• Mon. Dec 11th, 2023

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub


WHERE Your Wings Were, the first major exhibition of David Almond’s work has opened its doors at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books as part of The Great Exhibition of the North.

The exhibition opened to the public on Friday 22 June 2018, giving visitors from across the UK the chance to wonder at the beautifully mysterious world that Almond has created. Fans of David’s iconic work can delve into the writer’s dreamlike world where tales such as Skellig and My Dad’s a Birdman took root. Bringing to life Almond’s recently acquired archive, the exhibition at Seven Stories explores themes of love, loss and hope though characters real and imagined.

Meet angels and devils, question what it means to be human and experience the North East through the eyes of one of its most creative sons.

Items from David Almond’s collection are on display for the first time including notes and initial concepts for Skellig, annotated manuscripts to final drafts as well as notebooks featuring plot line ideas for The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean, A Song for Ella Grey and The Savage.

David Almond said: “Seven Stories is a ground-breaking institution, it emphasises the fact that children’s culture and creativity is at the heart of our mainstream culture. Without children as readers and as artists, our culture just could exist; it is at the heart of everything.

“One of the reasons that I am really excited about this exhibition opening at Seven Stories is that I hope it will inspire children and their teachers, parents and families to explore their own creativity. That it’s not going to be something where people can come and admire my work, but they can take what I have done and be inspired by it. This exhibition is as much about the people who come and see it as it is about my books, it’s about people; their lives and their own creativity.

“It is very exciting that my work is being exhibited in a place as fantastic as Seven Stories. It’s a little scary as part of the exhibition will be focused on me and my life, but it is a real privilege and a joy to be invited to do this.

“My hope is that the exhibition will give children and families the chance to explore their own imaginations and creative forces.”

Jardine Couture are the exhibition designers behind Where Your Wings Were. Ben Couture, said: “We’re very excited to be working on the development of this exhibition with Seven Stories.  The design uses intrigue and engagement as devices to encourage learning, taking heavy influence from the themes within Almond’s work. We’ll be taking a multi-sensory approach introducing light, sound, touch, smell and animated imagery – based around fear, joy, freedom, and wilderness. We’ll be showcasing original artefacts and writings from the author in a beautifully-lit ‘hidden’ gallery and there will also be the opportunity to encounter the spirit of Skellig, as well as holograms and a wild river experience. A really immersive experience for Great Exhibition of the North visitors to enjoy!”

Where Your Wings Were is part of the Great Exhibition of the North and accompanies the Winged Tails of the North trail in Ouseburn Valley (22 June – 9 September).

Visitors to the Great Exhibition of the North are invited to follow this playful and imaginative street art trail inspired by David’s work. Stunning murals, new temporary sculptures and artworks that spark curiosity and invite exploration are around every corner as explorers are led through the creative community of the Ouseburn Valley. The series of intriguing works is presented by Seven Stories and showcases the talent of artists, designers and makers from across the area, curated by artist Kate Drummond.

Artists involved and titles of works:

Work 1 : Archway 4 ­

Spraypainted mural with hand lettering

Title – Ancient Place

Artists – Sarah Yates & Chris Butcher with Ciaran Globel

Work 2 : Village Green ­

Interactive sound installation

Title – David Almond Mythophone

Artist – Dan Fox

Work 3 : Foundry Lane ­

Participatory Installation with spray-painted mural and lettering.

Title – Exhausted Angel

Artist – Kate Drummond with Chris Butcher

WORK 4 : Mcphee’s Car Park ­

Sculptural installation

Title – Don’t Disturb

Artist – Hannah Fox

WORK 5 : Cut Bank Bridge ­

Hand lettered mural

Title – Essalamus

Artist – Rachel E Millar

WORK 6 : Toffee Factory (railings) ­

Sculptural installation

Title – Dream Again

Artist – Kate Drummond & John Kingston

WORK 7 : Glasshouse Bridge ­

Hand lettered mural

Title – All These Things

Artist – Ciaran Globel

Speaking about Winged Tails of the North, David said, “I have already seen some of the artist’s interpretations of my work which will be displayed as Winged Tales of the North as part of the Great Exhibition of the North this summer, it is really exciting to see my work being re-imagined as huge pieces of art on walls and on fences, displayed in such an artistic way.”

To join in the conversation use #WhereYourWingsWere #GetNorth2018

Great Exhibition of the North receives funding from a variety of sources including public and private sector. Visit the website for details www.GetNorth2018.com

Where Your Wings Were will run for a year at Seven Stories before touring around the UK. The exhibition is supported by: