A RENOWNED painter who has hosted a major exhibition in his hometown gallery has viewed the artwork he inspired pupils at his former school to create.

Middlesbrough-born artist William Tillyer returned to the town’s Whinney Banks primary to talk about his 50 year career which has seen his pieces displayed across the world and feature in the private collections of David Bowie and Charles Saatchi.

In November last year more than 50 Year Five pupils visited Middlesbrough’s Mima gallery to view his ‘Against Nature’ exhibition of paintings, sculptures and drawings.

More than 50 watercolours by Mr Tillyer, many of which are based on the landscape of North Yorkshire, can still be seen at Mima until February 19.

When the youngsters returned to the classroom they were inspired to create pieces hanging in their own gallery which Mr Tillyer saw on his recent visit.

He said: “The time I spent at Whinney Banks school has fond memories for me and I’m delighted that I got to go and give something back to the place where you could say it all began.”

Educated at Middlesbrough College of Art, Slade and Stanley William Hayter's print workshop, Atelier 17 in Paris, his work is known for its use of colour, texture and form.

Mima education officer, Erin Rolfe added: “Connecting the artists on display with our schools and community is at the heart of what we do at Mima.

"With William being from Middlesbrough it’s been an absolute joy to see so many pupils inspired by his world class art and the fact that pupils see that William has come from their town raises their aspirations.”