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Tuesday 21st July 2020Prudhoe Gallery in Kingfisher Northumberland Guide

You may spot the gallery in the latest Kingfisher hardback guide to Northumberland, which is full of information on galleries, restaurants, country houses and more to visit in our area.
 

Posted on July 21st 2020 on 03:15pm
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Wednesday 27th September 2017Painting with My Father

Watch out for an article coming soon about my father, Lawrence Stangroom. I painted beside Lawrie from being small and even worked alongside him occasionally when I was older. Lawrence was a professional illustrator and college lecturer by day and a fine artist on weekends and holidays, he and my mother Joyce having a large family to support (myself, brother Ian, and sisters Kay, Lynn and Janet). We even share themes for our work, such as Northumbrian frosty mornings, and we both painted mining subjects.  
 
 
Lawrence Stangroom 'Frosty Morning'
 
My father had very little time to paint for himself. I do remember many fine paintings of boats, but barely one has survived. 
 
 
Lawrence Stangroom
 
I now realise how lucky I am to have had a grounding in traditional methods from such a talented man. In the early 50s, Lawrence went to the Royal College of Art to study etching and engraving (MA). I’ve heard that his engravings were excellent, but I’ve never seen a single one. I’m always hoping someone will come forward one day with one, just for me to take a look at.

Posted on September 27th 2017 on 02:32pm
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Wednesday 31st May 2017Himalayan Blankets and Shawls from the Gaddi Tribe

I've been visiting people in this welcoming Himalayan community since living there in the 1980s and have now decided to sell blankets and shawls on their behalf from my Prudhoe gallery

 
I buy from one extended family in a small village, Noli, in the Dhualadhar region, who weave traditional designs from simple looms at home – not unlike clan tartans, I always think. Blankets and shawls are made from sheep the people have reared and wool they've spun, cleaned and woven themselves. 
  


Gaddi tribes were nomadic - now they settle in villages, but they still move with their livestock to pastures in upper hills during summer and to the foothills in chilly winters. The Gaddi use blankets for bedding, protection, and even as emergency makeshift tents when they're living in the hills with their sheep.  
  
The Noli villagers sell the woolen goods they create to live - an important supplement to their farming income. It was great to catch up with old friends I haven't seen for a number of years. Their hospitality was second to none. 

One large blanket takes two months to weave and I spent some time in their homes, seeing them work and even trying a little weaving myself (which I was absolutely useless at!). I've been visiting this region for many years and the warmth, generosity and hospitality of the local people has been very humbling. It is a tough, but beautiful region.

The blankets are large and very strong and warm - perfect for summer picnics, bedding and wrapping yourself up in when it's breezy or cold.



Gaddi people have great stamina, walking for miles in the hills with heavy loads on their backs, and visiting them involved lengthy trekking. Spending time with them again gave me an even deeper respect for these people, who survive in such tough conditions, yet are so gracious. 

Gaddi men and women use their shawls to protect their heads and bodies in cold weather. In this country, these strong shawls are also warm enough to serve as small picnic blankets, or to wrap around yourself as you sit outside on summer evenings when the sun goes down.

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