Mark Rowney

We are delighted to have on board, Weardale’s very own home-grown internationally acclaimed artist, Mark Rowney.

“I was born in Middlesbrough in 1962. Brought up on a ‘Ranch’ in my beloved Weardale, Co. Durham.

I studied at Maidstone, Kent and St.Martins in London. After several years working as an illustrator for a varied assortment of Newpapers and publishers in London and NewYork I started to work and develop my skills with leather.

During this time I began producing accessories and objet d’art for Paul Smith on 5th Avenue. I also started working as a designer for a soft furnishings company, spending time in India as an embroidary designer.

After many years abroad, I returned to the family farm in the hills of the Durham Dales where I persue my love of nature and the Art of leather carving and sculpture. Most importantly I married the love of my life, Mary in 2012 … my greatest supporter. I have exhibited both leather work and paintings across Britain.

My work is collected at home and internationally. I spend my days producing work that is inspired by the creatures, trees and meadows that surround me.”

You will have a chance to meet Mark whilst he demonstrates his fascinating skills in leather work and displaying some of his extraordinary new works. His demo will take place in the town hall between 2.30 and 3pm.

Paula Dunn

We’re also privileged to welcome Paula Dunn, one of Britain’s leading artists in the field of painting with oils and cold wax. Paula has built up an enviable reputation in contemporary landscape painting using this technique.

“I am a landscape painter who works with oils, glazes and cold wax.  My work ranges from large scale landscapes on stretched canvas to small works on paper. I’ve painted in response to places I have walked and explored: Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Lake District and Yorkshire where I currently live.

My work is very much influenced by light, colours and textures; I experiment with techniques such as impasto, mark making and developing layers with glazes and cold wax infused with dry pigments.

I paint landscapes inspired by feelings and memories of a place and at a particular point in time. My paintings respond to the weather and other natural forces which have an influence on the landscape.

Recently my work is becoming more abstracted – something I’m aiming for more and more – as I focus more on my memory of a subject and the use of rapid on site sketches.  I love to play with combinations of colours, textures and make expressive marks to create mood and atmosphere. 

I have exhibited widely with galleries in the north of England in both mixed and solo shows and I have had residencies at Burton Agnes, East Yorkshire and Brisons Veor, Cornwall.

I currently work from my home studio in the beautiful, inspiring World Heritage village of Saltaire, West Yorkshire.”

Paula will be giving a demonstration between 3.30 and 4pm.  Paula will also be spending the whole day with us and will be happy to chat throughout the day.


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