Late artist’s work is finally unveiled

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A large exhibition at Berwick Watchtower Gallery has been displaying the work of an artist who helped create the 
“finest pastels in the world.”

John Hersey never showed his work during his lifetime, but he is renowned for designing and producing Unison Colour pastels before his death a few years ago.

However, landscape artist Peter Podmore of Kirknewton near Wooler persuaded his widow, Kate Hersey, who now runs the business, to show his paintings.

The exhibition, which ran for three weeks before closing last week, attracted lots of interest. “It received a lot of enthusiastic response from visitors from far and near,” Peter explained.

“It was made especially interesting for artists using pastels. I was able to show 70 works from the last 25 years, many of which had not been shown before.

“John, as a painter, was never happy with the commercial pastels he needed for his work so started developing his own. Collaborations with other artists led to the eventual marketing of them and the origin of Unison Colour, the finest pastels in the world.”

Gallery owner Kate Stephenson also displayed major works of her late husband Ian Stephenson, one of the most important British painters of the post war years.

Peter is full of praise for the way Ms Stephenson has been “engaging the local population in a dialogue as well as putting on varied and high quality shows of local, unusual and general interest” at her popular Watchtower Gallery in Tweedmouth.

He added: “Few people understand that the art world and Berwick is very privileged to have her knowledge and her superb gallery at its disposal.”