Wirral gallery reopens with diverse exhibition of local art

Colin Simpson inside the gallery. Picture: Vince Clegg / Creative Photography

Colin Simpson inside the gallery. Picture: Vince Clegg / Creative Photography

First published in News
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Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A DIVERSE exhibition of work by three local artists heralds the re-opening of Wirral’s historic Williamson Art Gallery.

Among the 140 pieces on view at the Slatey Road venue are sculptures of hawks, landscapes and artistic snapshots of life in Birkenhead, Liverpool and Manchester.

The collection, featuring work by Sheila Turner, Peter Dover and Tony Evans, has been described as world class by Colin Simpson, who has been curator of museums at Wirral Council for 30 years.

He told the Globe: "We are delighted to re-open the gallery with an exhibition that is as exciting and diverse as this.

"It shows the diversity of artists from very different backgrounds working in traditional media.

"The Williamson is not tailored to work in new media. What we do exhibit in more traditional ways."

Sheila Turner gave up her job in Liverpool 40 years ago, to become a full-time artist.

Her work has been exhibited at galleries across the country. Her collection 'a retrospective of forty years'.

In the programme she said: “I am a self-taught artist. I began painting the old streets of Liverpool.

“They inspired me because they had an atmosphere of the past and they were disappearing and changing, especially during the riots in the eighties."

Born and raised in Liverpool, former insurance salesman Tony Evans now lives near Frodsham in Cheshire.

He gave up a 30 year career with the Prudential to pursue a career in art.

He studied for GCSEs and A Levels at Liverpool City College and later graduated with a BA Honours Degree in Fine Art.

He spent a year at as a fellow at Wirral Art School developing the work which led to his first major show at the Williamson.

His subjects are studies of animals and people in action, crafted from copper and bronze.

His portrayals of nature capture everything from the simplictiy of a frog to the magnificence of a life-size Bengal tiger.

Wallasey-born Peter Dover’s landscape work features studies of Liverpool Bay and New Brighton Rock.

Opened in 1928, the popular visitor attraction not only includes works of national importance, but also has built a reputation for maintaining an ambitious exhibition programme, showcasing the work of local artists and craftspeople.

The building had been closed for two months while work was work carried, but now boasts a fresh new look and its own café, shop and community gallery.

The project is still continuing and the whole building is not yet open. The café is being run by an employment scheme for people with disabilities.

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