FRIENDS of an artist who died in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic will hold a exhibition in his memory.

Tony McCorry, from Colchester, died in April after his kidneys and liver failed.

Unable to attend his funeral due to lockdown restrictions they vowed to remember him by holding an exhibition.

Mr McCorry, who was in his 50s, was well known on the Colchester art scene and was a regular exhibitor at the Colchester Gallery in North Hill.

The Remembering Tony exhibition will be held at the gallery from Saturday October 10.

Tamsyn Taylor, who is organising the exhibition said: “Tony was a dear friend, and his death came as a shock to us.

“We have not been able to celebrate his life and our friendship with him by attending a funeral as would be usual.

“Tony was a highly original painter whose works reflect his background as a youth in Birmingham.

“They speak of harsh realities, and the dehumanising effect of growing up in a landscape of tower blocks and stark industrial architecture.

“His colours generally reflect the harsh contrasts of early post-modernism and Government buildings. His later works are more personal, revealing loneliness and hopelessness. “

The exhibition will feature works by Roy Cleary, Michael Goodey, Chalermchon Jitjindar, Ruth Anderson, Jim Racine and Tamsyn .

She added: “A number of paintings having been created in his memory by artists who knew him.

“Other works, including an original painting by Tony himself, have been loaned because of some association with Tony.

“There is also a slide show of paintings that Tony exhibited over the last five years and a short film showing an installation created by Tony at Cuckoo Farm.”

Mr McCorry was also a teacher after being inspired by his difficult time at school growing up in Birmingham.

Tamsyn said: “His down-to-earth manner, his understanding of the problems confronting youth in poorer areas, and his love of art combined to make him an excellent teacher. “

The exhibition will be held between 12pm and 6pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until October 31.

Two people are allowed in the gallery at one time and must wear masks.