expression.”

Kathleen, from Northumberland, has been inspired in her work by reflections of water, land and sky and feature heavily in her paintings.

She said: “I loved doing art at school but I married and had children very young so couldn’t follow my dream and art got left behind.

“Eventually, when my life settled down I joined an art group which I loved very much. And that was the start of pursuit for my passion.

“Gradually with encouragement of artist friends I began this journey and now here I am.

“Though life kept throwing stuff at me, I never felt hindered as a woman because all I wanted to do was to paint and fulfil my ambitions as a painter.”

She added: “My work is also profoundly influenced by Ornolf Updarl whom I was fortunate to meet. All this has been enriching to me as an artist and for the past two years I have been working on this body of work. I made many other exploratory drawings and paintings leading up to these final pieces.

“This exhibition gives me an opportunity to present my work publicly in a collection and share my passion with family, friends and members of public.”

The exhibition will open on Friday September 28, at 6pm until 8.30pm for one night only.

For more information about the project contact Padma Rao on 07930 175 319 or via email: padma@artsconnect.org.uk