Hexham artist celebrates new lease of life

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A HEXHAM artist who was almost blind before having his sight restored will open an exhibition of his artwork this weekend.

After working as an artist for years, Louis Liddle’s sight became so bad he described it as looking at the world through a frosted glass window.

The sight problems developed as a result of diabetes, with Louis eventually losing his driving licence and retiring due to ill health in 2000.

But in 2013, the 66-year-old had a new lens stitched into his right eye at Newcastle Eye Centre, and two years later had the same done to his left, restoring some of his sight.

“It’s just amazing what they can do at the eye department in Newcastle,” he said.

“I was still drawing when I retired, but when I lost both eyes I couldn’t anymore. This has allowed me to do it again.”

In Hexham, Louis found inspiration for his artwork in everything from Hexham Abbey to doors hidden down back streets.

His work, which includes portraits sketched during the 90s, sketches of buildings in Newcastle, and paintings of key points in Hexham, will be on display at Scott’s Cafe at the Forum Cinema from March 17 until April 24.

“This is something I have never done,” he said.

“To have been through an emergency, which it really was as I couldn’t see anything, to this is a completely different life.”

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