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Trains Boats and Cranes at the City Gallery Peterborough


Trains, Boats and Cranes is an Art Exhibition by John McGowan at the Peterborough City Art Gallery in the Peterborough Museum. It contains over 130 of his prints and paintings from 1967 to 2023. The exhibition opens on 3rd of June 2023 and is on until the 6th August.
Although mainly known as a printmaker, specialising in screen-printing, this exhibition will also show his local work based on Northborough and Glinton, early colour abstraction paintings and more recent work on Railway Signal Boxes,  Docklands Warehouses, the remains of Victorian Railway Bridges and experiments in printmaking on a cubist theme.
John McGowan was born and educated in London and studied at the Bulmershe College of Education, where he was awarded a B Ed in Art and Education. He has worked as an Art Teacher, specialising in printmaking in Doncaster, Northampton, Peterborough and finally at Oundle School.  He has lived in Northborough for 38 years.
He is passionate about printmaking and has been making prints for over fifty – five years.  His work has been exhibited widely in the local area and is in the collections of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery and The Museum of London, who accepted the Rotherhithe Suite into their collection in 2016.  John’s book about his Signal Box Project is in the collection of the National Railway Museum, York.
John says, ‘I’m excited to be able to show a large body my work at the City Gallery. The gallery was my first port of call when I moved to the Peterborough area in 1985.  My work has featured in exhibitions in the Gallery over the years but I relish the opportunity not only to show my work but take the opportunity to explain my printmaking techniques and the connections I have made with other artists, some of whose work will be shown alongside my own.
I made prints whilst working as an art teacher, although that activity had to be squeezed into holiday periods and I used the production of school exemplar work to experiment with different techniques: e.g. drypoint intaglio.  The development of accessible digital image modification software, during my time in Oundle, gave me a new dimension in translating photographs into my printmaking. 
This exhibition marks my seventy-fith year and some fifty five  years as a printmaker.  It is somewhat easier for a printmaker to assemble the works for a retrospective, as there is usually more than one copy of each work and I am grateful for the loans to this exhibition from my friends and the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.
I retired from teaching in 2007. Everything I needed to start printing was ready in my studio but it took two years before I set to work.  The major difference between earlier work and that produced over the last few years is the time I have taken to proof my prints, that is – to produce a finished version of the image before I commit to printing an edition.  The latest print in this exhibition it has taken six months between the initial research to the production of the prints that make up the limited edition.’
Monies from sales of work will be donated to Cancer Research UK.
Find out more about John’s work at
When: 03/06/23 – 05/08/23
Where: Peterborough Museum, 51 Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1LF


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