South Shields pensioner has first art exhibition after 60 years of painting

Artist Brian York launching new exhibition at Primrose Community Association, with artist Bob Olley who receives a portrait of him self.
Artist Brian York launching new exhibition at Primrose Community Association, with artist Bob Olley who receives a portrait of him self.

A pensioner painter has waited a lifetime to make an impression at his very own exhibition.

Talented artist Brian York, who first picked up a paintbrush over 60 years ago, is taking centre stage with an eye-catching exhibition of his works in South Tyneside.

Artist Brian York launching new exhibition at Primrose CA.Official opening by artist Bob Olley.

Artist Brian York launching new exhibition at Primrose CA.Official opening by artist Bob Olley.

A stunning array of picture perfect portraits and breathtaking landscape scenes carefully crafted by the 74-year-old will be adorning the walls of Primrose Community Association for the next three weeks.

The granddad-of-six enlisted a painting pal for the big occasion - fellow South Tyneside artist Bob Olley.

it was a role reversal for Mr Olley - who became the subject of a piece of art when he was presented with a portrait of himself by Mr York.

Mr York, from Whiteleas, South Shields, said: “I have been painting all of my life. I was sent to South Shields Art School when i was just 14.It remains just as much of a passion for me as it has ever been.

“I have never had an exhibition before - this is my first one.

“I am retired and can paint at my leisure.

“There has been a lot of positive feedback so far.

“I am not sure if i will do another exhibition or not.

“The difficulty is finding a venue for your work.”

Mr York, who worked at Via-systems in Laygate, South Shields, before retiring at the age of 60, was delighted friend Bob Olley came along to launch the exhibition.

“We have been friends for over 60 years.

I said to him ‘why don’t i do a portrait of you?’

“He is very happy with it.”

Among the impressive art collection on display are a batch of local scenes he was commissioned to do by the Gazette back in 1985.

But Brian’s primaray painting passion is portraits - be it human or otherwise.

He added; “I have portraits in the exhibition of polar bears and a gorilla, and I have been drawing a lot of dogs lately.”

Mr York has 26 paintings on display in the exhibition - a number limited only by the space available.

He puts brush to easel every week and also helps out with art sessions at The Primrose Village University of the Third Age (U3A) in Jarrow.

Brian’s exhibition of work is on display at Primrose Community Association, Lambton Terrace, Jarrow, during opening hours.