Peter Burns

Born in Gilsland in 1944 and mainly self-taught, Peter worked in shipbuilding, gaining inspiration for many of his works. These later contributed to the book ‘Where the Wall Ends’, illustrating the industrial history of Wallsend.

Art hanging on wall

Peter was influenced by the Renaissance period, especially the works of Leonardo da Vinci. Working in several media, he exhibited in major galleries in the North East and held many one-man exhibitions in the area.

In 1978, British Shipbuilders commissioned him to undertake a project portraying the shipyard worker and his North East environment, resulting in a major exhibition at the University of Northumbria. These paintings are permanent display in Newcastle and London.

He was also commissioned to provide paintings for International Paints in 1981, Whelan Builders in 1982, and Rothmans UK in 1986.

The impact of Peter’s work is that both the BBC and Tyne Tees have made films about him. One of his oil paintings, a portrait of John F. Kennedy, was accepted for a joint research project by the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library and Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

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