The Lowry Statue at Knott End slipway was unveiled on Friday 11 September 2015. The Fleetwood to Knott End ferry features in several of Lowry’s drawings and paintings. He had a long association with the Fylde. This statue is a landmark to celebrate his association with the area.
The Knott End Slipway is the area of beach painted by L.S. Lowry. His 18″ x 24″ oil on canvas titled ‘The Jetty at Knott End, near Fleetwood’ dates from around 1957.
The striking statue was made by local designer Tom Elliot. It’s made in stainless steel and stands more than 5ft tall. The Lowry Statue was installed after completion of sea defence works in the area.
£3,000 of the total funding was provided by Preesall Town Council. A further £2,000 from the Wyre Council ‘Shaping your Neighbourhood’ initiative. That fund was set up to benefit residents across the whole of Wyre.
More about LS Lowry and Knott End
Lowry had originally travelled to Lytham St Annes for family holidays when he was a young man, and later went there by himself. He was very familiar with this area and on many occasions painted the local rural landscape and some of the farms.
More generally, he had a long-standing interest in the sea. His work includes sketches of yachts made as a very young man (either off the Fylde Coast or off the north Wales coast), to empty seascapes. He painted studies of rocks in the sea, and ships coming into harbour or isolated on the horizon. Lowry also painted the yachts in Lytham St Annes too.
Visits to Knott End
Those who remember his visits to Knott End say he wasn’t a talkative man but a deep thinker. To those who met him he might have seemed to be in another world. He wasn’t a materialistic man and would be dressed as you might find him, looking like he had just come out of his art studio when he went out and about. Quite normal for today, but in those days people were so much more formal. It was quite normal back then to go on the beach in a shirt and tie!
Lowry would look out across the front at Knott End and then go sketching all around the local area and shoreline.
He’d take a taxi from Sunderland Point, which was one of the places he regularly visited, to visit Knott End and Over Wyre. (Sunderland Point is a small village among the marshes, on a windswept peninsula between the mouth of the River Lune and Morecambe Bay).
Those who met Lowry describe how he used to make sketches on anything he had to hand. He’d use scraps of paper, toilet roll, envelopes and the back of hotel notepaper, sketching whenever the mood took him. These sketches were sometimes stick figures of his thoughts at the time. There would usually be something to exaggerate and Lowry drew in what he saw. Often accentuating odd features – eyes, nose anything outside the norm.
The Jetty at Knott End
It was on one of his local trips that Lowry painted ‘The Jetty at Knott End’ using oils on canvas. Mixing from his palette of five colours, as he so often did.
Jeffrey Archer owned the painting, which he’d originally paid £27,000 for. By 2010 it was worth £750,000. After deciding at that time to give away his personal £100m fortune, the Lowry may now be in private ownership.
The Jetty at Knott End is reproduced in ‘LS Lowry: Conversation Pieces, Andras Kalman in conversation with Andrew Lambirth’, Chaucer Press, 2003, p.127. The text reads:
‘Also sometimes known as Jetty at Knott End. There was a vast Frenchman I knew who lived in England for a while and bought English pictures, particularly Sutherland and Lowry. I had 5 phone calls within a week telling me that there was a Lowry in a French auction. How had this happened? Apparently the man had got into financial difficulties. So I flew over, loved the picture and bought it. As we know, Lowry travelled the country to see new things that could give him motifs. This is an ideal Lowry motif – it’s humorous, it’s something different from the industrial scenes, it has space, it has children. Lowry himself never shuffled fast, he liked to saunter. These people are rushing, and that’s what he liked to paint, though he didn’t rush. The surface of the painting is quite heavy with impasto, which is typical of Lowry’s sea pictures.’
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