• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

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Roundabout: Art in the Community

Artist in Residence Ruth Fettis in partnership with Angelou Centre and linked to Bam Sistahood Project

The public is invited to a free exhibition entitled “Roundabout”, showcasing a selection of artworks created by local communities working with artists-in-residence across Newcastle over the last year. The programme and exhibition have been coordinated by Newcastle City Council’s Arts Team.

The exhibition starts this coming Saturday, April 2nd at the Tyneside Cinema’s Pop Up Film School which can be found on 41-43 Pilgrim Street (NE1 6QE – next to the former Odeon building).

The projects and artists’ residencies are part of the City Council’s Arts Development programme and have been made possible by funding from the local authority, Arts Council England and the Skills Funding Agency’s Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities (NLDC) fund. They have been managed and delivered in partnership with community based organisations and Newcastle Gateshead Initiative.

The exhibits and interactions that make up “Roundabout” come in the form of pictures, photographs, models, a series of montages, an urban pop video, dance production and even a community billboard. They were generated by over 20 artists working with local people in workshops held in community halls, youth centres, libraries and even in the open air.

The locations to fall under the creative spotlight were Arthur’s Hill, Benwell, Byker, Cowgate, Lemington, Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle City Centre and Walker.

The artists, writers, dancers, photographers, creative volunteers and artists in residence involved inRoundabout project have included (in no particular order): Lucy Ayliffe, Tommy Anderson, Darren Richard Carlaw, Karen Underhill, Jonathan Bradley, Ruth Nyimba, Ruth Fettis, Sheryl Jenkins, Sally Southern, Lucie Harris, Richard Broderick, Nicola Lynch, David Butler, Jeanefer Jean-Charles, Emma McGurrell, Hannah Myers, Keith Mills, Amy Beton, Harry Pickup, Lynn Campbell, Simon Terry, Angela Kennedy, Claire Dixon and everyone at the Angelou Centre, Northern Allstars, Northern Print, Chilli Studios, WEYES (West End Youth Enquiry Service), North Benwell Youth Project (NBYP), CHAT Trust, The BAM!Sistahood! Digital Archive, The Wor Hoose Community Project and NLDC.

Tony Durcan, Assistant Director, Digital Newcastle at Newcastle City Council, said: “The sheer scale of the programme becomes evident when you tally up all of the artists who’ve been involved in Roundabout over the past twelve months and in the number and variety of artworks that are included in the exhibition. The programme provides a vehicle for local people creatively to explore and engage with a range of issues that affect their communities.

“Art is a wonderful way of breaking down barriers and bringing communities together in enjoyable new ways. This year’s programme has brought people of all ages to the table – many of whom may never have been involved in the arts before.

“We hope that people come along to the exhibition at the Tyneside Cinema’s Pop Up Film School to see for themselves the work that has been produced by everyone involved.”

One of the artists who took part in Roundabout was Cullercoats-based Nicola Lynch.  She worked with people in the Walker and Lemington areas of Newcastle and concentrated on the themes of change and regeneration.

One project born out of this creativity was “Cubes”.  This involved local people filling small transparent cubes with symbolic items that best represented buildings from times gone by; and once the cubes were complete they were positioned on the actual sites of the former venues.

Nicola Lynch, aged 41, is a professional artist who worked on Roundabout for over seven-months. Nicola said: “Roundabout has been a fantastic opportunity for me as an artist to work closely with a community over a number of months.  I have enjoyed working with people of all ages on a variety of different projects and activities.  The cubes were made at Pottery Bank Community Centre in response to residents’ ideas and comments.”

“The use of art has enabled the people to communicate their thoughts on the impact of regeneration and change; and embark on a journey using memories from past and present times.  The work has been fun and has evoked curiosity and great interest from people in and outside of the local community. The mixture of creativity including photography, model-making and literature has been a wonderful way for residents to reflect on the local area; and leaves a lasting legacy for everyone to be proud of for years to come.”

Roundabout opens Saturday April 2nd and runs until Tuesday April 5th. It is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm each day.  The exhibition is free to enter and no age restrictions apply.

An events page has been set up for the exhibition and for the free participatory workshops that will take place in the exhibition space each day.


By admin