Cullercoats couple honour talented artist with blue plaque – Video

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A DISTINGUISHED artist has been honoured with a commemorative plaque on his former Cullercoats home.

John Falconer Slater was one of the leading members of the famous Cullercoats Artists’ Colony.

He his renowned for his seascapes such as ‘Stormy Sea at Cullercoats’ in the North Tyneside Council art collection and was also one of the first British artists to be inspired by the techniques of Impressionist painting.

Slater, who was born in 1857, lived at St Oswin’s Avenue, in Cullercoats, for the last 12 years of his life.

And current occupiers of the property, Steve and Alwyne Barrigan, approached the council earlier this year for a request to recognise the talented artist with a Blue Plaque on the house.

Steve said: “We have lived here for many years and it was always our dream to return the property back from flats to the original house.

“When we discovered that John Falconer Slater had lived here we were inspired to mark his legacy in some way.

“This is a great achievement for us, Cullercoats and the north east.”

Steve and Alwyne were joined by Mayor Linda Arkley and other dignitaries for the unveiling of the plaque on May 23 – the 75th anniversary of Slater’s death.

The latest plaque is part of the council initiative to promote the importance of Cullercoats’ artists’ colony, and follows on from a recent exhibition at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths & Museum and two information boards at Adamson Memorial Fountain at the bottom of Marden Avenue and Bank Top, which contain information on the colony.

Mrs Arkley said: “We have worked hard to make sure the rich artistic history of Cullercoats is showcased to the public.

“It is fantastic that we have been able to honour such a great artist and also fulfil a longstanding wish of Alwyne and Steve.

“The commemorative plaques are just one of the ways in which we are able to celebrate the borough’s talent and heritage.”

There are now 28 plaques in North Tyneside. Slater is the third artist to be honoured, after Myles Birket Foster and Victor Noble Rainbird, both in North Shields.

Art historian and author Marshall Hall, who is preparing a biography of the artist, said: “19 St Oswin’s Avenue had a special significance to Slater and his family.

“It was the first home they had actually owned since his marriage, and his years there saw his reputation as an artist spread far and wide.

“The plaque is a fitting reminder of this reputation.”

Works by Slater and other Cullercoats artists are among 70 oil paintings from the council collection at www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings

Click on the video above to see the plaque being unveiled...