Part of North Shields Fish Quay’s history for over 900 years, the Old Low Light has recently undergone a major redevelopment and once again provides the community with a place to re-discover the history and rich heritage of the Quay. The Old Low Lights opening was an evening of celebration, with attendees of importance from across the region which included the elected mayor of North Tyneside delivering a heartfelt speech on the building’s significance both regionally and nationally.

The Old Low Lights requested a commission of work from proud local man, Michael Smith who is studying a HND in Art and Design at TyneMet’s Creative Studios, he said: “To exhibit at a building of such local pride is an honour. Having painted for over fifty years, my work often depicts the unheard stories of a fisherman’s voyage and the community who depends on them to make a safe return.  I really want to thank my teacher at the Creative Studios, Dr John O’ Rourke who has been instrumental in helping me to achieve my dream of being a working artist - the support I have received throughout the course from John and the Creative Studios has been an excellent. It’s a great place learn.”

Standing in the courtyard of the Old Low Lights it is picturesque - overlooking the swaying sea, the clouds cast shapes over the Quay making it somewhat mesmerising and the perfect place to exhibit a collective of fisherman paintings. Dr John O’Rourke said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Michael to display his work on the launch night of the Old Low Light, we’re all very proud of him – he’s a very talented painter with a close tie to North Shields having worked and fished in the Quay for most of his life, which as you can see really comes across in the delivery of his work. Well done Michael.”

Michael Smith’s Exhibition ‘Salt in the Veins’ is available to see at the Old Low Light gallery until the 4th May, for more information about the exhibition or the Old Low Light visit: oldlowlight.co.uk/events/salt-water-in-the-veins

For more information about the Creative Studios, including our wide range of courses visit: www.tynemet.ac.uk/art