FOR decades Dave Waddington has travelled the world on business, soaking up different cultures and taking the chance to visit some of Europe’s best known art galleries, where he was captivated by the likes of Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter and Mark Rothko. Art has always been a passion of his, but it was only recently, post-redundancy, that he seized the opportunity to open his own gallery.

The Connection Gallery is in Finkle Street, Thirsk. The paintings that adorn the walls are all his own work, displayed alongside work by local photographer Richard Gladstone, who specialises in urban structures and night-time photography.

The paintings are abstracts, a diverse offering inspired mostly by Dave’s wanderings around the globe. He uses different techniques and styles, and says each viewer will derive a different meaning from them. “It is not for me to persuade people what they should see, but for visitors to connect with the work through what they see,” he says. Hence the name: The Connection Gallery. Each piece is original and truly one-off, never to be repeated, copied or sold as prints.

Dave, 55, is a true native of the North-East, having lived in Darlington all his life. Despite many years of job-related travel in procurement and supply chain management for a range manufacturing industries, he has always enjoyed returning to the region he is most passionate about. “With so much diversity on the doorstep, why live anywhere else?” he says. “From the vibrancy of Newcastle to the rich heritage and culture of nearby towns and cities such as Durham and York, to the natural beauty of the North York Moors and everything in between, you don’t have to travel far to see some of the most spectacular places on earth.”

Following redundancy, Dave took some time out to plan his future, set himself up with a studio and started his painting again. In January, he launched his first business venture, The Connection Consultancy, specialising in providing procurement and supply chain support to industry, a move that leaves him with time to pursue his passion for art.

The search for a suitable gallery space didn’t take long. The North Yorkshire market town of Thirsk, noted for horse racing and the World of James Herriot, has always been one of his favourite places, and is popular with tourists and independent traders. The gallery opened at the end of April.

The Connection Gallery, 14 Finkle Street, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 1DA.

T: 01845-868010; W: