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Community groups from across County Durham have been exploring the work of Matisse as part of an exhibition at the Gala Theatre.

Matisse – Drawing with Scissors, is a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition from London’s Southbank Centre which is currently on display at the newly opened Gala Gallery.

Ten art groups were invited to view the artist’s cut-outs, including many of his iconic images such as The Snail and Blue Nudes, which he produced in the last four years of his life.

They then took part in workshops led by artists Bethan Laker and Paul Merrick, where they discussed the composition and colour of the work, using it as a source of inspiration for their own artwork crafted from brightly coloured papers.

Groups that took part in the sessions were:

  • Artworks, Easington Colliery
  • Easington Writers
  • Murton Library Crafts Group
  • Dalton-le-Dale Art Group
  • Tea & Chat Group, Seaham
  • RT Projects, Gilesgate
  • Waddington Street, Durham
  • Greenfield Arts Men’s Cree Group, Newton Aycliffe
  • Spennymoor Settlement Art Group
  • St Paul’s Centre Art Group, Spennymoor

Diane Rowe, from Dalton-le-Dale Art Group and Murton Library Craft Group, said: “The art class was really enjoyable and we all took a lot from it.

“On our return we shared our Matisse adventure with our own art teacher who couldn’t be there, and he was very impressed not only by what we had created but also with the things we had learnt about the artist.”

The exhibition, which is free, will remain at the Gallery until Sunday, 18 March.

From Saturday 24 March to Wednesday 11 April, the gallery will then host a New College Durham exhibition, which aims to raise awareness of the creative practice of art educators.

For more information visit www.galadurham.co.uk/gala-gallery/

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