A NEW SERIES OF WORKSHOPS AND TALKS FOR WRITERS NEW TO WRITING FOR THE STAGE

Sunderland Stages Writers’ Project is a new citywide initiative from Sunderland Culture, developed with the support of the Great Place Unlock programme, aiming to develop talent and unlock potential in the Sunderland area.

Sunderland Stages Writers’ Project targets writers new to writing for theatre and aims to provide a ‘crash course’ in writing for the stage.
Participants can get involved with talks and workshops by established writers and theatre-makers and take advantage of opportunities for work to be professionally performed later on in the year.

Talks and Workshops

Places for talks are free and can be booked in advance or just turn up on the night (unless otherwise indicated).

Venue – The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland, SR1 1DT
Monday 29th April 6.00 – 8.00pm
Playwright Ishy Din (Approaching Empty, Wipers, Taxi Tales)

Ishy, who lives in Middlesbrough, has most recently come to notice with his play Approaching Empty, a co-production between Tamasha/The Kiln/Live Theatre which performed to great acclaim at Live Theatre in February 2019.  Other plays for the theatre include Taxi Tales (Tamasha) and Wipers (Leicester Curve/Watford Palace/Belgrade Theatre Coventry).  Ishy was the 2012 Pearson Writer in Residence at the Manchester Royal Exchange and in 2013 Snookered won ‘Best New Play’ at the Manchester Theatre Awards.  He has also written for radio, television and film and is currently under commission from the RSC for a new play about the Mughals.

To book click here:

Future contributors include Joe Douglas (Live Theatre’s Artistic Director).
More events to follow.

SUNDERLAND TO HOST PRESTIGIOUS ARTS COUNCIL COLLECTION

THE continuing renaissance of Sunderland’s cultural sector today (Tuesday, March 12) received further impetus after confirmation the city has been chosen to host artwork from the acclaimed Arts Council Collection.

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens will be one of only three galleries nationwide to present work from the Arts Council Collection as part of the National Partners Programme for 2019-2022.

The Arts Council is investing £1.65m into the programme, which will exhibit the collection over the three-year period. The collection includes work by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, Paula Rego, and Gillian Wearing.

Sunderland Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Councillor John Kelly, said: “This is a major coup for Sunderland and the region, building as it does on the city’s recent success in attracting the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition.

“We know that there’s a huge appetite for amazing art and culture in Sunderland and we’re delighted that the Arts Council have recognised that by including Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens in this three-year programme.”

Keith Merrin, Chief Executive of Sunderland Culture who will deliver the programme at the museum on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Arts Council Collection to bring amazing works of art to audiences in Sunderland and the North East over the next three years.

“Bringing the Arts Council Collection to Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens is the latest installment in the resurgence of the city as a centre for arts and culture following hot on the heels of the reopening of the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and the current Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition.

“We know our audiences will relish the opportunity to be inspired by the very best of modern and contemporary British art from the collection.”

Jane Tarr, Director, North, Arts Council England said: “Congratulations to Sunderland Culture on winning their bid to host the Arts Council National Collection. This is excellent news, not only for Sunderland, but for the whole of the North East. By having the Arts Council National Collection as the basis of a partnership programme at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and across the City for the next three years, people who might otherwise never get a chance to see the Collection will be able to enjoy and engage with it.

“And it’s fitting the collection comes to Sunderland as it builds on unsung work spotting and developing talent over many years – Sunderland has been the first to show many artists who’ve gone on to build international reputations and its contemporary art scene goes from strength to strength.  I hope it will encourage more people to explore Sunderland and the North East, and to see first hand, not only the Arts Council National Collection, but the amazing culture offer we have here in the region.”

Graeme Thompson, Sunderland Culture Chair and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sunderland added: “This amazing access to the national collection is the latest accolade to be awarded to Sunderland. From a University perspective it underlines the advantages to students studying arts and creative industries in a city which has such unparalleled access to artists, designers, makers and curators. And it brings another step change to the city’s culture-led revival.”

Funded by the National Lottery, the focus of the National Partners Programme is to increase the diversity and number of people experiencing the Arts Council Collection in England, and to support organisational development in regional art galleries.

The Arts Council Collection was founded in 1946 is the most widely circulated national loan collection of modern and contemporary British art in the world. The collection has played a valuable role in supporting galleries round the country through loans, touring exhibitions and curatorial skills. There are now over 8,000 works in the Collection, including paintings, sculptures, original, works on paper, prints and moving images.

The first National Partners Programme (2016-2019) has given galleries and museums in Liverpool, Birmingham and Eastbourne the opportunity to host the Collection.

