JOINT EFFORT: The work of Michael Horner, David Foster and Brian Lavery will go on show at The Witham during June
JOINT EFFORT: The work of Michael Horner, David Foster and Brian Lavery will go on show at The Witham during June

SHARED tastes have brought three artists together for an exhibition which opens in Barnard Castle early next month.

Playing with Light features wildlife artist Brian Lavery, landscapes, portraits, animals and other subjects by David Foster and Michael Horner, who will share his love of the countryside and the people in it.

The display, which opens with a preview on Wednesday, June 5, came about after Mr Foster's wife Penny “ran out of wall space” to hang her prolific husband’s pictures at their Victorian terraced home.

“I tried various venue in Barnard Castle but the commission required was too high. I came to The Witham and they had just reduced theirs.

“I did not think we could afford a whole month, so we began to look for partners.”

Mr Foster, of Barnard Castle, and Mr Lavery, from Cotherstone, met by chance in the doctor's surgery before then coming across Mr Horner socially.

Mr Foster, who will celebrate his 75th birthday during the exhibition, is a retired antique furniture restorer who has exhibited his artwork across the country.

He has staged solo exhibition and taken gallery space as well as selling through commissioned work.

Playing with Light will be his first exhibition in Barnard Castle.

Mr Lavery, who will turn 80 during the exhibition, began painting when he retired.

A former coal mining engineer who later ran a B&B in Ullapool, on Scotland's west coast, soon caught the painting bug.

“I always wanted to paint but never did until I was 65. I started when I retired and went to a local cafe and bookshop, gave them six pictures and asked if they would try to sell them.

“They were sold within a month. That whetted my appetite.”

Like Mr Foster, this will be the first time he has shown his work in Barnard Castle.

Mr Horner, who lives at Eggleston, began painting in Switzerland and takes his inspiration from the countryside of both England and the continent.

He said he enjoys teaching and will be demonstrating some of his ideas during the exhibition as well as welcoming questions insights from visitors.

He has a history of exhibiting in London and a in addition to landscapes, he has a portfolio of portraiture from his many years of painting.

The preview of Playing with Light takes place from 5.30pm to 8pm.

The exhibition runs to June 29, 10am to 4pm during arts centre opening times.

Admission is free.