Artist looking for 42-year-old work for Northampton exhibition

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Acrylic on canvas showing the Lockkeepers House the top lock near GaytonImage source, John McGowan
Image caption,
John McGowan created the acrylic on canvas showing the Lockkeepers House the top lock near Gayton in 1980

An artist is attempting to track down a 42-year-old painting given to a school which has been demolished.

John McGowan, from Northborough, Cambridgeshire, hopes to display the artwork in an exhibition at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery in 2023.

He is also looking for another piece of artwork sold at an exhibition at the same museum in 1980.

Mr McGowan said although the exhibition was not until February, he thought "it's best to start searching now".

Image source, John McGowan
Image caption,
John McGowan has been making prints for more than 50 years

One painting, which was created in 1980, is a 5ft (152cm) square acrylic on canvas showing the Lockkeepers House the top lock near Gayton, Northamptonshire.

It was given to Mereway Upper School in Northampton, when Mr McGowan was teaching there, and was last seen at the school in 2005, before it was demolished.

He told BBC Radio Northampton he had contacted Abbeyfield School, which replaced Mereway, and was built next to the demolished school but it did not know anything about it.

Mr McGowan said there was "virtually nothing" on the internet about the school and who might know what happened to the painting.

Image source, John McGowan
Image caption,
John McGowan already has prints at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery but is looking for one of Rothersthorpe for the exhibition

The other paint is a multi-frame oil on canvas, which is 20 inches (51cm) square, portraying lock gate 11 near Rothersthorpe, Northamptonshire.

It was sold at the 1980 Art Teacher's Exhibition at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

Mr McGowan became a full-time printmaker after he retired from teaching art at Oundle School.

The exhibition planned for 2023 will include works from his career and focus on his prints depicting Northamptonshire canals.

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