For more information about the Arts Council Collection go to www.artscouncilcollection.org.uk

1,000 TICKETS SNAPPED UP FOR LEONARDO EXHIBITION

MORE than 1,000 tickets have already been snapped for an exhibition of drawings created by ‘one of the greatest minds in history’ at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, featuring 12 drawings from the Italian master, is part of a national tour to mark the 500th anniversary of his death and Sunderland is one of 12 UK venues chosen by Royal Collection Trust to simultaneously host the exhibition. A total of 144 Leonardo drawings will be on show across the country.

The exhibition opens this Friday (February 1) and runs until Monday, May 6.

Keith Merrin, Chief Executive of Sunderland Culture who delivers the programme at the museum on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re thrilled, but not too surprised, at the interest shown in Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing.

“It’s a privilege for Sunderland to host such a prestigious exhibition and people from across the region and beyond have been booking their tickets.  The 12 drawings selected for Sunderland reflect a range of Leonardo’s interests and include great examples of the drawing materials employed by him.”

Drawings on show at the Sunderland exhibition are: The drapery of a kneeling figure, c.1491-94; A portrait of a woman in profile, c.1485-90; Mortars firing into a fortress, c.1503-4; A horse and rider, and studies for Leda, c.1503-4; A bird’s-eye view of western Tuscany, c.1503-4; A sprig of guelder-rose, c.1506-12; Studies of optics and men in action, c.1508; Studies of optics, c.1508; The lungs, c.1508; The bladder, c.1508; The muscles and tendons of the lower leg and foot, c.1510-11; Studies of architecture and a bird’s wing, c.1512-13; A costume study of a prisoner, c.1517-18; A deluge, c.1517-18.

Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings at Royal Collection Trust, said: “We are delighted to work with Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, as one of Royal Collection Trust’s 12 partner venues in the Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing nationwide event. In 2019, in collaboration with our partners we will be giving the widest-ever audience across the UK the opportunity to see the work of this extraordinary artist.

“The exhibition at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens demonstrates the extraordinarily wide range of Leonardo’s work throughout his lifetime, and is a thrilling opportunity for audiences to engage directly with one of the greatest minds in history. His drawings were central to his work in every field, both his artistic projects and his scientific investigations: they allowed Leonardo to work out his ideas on paper, and can be viewed as his private laboratory.”

A range of artistic projects and programmes, organised by Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, will complement the exhibition.

These include a variety of activities, assemblies and workshops for schools and a project with University of Sunderland students working at FabLab and responding to the question ‘if Leonardo was alive now, what would he create?’

There is also a family programme which includes a Leonardo-themed week during February half-term (February 18 – 22); Leonardo trails around the Museum and a takeover by the Dominic Wilcox Little Inventors project during the Easter holidays. There will also be monthly exhibition sessions for families with children who have additional learning needs or learning disabilities.

An adult learning programme will include: a free talk by Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings at Royal Collection Trust on Wednesday, February 27 at University of Sunderland’s Murray Library Theatre (6.30pm – 8.30pm) and then a guided tour of the exhibition by Martin the following day (11am); a botanical illustration workshop at the Museum on Saturday, April 27 and life drawing classes exploring nude, drapery and theatrical costume on Sundays, March 3, 10, 17 and 24 (12.45 – 4.45pm.

Following the exhibitions at the 12 venues the drawings will be brought together to form part of an exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, the largest exhibition of Leonardo’s work in more than 65 years. A selection of 80 drawings will then travel to The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in November, the largest group of Leonardo’s works ever shown in Scotland.

Tickets for Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, costing £2.50, can be pre-booked online by visiting www.sunderlandmuseum.org.uk or at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens’ reception during opening hours. Entry for under-16s is free, but they will need a ticket.

For information and updates on the supporting activities and events, log on to the museum’s website or check social media using the hashtags #SunderlandLeo and #Leonardo500.

Leonardo, who lived from 1452 to 1519, painted some of the most famous images in world art, with the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper among his most famous pieces. Charles II acquired 550 of the polymath’s drawings, which had been bound into a single album, and they have remained in the Royal Collection since the 17th century.

The programme at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens has been supported by National Lottery funding from the Great Place Scheme, a joint fund from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund (thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players) to put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of communities.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR LEONARDO EXHIBITION

TICKETS are now on sale for what is one of the most eagerly-anticipated exhibitions ever to be held at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens – Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing.

The exhibition, featuring 12 drawings from the Italian master, is part of a national tour to mark the 500th anniversary of his death. Sunderland is one of 12 UK venues chosen by the Royal Collection Trust to simultaneously host the exhibition, which will feature a total of 144 of Leonardo drawings. The exhibition will run from February 1 to May 6.

