THE art works of two Northumberland brothers will soon be on display at a new gallery near Bellingham.

Farmer Julian Morrison-Bell owns the 19th Century hay barn at Chatton, which has been converted into a gallery and venue called The Bellwether.

The gallery will open on October 14.

The name recalls the old name for the leading sheep in a flock, which would have a bell hung round its neck.

Hexham Courant: Julian outside the Bellwether during conversion workJulian outside the Bellwether during conversion work (Image: Newsquest)

For Julian, this is the latest step in creating employment and drawing on the visitor pulling power of Kielder.

"There aren't that many points of interest on the way to Kielder and this is a place where we hope people might stop for a while," he said.

In 2011 the Duchess of Northumberland opened The Boe Rigg, the eco-friendly restaurant built on the site of 1950s farm buildings.

Hexham Courant: Julian with the gallery taking shape behindJulian with the gallery taking shape behind (Image: Newsquest)

Like the restaurant, The Bellwether joins with a campsite in a hamlet in Northumberland National Park.

Julian, who hopes to find a tenant or partner to run the new attraction, was elected Chair of the National Park's development management committee in June.

Hexham Courant: Green Swangs near Shiel Crags, photographed by Julian Morrison-Bell Green Swangs near Shiel Crags, photographed by Julian Morrison-Bell (Image: Newsquest)

He and his older brother William grew up at Highgreen Manor, and as boys explored every inch of the estate.

They were sent to Eton before ending up in London, where William became a lawyer and Julian a photographer.

Hexham Courant: (L-R) William and Julian Morrison-Bell as boys at Highgreen(L-R) William and Julian Morrison-Bell as boys at Highgreen (Image: Newsquest)

A love of art ran in the family. Julian remembers artist LS Lowry, famous for his matchstick figures, visiting his mother at Highgreen.

"I always wanted to go into the art world in some form," Julian said.

Hexham Courant: Artist William Morrison-Bell, photographed by JulianArtist William Morrison-Bell, photographed by Julian (Image: Newsquest)

Having decided on photography, he went to work for Gordon Bishop, who as a technician had assisted Norman Parkinson and Cecil Beaton.

Julian picked up commissions for national newspapers and magazines, before eventually deciding to return to Northumberland and take on Newton Farm.

Hexham Courant: Northumbrian landscape by William Morrison-BellNorthumbrian landscape by William Morrison-Bell (Image: Newsquest)

On display alongside his new landscape photos will be pastel pictures of Highgreen and surrounding areas by brother William, who is also focusing on his art, which he posts on Instagram as northumbrianhermit.

A sensitive blend of old and new, The Bellwether will open with a concert by Hexham folk duo Landermason and choir Dark Sky Voices.

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