AN extensive exhibition showcasing the work of the popular Teesdale artist Simon Pell has opened at The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond and will be on display until November.

Featuring some 36 paintings, the exhibition – Added Colour – is located in the Theatre’s top floor bar and can be viewed free of charge from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm.

Simon’s work is known for its striking vibrant colour and draws its inspiration from the wild landscapes of northern England.

He trained at Loughborough College of Art and the Slade in London before embarking on a career as a freelance theatre designer and scenic artist, including periods at the National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company and in the West End.

In 1987, he came north to work for Durham Theatre Company on a six-month contract and has lived in Barnard Castle ever since.

He has since worked for numerous theatre and arts companies in the region, including regular stints at the Gala Theatre in Durham, Welfare State International, Jack Drum Arts, Middlesbrough College Theatre, Blaize Theatre Company and North Country Theatre.

Simon has a particularly strong connection with The Georgian Theatre Royal and created scenery for the Richmond Theatre’s first in-house pantomime Mother Goose, as well as Joey: King of the Clowns and Dan Leno: The King’s Jester.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to exhibit at The Georgian Theatre Royal. It is – and always will be – my favourite theatre in the world and I have worked in quite a few of them! It feels like my second home.”

Simon likes nothing better than to go for long, solitary walks in rural Teesdale to do a bit of observing, photography and sketching. His art is unique and outrageously colourful, and his expressionist paintings are inspired by his adventures.