Following the exhibitions at the 12 venues the drawings will be brought together to form part of an exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, the largest exhibition of Leonardo’s work in more than 65 years. A selection of 80 drawings will then travel to The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in November, the largest group of Leonardo’s works ever shown in Scotland.

Keith Merrin, Chief Executive of Sunderland Culture who deliver the programme at the museum on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to see the extraordinary drawings of perhaps the world’s most famous artist. We’re delighted Sunderland will be hosting part of such a major exhibition and we’re sure it will prove popular throughout the region and beyond.

“The 12 drawings selected for Sunderland reflect a range of Leonardo’s interests – architecture, music, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany. They also include a range of examples of the drawing materials employed by Leonardo, including pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metal point.

“The exhibition also presents new information about Leonardo’s working practices and creative process, gathered through scientific research using a range of non-invasive techniques, including ultraviolet imaging, infrared reflectography and X-ray fluorescence.”

A range of artistic projects and programmes, organised by Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, will complement the exhibition.

Jo Cunningham, Exhibitions, Collections and Archive Manager at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, explained: “We’re using the drawings and the high-profile exhibition as a catalyst to inspire and educate through a programme of projects and activities for people of all ages.

“These include a variety of activities, assemblies and workshops for schools and a project with University of Sunderland students working at FabLab and responding to the question ‘if Leonardo was alive now, what would he create?’ “

There is also a family programme which includes a Leonardo-themed week during February half-term (February 18 – 22); Leonardo trails around the Museum and a takeover by the Dominic Wilcox Little Inventors project during the Easter holidays. There will also be monthly exhibition sessions for families with children who have additional learning needs or learning disabilities.

An adult learning programme will include: a free talk by Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings at Royal Collection Trust on Wednesday, February 27 at University of Sunderland’s Murray Library Theatre (6.30pm – 8.30pm) and then a guided tour of the exhibition by Martin the following day (11am); a botanical illustration workshop at the Museum on Saturday, April 27 and life drawing classes exploring nude, drapery and theatrical costume on Sundays, March 3, 10, 17 and 24 (12.45 – 4.45pm.

Tickets for Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, costing £2.50, can be pre-booked online by visiting www.sunderlandmuseum.org.uk or at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens’ reception during opening hours. Entry for under-16s is free, but they will need a ticket.

For information and updates on the supporting activities and events, log on to the museum’s website or check social media using the hashtags #SunderlandLeo and #Leonardo500.

Leonardo, who lived from 1452 to 1519, painted some of the most famous images in world art, with The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper among his most famous pieces.

 

MEET THE MACKEM MONA LISAS

LOCAL artists and a group of Wearside youngsters have been inspired by the forthcoming Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition to create their own Mackem Mona Lisas.

The much-anticipated Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing exhibition arrives at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens next month. The exhibition will feature 12 drawings from the Italian master and is part of a national tour to mark the 500th anniversary of his death. Sunderland is one of 12 UK venues chosen by Royal Collection Trust to simultaneously host the exhibition, which will feature a total of 144 of Leonardo drawings.

Sunderland artist Ian Potts has been working with members of his Fulwell Library Art Group (FLAG) and young people from the Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project (SNYP) to create their own versions of one of Leonardo’s great masterpieces, the Mona Lisa.

FLAG members painted their own versions of the famous artwork. Among them were Davy Robson who created his own LS Lowry version of the painting and Sue Martin, who painted the Mona Lisa as former BBC News Chief Reporter Kate Adie, who grew up in Sunderland.

Ian said: “FLAG has only recently been formed and I thought this was a great project for them to start with – what they’ve produced in only a few short weeks is remarkable really. We’ve all been inspired by the extraordinary work of Leonardo and I think everyone in the group will be attending the exhibition when it arrives.

“The young people of SNYP have been a joy to work with and we created versions of the Mona Lisa using items and plastics we found washed up on the beach, as well as everyday items we found in homes.”

Ruth Oxley, Project Co-ordinator at SNYP said the youngsters had very much enjoyed the sessions with Ian: “They had a great time and loved working with the different materials they’d found.”

The artwork produced by FLAG and SNYP were exhibited at Mackie’s Corner last weekend. (Jan 19 and 20). Mackie’s Corner is to be developed as part of the wider development of the Hutchinson buildings, but in the meantime, the space has been donated to Sunderland Culture to help bring more art into the city centre.  The Mackie’s Corner project has been funded through National Lottery funding from the Great Place Scheme, a joint fund from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund (thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players) to put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of communities.

Jo Cunningham, Exhibitions, Collections and Archive Manager at Sunderland Museum, added: “It’s great to see so many different groups and projects that have been inspired by the forthcoming Leonardo exhibition – it really seems to have captured the imagination.”

Councillor Stuart Porthouse, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration at Sunderland City Council, said: “Mackie’s Corner holds a very special place in the hearts of Sunderland people and it’s fantastic to see this historic building being used again for this imaginative project.”

