THE work of a renowned abstract artist with roots in South Cumbria will be heading to the county for a special exhibition next month.

Clyde Hopkins’ career spanned four decades, with solo and group exhibitions at public and private galleries throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.

He also taught in many art colleges and universities and was made an Emeritus Professor at Chelsea College of Art in 2006, before passing away in 2018.

Clyde moved to Barrow with his family aged 11 and was educated at Barrow Boys Grammar School in the 1960s, providing a special link with the Cumbrian town.

A free month-long exhibition featuring 15-20 of his paintings will be unveiled at The Forum in Barrow from Wednesday 23 February.

It coincides with his widow – fellow painter Marilyn Hallam - gifting an additional piece of artwork to be permanently displayed in Barrow Town Hall. A retrospective exhibition is also planned for the town’s Dock Museum later this year.

Marilyn comments, “Clyde was such an excellent human being, loved by everyone despite his sardonic humour. His painting remains surprisingly original through fifty years of his never being bored with what he attempted and achieved.

“I still miss him enormously but I'm so happy that his work is being seen in what was, effectively, his hometown. He would be delighted to remember that his first show was in the Gas Showrooms, Barrow in Furness, all those years ago.”

Councillor Tony Callister, Barrow Borough Council’s lead member for arts, culture and leisure, said: “It’s a real coup to be bringing the work of an artist of Clyde Hopkins’ calibre to Cumbria.

“His paintings have been shown at a raft of high-profile galleries and institutions both nationally and internationally, with the Tate recently acquiring his work.

“He was a respected name in the art world for more than 40 years and we’re all very proud of his local connections too.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be confirming this new exhibition and hope people will take the opportunity to come and experience these colourful, inspiring pieces first-hand.”

Cllr Callister added: “This exhibition is an integral part of some fantastic cultural highlights coming up over the next few months.

“As well as hosting the spectacular Knife Angel sculpture during January, it comes ahead of April’s Festival of Colours – an exciting celebration of South Asian arts, culture, music and dance. There is so much to look forward to in Barrow this Spring.”

To coincide with the Clyde Hopkins exhibition, Barra Culture will be hosting a range of workshops based on the featured works. Further details will be published on their Facebook page.

Director at Barra Culture, Daniel Tyler-McTighe, commented: “We’re delighted that this exhibition is happening at the Forum because we’re really excited and inspired by Clyde Hopkins’ works, not just because he spent his early life here in our creative town, but because we think his paintings are really accessible, fun and engaging for people from all walks of life.

“We’re looking forward to organising some activities in and around the exhibition that encourage local people to get creative themselves and follow in Clyde’s footprints.”

The exhibition will run 23 February – 23 March 2022 at The Forum, Barrow. For more information, visit:

For further inspiration about visiting Barrow town centre, see: