Take a look at pitmen painter’s art

Pitmen Painter Jack Harrison's daughter, Jacqui Henderson, looks at some of his work.
Pitmen Painter Jack Harrison's daughter, Jacqui Henderson, looks at some of his work.

Paintings from three separate collections by Pitmen Painter Jack Harrison have come together for an exhibition at Woodhorn Museum.

Work from the artist’s private family collection is being shown alongside paintings given to Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and those in Woodhorn’s care.

The exhibition, The Bright Side, features a wide range of styles from colourful Northumbrian landscapes and thoughtful portraits to community events and images reflecting his working life.

Jack was born into a mining family and spent 50 years as a miner working first at Ellington Colliery and then Ashington.

Although always interested in art, he found little time to develop his interest until Ashington Group member Harry Wilson encouraged him to join their group in the 1950s.

Jack found this the inspiration he needed, offering critical support and firm friendships that would last until the 1980s. His work didn’t always conform to the Group’s aims however; it was often unrelated to mining and full of colour.

Jack’s daughter, Jacqui Henderson, said: “My father often spoke of his desire to portray the world as a colourful, brilliant, kind of place and very different from the pitch blackness of the pit where from the age of fourteen he had spent so much of his life.

“After my Mother died at only 63 years of age, his gardening and his art became his two most important endeavours.

“He filled his summers with gardening and his winters with his pursuit of extending his own style though experimenting with different genre. He read dozens of books on styles and took great pleasure in using different styles and materials.”

The paintings on public show for the very first time from the family collection, illustrate Jack’s variety of styles as well as giving a glimpse into the personal side of his life.

The Bright Side runs until April 19, 2015.