Following the exhibitions at the 12 venues, the drawings will be brought together to form part of an exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, the largest exhibition of Leonardo’s work in more than 65 years. A selection of 80 drawings will then travel to The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in November.

Tickets for Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, costing £2.50, can be pre-booked online by visiting www.sunderlandmuseum.org.uk or at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens’ reception during opening hours. Entry for under-16s is free, but they will need a ticket.

For information and updates on the supporting activities and events, log on to the museum’s website or check social media using the hashtags #SunderlandLeo and #Leonardo500.

FLAG meets every Wednesday between 10am and noon and new members would be welcome.

The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting that has been described as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.” It is also one of the most valuable paintings in the world and thought to portray Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. It had been believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506 but recent research suggests it may have been later. The painting is on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

LEARNING ABOUT LEONARDO

AN exciting programme of activities, assemblies and workshops for schoolchildren will complement a forthcoming exhibition showcasing the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

Next month, a dozen drawings by the Italian master will be on show at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens as part of a national tour to mark the 500th anniversary of his death. Sunderland is one of 12 UK venues chosen by Royal Collection Trust to simultaneously host the Leonardo da Vinci: A Life Drawing exhibitions, which will feature a total of 144 of the Renaissance master’s drawings. The exhibition will run from February 1 to May 6, 2019.

To make the most of the groundbreaking exhibition, Sunderland Culture has created a schools programme to help pupils explore Leonardo’s fascination with science and art.

Jennie Lambert, Public Engagement and Learning Manager at Sunderland Museum, said: “This is the largest exhibition of the artist’s work ever to be seen in the north east and is a unique opportunity for schools in Sunderland and the wider region to experience his art. Our schools programme will explore themes in the exhibition including anatomy, engineering, botany, cartography, portraiture and sculpture.

“Each of our packages can become a full day visit option using the teacher-led Draw Like Leonardo and Inventors’ trails around the museum. There are also downloadable resources for key stages 1 – 4 for teacher-led activities in the exhibition and lesson plans to use in the classroom for pre-visit or follow-up work on our website www.sunderlandmuseum.org.uk. All visits to the exhibition must be pre-booked.

“We’ve been working with local schools to test the sessions and resources – recently, Year 5 children from Hudson Road Primary School tried the anatomical drawing activities, drawing bones and skulls from the museum using pencils and pastels. The school has already booked a Leonardo themed assembly with us.”

The main schools packages are split into three categories: premium, standard and basic, with prices starting at £50 per schools group. Each of the packages includes an introduction from a member of the museums team and an exclusive viewing of the Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing exhibition.

The premium package also includes facilitated Think Like Leonardo creative enquiry sessions and a facilitated Draw Like Leonardo anatomy session. The standard package includes the creative enquiry session, but not the drawing session.

In addition to these main packages, the museum will also be hosting Forces and Flight and Amazing Bodies sessions led by Green Shift Educational Services to celebrate the British Science Festival. These sessions will be held during the week of March 11-18 and aim to get inside the mind of Leonardo the engineer and anatomist. Sessions will include demonstrations and practical model building workshops, and are priced at £100 per session per Upper KS2 class.

As well as hosting visits to Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, museum staff will also be going into local communities to spread the word of the exhibition through school assemblies. These 30-minute assemblies will be about the life of Leonardo and what made him such an extraordinary artist and scientist. Assemblies, costing £50, will be available on school days between February 2 and May 6 and can be adapted for all key stages.

A limited number of places (priced at £20) are still available for a teacher Continuing Professional Development session on Sunday, February 3 (10am – 1pm) at the museum. The Think Like Leonardo: Unleash Creativity Through STEAM session will be a facilitated exploration of how educators can be inspired by Leonardo to unleash the creativity of their students. Speakers including STEAM experts will be discussing practical approaches to encouraging creativity in the classroom.

To book any of the school packages, assemblies or sessions, or to book a place on the teacher CPD session, email Jennie at museumlearning@sunderland.gov.uk or ring her on 0191 5612323.

Leonardo, who lived from 1452 to 1519, painted some of the most famous images in European art, with the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper among his most famous pieces.

The nationwide exhibitions will include examples of all the drawing materials employed by Leonardo, including pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metal point. They will also present new information about Leonardo’s working practices and creative process, gathered through scientific research using a range of non-invasive techniques, including ultraviolet imaging, infrared reflectography and X-ray fluorescence.

The exhibitions will be on shows at venues across the country from February 1 to May 6. The drawings will then be brought together to form part of an exhibition of more than 200 works at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, in what is described as “the largest exhibition of Leonardo’s work in over 65 years.”