The importance of Northern art could not be more evident than in the work of Watson, born 1944 in Southbank, a suburb of Industrial Middlesbrough, less than 2 miles from where he still lives and continues to paint today. Watson’s subject matter largely concentrates on figures of labourers, often walking to and from, or at work, and industrial landscapes. For him capturing and recording his surroundings, both past and present, is imperative. Describing how he “breathed the soot, muck and dirt in everyday” and how “it’s inside me, it’s part of me, I used to marvel at specs of soot settling on me mam’s washing and an eerie pink glow in the sky.”

-Lily Indira Kirkby