Amble artist goes back to school

Posted on 30th March 2023 | in Amble Links First School , Community

An artist who was raised in Amble is returning to Amble Links First School, where she was a pupil in the 1970s, to run an art project with local children.

Katherine Renton will be working with the Year 4 pupils during the summer term, using art to explore the beauty, history and wildlife of our coastline. The project will coincide with a solo exhibition of her latest paintings at the Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick. It is entitled ‘Keep – Castles, Coast, Coal and Climate’, which is inspired by the coastline where she grew up and still lives.

A photograph of Artist Katherine Renton

Katherine Renton. Photo by Jim Donnelly

Katherine has planned the project in collaboration with the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership, who are fully funding the project. The Northumberland Coast AONB was designated as one of England’s finest landscapes in 1958, and runs from the Coquet Estuary to just south of Berwick. As well as producing a range of art work, the pupils will visit Katherine’s exhibition, embark on sketching trips to Alnwick, Warkworth and Bamburgh Castle, and view local wildlife on a boat trip to the Farne Islands.

The project will also focus on climate change and the ways in which we can prevent damage to our environment and its wildlife. In Katherine’s current work she creates images with paints that she makes from local seacoal. This process was inspired by her move near to Shilbottle where her Grandfather was a coalminer.

‘I began my series of watercolours soon after the COP 26 conference on climate change, held in Glasgow in Autumn 2021,’ she explains, ‘The summit was the first to commit to reducing the use of coal to protect the planet, and this struck me as particularly significant in a county with a proud history of coalmining – before we knew the damage that this industry would cause’. Northumberland now has a thriving tourism industry instead, thanks largely to its natural beauty, wildlife and history, but rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions could be disastrous for our coastline’.

Many of Katherine’s paintings of the coastline are made using seacoal collected from the beach near to the school. This is where she also collects rocks, such as yellow ochre and shale from the eroded coastal cliffs to create her colours. The school project will be called ‘Northumberland’s Colourful Coast’.

Paul Heeley, the Headteacher at the school commented, ‘We’re really excited that Katherine has asked us to take part in this project with her during the summer term as it will provide the children with a broad range of experiences and learning opportunities that we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to fully fund through our own school budget. We’re extremely grateful to the Northumberland Coast AONB for providing funding and can’t wait to get started. We hope that working with a successful artist, who is also an ex-pupil of Amble Links, will greatly inspire the children involved.’

The ‘Keep – Castles, Coast, Coal and Climate’ exhibition is on at the Bailiffgate Museum from 28th March – 21st May, and is open Tuesdays – Saturdays 10 – 4pm.

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One thought on "Amble artist goes back to school"

  1. Hello
    I happily discovered you and your exhibition, which I hope to visit soon, while searching for an event due to take place in Amble starting the 8th of May 23. Unfortunately, I cannot find any info other than the original notification through Fiona Carvell, the pastel artist, who you may know.

    Unable to get any replies to my emails, I am left wondering if the event which was to feature around 50 local artists, just hasn’t come together. I thought you might know of this planned event and, as a local artist likely to be involved, hope you wouldn’t mind updating me.

    With thanks in anticipation.

    Barry Thrower

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