A COLLECTION of work by a popular North-East artist is to go on sale.

The family of the late Tom McGuinness has released dozens of original pieces for sale through Darlington gallery Gallerina.

Mr McGuinness is regarded as one of the most important North-East artists and spent his life capturing in art the industrial heritage of the mines and the communities that sprung up around them.

Oils, water colours, drawings, etchings and lithographs have been selected by his family to form an exclusive exhibition, called The Return, to run for a minimum eight weeks. The exhibition also marks the full time return of Mr McGuinness’s work into Gallerina.

Gallery owner Richard Hindle said: “For me Tom was the most important artist the North-East has ever produced.

“We have spent a long time with his family looking through Tom’s work and I am over the moon that our champion is back with us.

“We have really missed him and his work and it is going to be a tremendously moving occasion.

I feel very proud and excited about the exhibition and have already noticed a real buzz at the prospect.

“So many families can relate to his art because they have the same background steeped in the mining industry.

The ‘return’ was a shaft that miners used to get back to the surface and it also marks a welcome return of Tom’s brilliant work to this gallery.”

The full collection has been digitised and can be viewed electronically. A Pathe newsreel of Mr McGuinness in his younger days living in Bishop Auckland can be seen at gallerina.

co.uk ■ A preview of the work will take place from 1pm to 4pm on Sunday. By invitation only, anyone interested should contact Gallerina on 01325-363635