Painter David Watson and printmaker Morag Eaton are the artists behind the latest exhibitions at Hexham’s Queen’s Hall. The couple, who have lived and worked together for the past 30 years, have taken over a floor each, with Morag in Gallery One and David upstairs in Gallery Two.
The idea was spawned by the wife of a hill farmer when she said they paid more to have their sheep sheared than they got for the wool, but that it was necessary for the welfare of the animals.
Foldyard are Dave Watson, painter & printmaker, and Morag Eaton, printmaker, who have been exhibiting artists for the last 30+ years. As well as exhibiting in independent and municipal galleries, for the last 8 years, they have held an annual Open Studio event in their home. Year on year the Open Studio became busier and in 2017 they decided to find commercial premises to install picture hanging systems and display systems to exhibit from. A retail unit became available on Bridge Street in Berwick-upon-Tweed where they live, and FOLDYARD Gallery and Print Studio opened in 2018. With the gallery in the front space and the print studio in the back room for courses and workshops and situated on a street with small independent creative businesses, it is an ideal situation.
For the past 18 months Dave has been making a body of work called Gardens and Uncultivated spaces where he paints in private and public gardens and out in the wider landscape. Morag has spent the last year on an Arts Council England funded projected called ANOTHER FIELD: Farming Diversity. Here she made a body of work for a touring exhibition by working with 3 farms who have diversification businesses (a business which is separate from the core activities of the farm and brings in a separate revenue stream).
Dave and Morag are looking forward to having a permanent public exhibition space and how it will advance their work creatively.