Carol captures Viola for Ferens Open Exhibition

Viola Trawler Post

24th April 2020

It missed out on the big prizes but a painting of the Viola by local artist Carol Davidson was in demand at this year’s Ferens Open exhibition and attracted a buyer at the event preview.

“Rust in Peace”, which shows a close-up of the weather-beaten bridge of the Viola in her current location, was snapped up for £195 buy a purchaser with a connection to the watercolour classes which Carol teaches.

A frequent exhibitor at the Ferens Open and many other exhibitions, Carol collected £149 at the 2017 event for “Time and Tide”, another close-up which features the ropes fastening the Viola to the Albatros, side by side on the beach in Grytviken.

Carol, who lives at Anlaby, was a keen artist at Thoresby County Primary School and earned selection to attend Saturday morning classes at Hull Art School. She studied art at teacher training college and taught it as part of the full range of subjects as a teacher in the UK and Canada but didn’t pursue it seriously because of family commitments.

She said: “When I had children I painted murals in their bedrooms but apart from that it was a gap of nearly 30 years. I got back into it when I was in financial services and having lunch with a colleague in a pub. Someone was selling paintings and my colleague was impressed but I didn’t think they were very good so I painted a galleon with big, billowing sails and put it on his desk.”

Carol resumed her painting career and combined it with roles as a carer and a hypnotherapist whilst also singing in the Positive Note choir. She specialises in watercolours – a far cry from the psychedelic gloss on hardboard of her days at college – and has developed a maritime interest from her Hull upbringing.

She said: “I’m 75 and I should be retired but I paint pretty much anything but my favourite subject is boats and water and I think that’s down to being brought up in Hull. My father worked on the river. George Handren. He was a berth man, standing where the Hull enters the Humber, knee deep in the mud and shovelling mud into the river to stop the mouth of the Hull silting up.

“One influence behind the Viola paintings was the demise of the trawler industry in Hull because that was all we ever heard about when I was growing up. The papers were always full of the trawlers and where they had been and the Cod Wars.

For some strange reason I am also drawn to rust, things that are wearing out after a useful life. I had seen a lot of images of the Viola from the media coverage of the campaign to bring her home so I decided to paint her, but in a different way.”

To view more of Carol’s work look her up on Facebook.

To view the Ferens 2020 Open Exhibition online please visit

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