The art-take of the fishing industry

Whitby Fishing Today exhibition at Pannett Art Gallery''Grace Parkin, volunteer assistant to Helen the curator
Whitby Fishing Today exhibition at Pannett Art Gallery''Grace Parkin, volunteer assistant to Helen the curator

AN art exhibition at Pannett Park’s art gallery is set to introduce land-lubbers to the current state of the fishing industry in Whitby.

Despite its popularity as a seaside destination, Whitby’s bedrock is still the fishing fleet and market, but few who remain on land know the hardships these men face.

Whitby Fishing Today exhibition organiser and artist Dave Jeffery is hoping to change this with his exhibition, entitled Whitby Fishing Today.

He said: “I’m hoping the exhibition will create an awareness among the general public and political organisations that the fishing industry is important to Whitby and that the industry, if it’s to continue, needs assistance and understanding.

“I feel there’s a chasm between those who enjoy eating fish and the people who catch it.

“The exhibition will hopefully bridge that gap, giving fish-eaters an understanding of what goes into landing their favourite catch.

“Another aim of the exhibition is to attempt to turn people onto enjoying sustainable fish, other than traditional cod, that could readily be landed in Whitby.”

Paintings, photographs and ceramics will be on display from a variety of northern artists, including Whitby mayor John Freeman, and will take visitors behind the scenes of the troubled industry.

Other painters include Len Tabner (Boulby); Michelle Saunders (Whitby); Christine Pybus (Whitby); Jo Chesterman (Leeds); Andrew Cheetham (Scarborough); Kane Cunningham (Scarborough); Jack Chesterman (Leeds) and the late Derek Carpenter, of Staithes.

There is also batik work by Heather Gatt (Whitby), photographers by Ian MacDonald (Grosmont) and ceramics by Terry Shone (Whitby) and Rex Aldred (Newton Mulgrave).

The month-long exhibition has won the national support of the hugely-successful Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall “Fish Fight” campaign and the “Fight for our Fleet” campaign organised by the Whitby Gazette.

Most of the pieces will be for sale, with 10% of the price going to the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen charity.

Local businesses have been quick to sign up to sponsor the event including Parkol Marine Engineering, Howard Locker, of Emulate II (WY 110), James Cole, of The Good Intent III (WY 79), Fusco’s Ltd, Whitby fish and chip restaurants and take away, Quayside Restaurant, Royal Fisheries Cafe and takeaway and The Dowager Marchioness of Normanby, OBE.

Entry is free for the exhibition, which runs at Pannett Art Gallery until 16 October.