A SOUTH Lakes artist is all set for his first-ever solo exhibition, which opens in the region this weekend.

Printmaker Tom Harforth presents Structure of Decay at the Brewery Arts Centre, in Kendal, from Saturday May 20 to Saturday July 22.

Based near Newby Bridge, he graduated from the University of Central Lancashire last summer, and was commissioned for this project by freelance curator Jamie Barnes, who had been impressed by Tom's work at his degree open evening.

The pieces featured are based on old photographs of the Brewery, highlighting the decay and deterioration of the buildings and their surfaces.

Tom says: "It was great to be asked on the opening evening of my degree show, if I would have a solo exhibition of my artwork at a local gallery.

"The work commissioned by the curator Jamie Barnes was an intriguing prospect as a lot of my work is based around the textures and surfaces of structures, so it was very fitting to respond to old photographs of the Brewery in its past states and produce a new series of artworks.

"The process of finding a new method of display, fitting with the structural essence of the brewery’s history and incorporating this with my own practice has been an exciting venture."

Tom graduated from the UCLan Fine Art programme with a first class honours degree and has a studio in South Lakeland.

The work exhibited is a combination of his degree show work and newly-created pieces for the Brewery Arts Centre.

This series of work is set around the journey which the Brewery Arts Centres’ buildings have undergone and been recorded over the past 40 years.

The imagery is from the Brewery’s own photographic archive.

Tom continues: "I have taken a range of architectural images, those of which are appropriate to my practice of depicting the urban decay of structures. I have then developed a process by exploring with the senses, in particular with the textures to produce this group of one-off, sculptural screen prints."

The way in which the prints have been constructed is to emulate the idea of fermentation. The backgrounds are created by hand printed organic textures to give the sense of soaked and stained paper, evoking a feel of ageing to the imagery and also reflecting the brewing process.

The foreground composition itself has been reduced from the original photographs to give emphasis to the fragility of the structure, this layer is screen printed with a warm mix of greys and browns to create a resemblance of the industrial era from the buildings former life.

The curved frame presentation is to echo the form of the vats and barrels indicative of a brewery as well as to enhance further structure to the pieces.

The screen prints are then presented in frames made from oak, to be true to the traditional barrel material and construction.

Structure of Decay is on display at the Brewery Arts Centre from Saturday May 20 to Saturday July 22.