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The Secret Artist: The Life and Work of Owen Sutcliffe (Clitheroe)

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Clitheroe Castle Museum

Castle Hill

Clitheroe

BB7 1BA

United Kingdom

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Owen Sutcliffe joined the Lancashire County Museum Service in 1979, initially as a van driver, becoming handyman, and finally technical assistant. Over the following 39 years he supported several generations of curators, conservators and technicians behind the scenes at the Museum. He was involved in the collection of historic objects, and the development of temporary and permanent displays for heritage venues across Lancashire. His sudden and unexpected death in November 2018 at the age of 58 left a large gap in the Museum Service’s behind-the-scenes staff.

Like many families across the UK he and his brother, Thomas, had supported and cared for his mother over the last 7 to 8 years, as she developed Alzheimer's. His quiet determination had ensured that "The best little lady in the world" had remained in, and was cared for in, her own home environment until her death in 2018.

Many of those who work behind the scenes in museums are very creative, and Owen observed the skills of the conservators, designers, and specialist technicians. In around 2005 he decided to "give painting a go" and set up a small easel at the back of the workshop.

Self-taught, and painting during his lunch breaks, he would create his canvases. His work was mainly divided into portraits of colleagues, and Lakeland landscapes. Picking up tips and techniques from television painting programmes, he steadily developed his style. These were for his own pleasure, and though he hung two at home, the majority were hung in his workshop. However, when someone left their employment in the Museum Service, Owen would present them with one of his works as a memento of their time in Lancashire.

Though known for his paintings throughout the Museum Service, this side of his life was almost unknown to his family. At his death more than 30 paintings were left in his workshop. The majority of the paintings are untitled, but some of the Lake District scenes are familiar views.

Owen Sutcliffe may never have expected to see these works displayed in one of the Museums he supported during his working life. We hope you will enjoy wandering through these scenes, and will be inspired to try a new activity, or develop a new skill.

There is no additional charge for this event/exhibition but normal admission to the museum applies - £4.50 adults, £3.40 concessions, young people 13 - 18 years free, accompanied children 0 - 12 years free

For more information, please contact us


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Location

Clitheroe Castle Museum

Castle Hill

Clitheroe

BB7 1BA

United Kingdom

View Map

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