A prodigal and returning north east son was warmly embraced in North Tyneside on 7 February. Artist Peter Robson's recent return to his home region has reconnected him with a social landscape which shapes his work and brought him into activity with North Tyneside Socialist Party.
Imaginative and powerful, invoking themes familiar to working-class people anywhere, Peter's art challenges viewers with a bombardment of vivid colours and life-like images, but offers uncomplicated content matter.
There's an implied and omnipresent reference to the military industrial complex and horrors of war in many pieces. All are vivid, and offer sprawling views of larger-than-life protagonist subjects, like artillery, boots, and parachutes.
The evening exhibition preview at The Exchange in North Shields saw over 50 people enter throughout the night, with Peter on stage to give an explanation to the audience about his work.
County Durham singer-songwriter Steve Pledger provided distinctive left and socialist sounds which the audience revelled in and which complemented Peter's subject matter.
Artists' Union England organiser Theresa Easton attended too, hailing the evening as "fabulous". Labour lefts, trade unionists, socialists, and the community generally benefited from accessible and working-class art which asks difficult questions of the status quo and capitalism's unending chaos and crises.