AN ARTIST has hit out against censorship after her paintings were removed from display in a gym for being too suggestive.

Dianne Bowell, an artist from Middlesbrough, was invited to exhibit her work at the town’s council-run Clairville Stadium gym in November. Earlier this month, she was contacted by the gym’s management team and asked to remove three of her paintings.

A female gym user had complained that the paintings – all depicting the female form - were too ‘suggestive’ for display.

Ms Bowell has criticised the gym’s decision, saying: “I was shocked. It came after the exhibition had been there a long time and it’s also the fact that the gym has large-screen TVs in the same space that show music television channels. Those channels play music videos of scantily clad female stars, gyrating and singing about sex. I’m sure they are a lot more provocative than my art.

“I feel that the work has been censored. Not everyone is going to like everyone’s art work but it shouldn’t mean it’s spoiled for the many more people who like and appreciate it.”

A Middlesbrough Council spokesman said: “Our X4 gyms and other facilities are used by a great many people from a wide range of backgrounds, and it is important to us that we take the views of all users into account.

He added: “We also take on board any complaints about our services and facilities and will not hesitate to take action where appropriate.

“In this instance, following a complaint from a gym user, the decision was taken to remove three examples of an artist’s work which were not deemed appropriate for the particular location.”