Fine food, fine art and Gary's masterpieces

Newton-under-Roseberry, North Yorkshire.

VISITS to my home town have become all too infrequent in recent years, but when I called last week I was pleased to see how well the old place looked.

The streets were bright and lively with an array of interesting eateries. We chose the Bear for a memorable vegetarian feast.

And the town seems to have become a hub for art. Todmorden Fine Art, on Water Street, is one of the foremost galleries in the north, with further examples on almost every street corner.

At the end of Hall Street I spied some ceramic pots by Gary Thomas. Unfortunately the shop was closed or I would have bought the lot.

I was lucky enough to attend the Bath Academy of Art Graduation Show in 1975 when Gary’s was the most prominent stand.

At the centre an oil triptych study of movement in photography, flanked by two magnificent vases and numerous examples from his specialism, graphic design. It was no surprise that the work was awarded first class honours and the highest marks in the history of the academy.

Gary went on to teach and was a lecturer on the Foundation Course in Fine Art at Burnley College when Liam Spencer, now lauded as the new Lowry, was a student.

Since then Gary has worked in stained glass, notably at Liverpool Cathedral and Manchester’s John Rylands Library, but examples of his art are all too hard to find.

Imagine my surprise at finding a dozen examples of work by one of the area’s most talented artists for sale, starting at six quid!

I hope the shop is open next time I hit town.

BILL SUTHERS