ART EVENT GIVES A VOICE TO YOUNG PEOPLE IN SUNDERLAND

Young people in Sunderland will have the chance to add their voice to a playful and empowering mission to save the future when a sensational interactive video installation, Multiverse Arcade, arrives at Sunderland Culture’s Mackie’s Corner pop-up gallery from 25 May – 8 June.

‘What will you do when you’re in charge?’

Inspired by the belief that all young people should be able to answer this question, Multiverse Arcade begins with a machine playing a video message, from the year 2066, onto participant’s palms apologising for ruining the world. Using this thought-provoking question as a stimulus, Mackie’s Corner on High Street West, Sunderland, will be transformed into a headquarters of ideas, where opinions and voices can be expressed freely and recorded for the future.

Created by Unfolding Theatre, the installation at Mackie’s Corner will also feature the voices and views of young people from We Make Culture’s Young Musician’s Project who meet in Sunderland (Pop Recs) and have been working with Unfolding Theatre in the making of this event.

Multiverse Arcade inspires young people’s thinking about citizenship, while inviting them to explore and talk about social and environmental issues. It hopes to inspire and build young people’s confidence about the future roles they might take to influence change, through voting, volunteering and social action.

Using a specially created recording booth, young people can add their voices and opinions to thousands of others in a truly immersive experience. The booth generates a print-out of their sound wave, and a code to find their recording uploaded onto Instagram (@multiverse_arcade)

The event was part of last year’s Great Exhibition of the North and created with New Writing North’s Young Writers’ City at Excelsior Academy and Queen’s Hall Youth Theatre, with the aim to encourage young people to think about how they want to change the world.

Annie Rigby, Artistic Director at Unfolding Theatre, said:

‘I’m thrilled to be bringing Multiverse Arcade to Sunderland city centre and to give a voice to people here, who may have previously not had a chance to speak up about what they would change about the world and have it heard by a large audience.

‘Multiverse Arcade challenges  “Well, what are you going to do?” and we very much hope it encourages young people to feel that their voices and ideas can help make change happen.’

Multiverse Arcade is one of an ongoing series of pop-up exhibitions held at Mackie’s Corner, an iconic building in Fawcett Street, with the ambition to integrate culture into the city centre and bring spaces and buildings to life. The project is supported with funding from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, through the ‘Unlock’ strand of Sunderland Culture’s Great Place programme.

Laura Brewis, Producer for the Great Place programme at Sunderland Culture, said:

‘Unlock aims to develop creative and cultural industries across the city,  providing support, skills and practice development, while creating opportunities for emerging artists to practice and develop in Sunderland.

‘We are really excited to see Multiverse Arcade transform the space at Mackie’s corner into a “headquarter of ideas” where young people in Sunderland can come and share their thoughts and ambitions and hear those of others.’

Multiverse Arcade in Sunderland is funded by Arts Council England, Virgin Money Foundation #iwill fund, Readman Family Grassroots Fund via Community Foundation.

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

Venue – The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland, SR1 1DT
Series of dates/times.

View the current events available here.

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.