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Lowry and the Sea with Jonathan Horwich

2.30 – 4pm

The Maltings

To launch the exhibition Lowry and the Sea, art historian Jonathan Horwich explores the artist's lifelong fascination with the sea.  

From an early age, Lowry took family holidays to Rhyl, Lytham St. Annes and the Fylde coast. He made drawings of ships on the sea from the age of eight. During the 1930s, his coastal works are populated with his regular cast of characters, almost lifted from one of his industrial scenes and placed on the beach. However in later works, as he grows older, heavy ships move through the sea, with no sign of human involvement. These ships can be seen as more than carriers of cargo as Lowry himself referred to his feelings of mortality on viewing a large ship enter port.  

After trip to Anglesey, in 1944, not long after the death of his mother,  he was bored ‘almost to death’ and unable to paint anything. About a month later he was back at home and started to paint ‘empty seascapes’ and said ‘…I had seen, nothing but the sea, a sea with no shore and no boat sailing on it – only the sea.’ Later, he travelled extensively throughout the British Isles, and it was surely his fascination with the sea that brought him to the North East coast, Northumberland and Berwick-upon-Tweed, where as an old man could spend time contemplating the North Sea. 

Jonathan Horwich is recognised as an expert in 19th and 20th Century modern and contemporary British and international art, and particularly for his knowledge of the work of L.S. Lowry. He appeared as a key expert in the Lowry focussed episode of the BBC’s Fake or Fortune and with Sir Ian McKellen on ITV’s Looking at Lowry. He is a council member of charity the Artists’ General Benevolent Institute and of the Chelsea Arts Club. 

This event comprises the Berwick Educational Association’s 10th Anniversary Lecture.