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Music legend Sting visits gallery showing Swan Hunter painting

Sting looks at the painting by LS Lowry of Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend. Picture by Nathan Chandler.
Sting looks at the painting by LS Lowry of Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend. Picture by Nathan Chandler.

International music icon Sting has been reminiscing about his Wallsend roots.

The singer-singwriter made a surprise visit to The Lowry gallery in Manchester to look at the work by LS Lowry of Swan Hunter shipyard.

The Wallsend shipyard was the inspiration for Sting’s musical The Last Ship.

Sting was at The Lowry for the opening night of The Last Ship, which tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend, including the closure of Swan Hunter shipyard.

He was just 17 when the then 81-year-old LS Lowry sat and sketched the scene that would become Narcia fitting out on the Tyne in 1968.

The painting is on loan from The University of Salford’s Art Collection, and has been added to The Lowry’s permanent exhibition, LS Lowry: The Art & The Artist for a year.

Sting said: “What a lovely surprise to discover that the shipyard which was such a powerful presence in my own life also provided inspiration for one of our greatest artists, LS Lowry.”

Swan Hunter’s ships included the Carpathia and the Mauretania.