Opening Night of #untitled10 at the Bowes Museum 2019

Opening night was amazing. There were lots of people who had travelled through to see the work and to support the artists. The large chateau-style rooms were filled with the excitable throng of creatives. Supping wine in a museum like the Bowes at night has it’s plus points!

Since the opening night I have heard two wonderful podcasts about the evening. The first by my super fellow Sunderland-based creative Jay Sykes. I met Jay quite a few years ago now. His enthusiasm and his energy for audio, and creativity are magnetic forces. So, I was very pleased when he accepted the invitation to the private view. Obviously, I pressured him into creating an audio documentary about the evening, and it is an absolute triumph. He is a genius. Definitely take the time to listen to this as it builds the atmosphere of the evening far better than I could ever write it. Click the link to listen:

If you would like to hear more of his brilliant creations, or read the transcripts of the shows then go to the podcast website:

Jay Sykes capturing the words of Matthew Read, Director of the Bowes Centre

Stoked and stocked-up with vegetarian goodies we jumped into the Micra for our jaunt south down the A1. The Bowes Museum is in some fantastic countryside and we were just arriving as the sun was setting, so Jay who had never been before, got to see some of the magic of the area before we drove through the impressive gate into the museum grounds. The light wasn’t amazing on the night so the photographs are really just my personal collection, I will get back up to the museum to take some better ones soon.

But, for now if you would like to enjoy the exhibition on screen then have a look at the artists and their creations below. I would however, advise a trip up to take in the exhibition, the space, an the countryside for yourself. We all deserve a nice day out sometimes!

“I’m really excited to see what these amazingly talented artists create during #Untitled10 2019.  I love the diversity of their work and the way it will draw new audiences into The Bowes Museum as they interpret the collections along with the historic connections and stories around the creation of the Museum.  This year’s exhibition promised to appeal to broad audiences, showing the Museum in a new light through fresh eyes.”

Matthew Read, the Director of The Bowes Centre.

10 Artists

Caroline Collinge is a North East specialist in the paper arts and has created installations and exhibitions using the Japanese crafts of origami and katagami combined with the contemporary use of laser cutting. She’s focusing on the architecture and history of The Bowes Museum to craft miniature paper scenes as part of her commission.

Judy DiBiase is a ceramic artist who studied at Northumbria University.  She has an interest in the archiving and storing of memory and how objects can act as a catalyst for remembering. She often uses drawings and text that are transferred onto clay through direct printing which maintains all the nuances of the drawn. She’s going to be creating high fired ceramic cups that will be placed around the Museum.

 Richard Bliss is an artist who has worked previously at The Bowes Museum, assisting with Distance No Object in 2005, and is using #Untitled10 2019 as an opportunity to extend his pattern making skills. He’s used archives from the Teesdale Mercury to find a story about a fight during the construction of the Museum and is designing a shirt for the joiner quoted in the article who broke up the dispute.

Sara Cooper is an artist and teacher who lives and works in the North East of England.  She’s exploring the possibilities of woodcut print making using pieces of John Bowes original monkey puzzle tree, picking up on those details in Joséphine’s paintings.  Sara is learning the heritage craft of charcoal making and is using the resulting charcoal in her work.

Jim Bond is a light sculptor who specialises in dynamic kinetic structures and forms which express the fragility and futility of life.  He has recently collaborated with biological researchers at The University of Leeds who are working on fly wing mechanisms, He’s going to be creating a modern animatronic view of the Silver Swan’s neck.

Claire A Baker is a lecturer at The Northern School of Art and a practising embroidery artist.  Her research is concerned with abandonment, memory, place and the lost with a focus on the traditional and historical influences of textile craft and the positive intervention of modern technology.  Her work will look at lace and embroidery in the Museum’s collection.

 Andrew Hutchinson, a cabinet maker from Weardale.  He’s been working with wood and experimenting with form for over 10 years.  He lets the timber he works with inspire the design, accentuating flaws, figure and grain pattern to enhance his work.  He’s creating a series of boxes within boxes based on the progression of experience and the building of the Museum for #Untitled 10 2019.

  Lady Kitt is based in Newcastle Upon Tyne and is a maker, activist, researcher and drag king who uses paper cutting, performance and research to create objects, events and interactions. Kitt’s work is driven by an insatiable curiosity to explore the social and political functions of making. Kitt is working on a 5 foot paperchain of Sapphos, a series of interactive performances staged in an origami boat and with local LGBTQ+ groups running workshops in and around the Museum.

Kate Ive is an award winning Scottish artist who sculpts and carves by hand on both a monumental and minute scale with an eye for detail and intricacy in a wide range of materials ranging from concrete and bronze to wax and light filters. She is focussing her #Untitled10 2019 on the theme of ‘time’ in the Museum.

And, of course me!

Jo Howell was born in Sunderland and her ethos as an artist is to make art as accessible and interesting to people as possible. She does this through hands on workshops.  She sees this commission as a focussed and personal extension to the #wearexperimenting project she has just completed where she tries to find an affinity with the collection through photographic practises.  She will focus her work on the confessions of John Bowes grandmother, Mary Eleanor Bowes.

All text for artists sourced from #untitled10 2019

And, the other podcast Hey Art, What’s Good? is an interesting conversation piece about how the podcasters found the open evening. The exhibition is on until Feb 28 and it costs £12-£14 for an annual pass. So, go and have a look. Let me know what you think about the project, the exhibition, our shared heritage.

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