The Mountain Daisy
The link below goes to a google form where you can join in the project by leaving text, audio, photographs, or video.
Whether you live in the area of Millfield now, or you used to have family connections. I want to know what you think is important, so that we can present a true notion of what our community thinks needs celebrating.
Link to upload YOUR own art, photos, memories and writings about Millfield below 👇
Architecture, arts and crafts of Sunderland West End
By Jo Howell
The brief and my approach
Project commissioned by Sunderland Culture, Sunderland City Council, and the Millfield Councillor.
1. Help the Millfield Councillors to decide on which sites should be prioritised in future Industrial Heritage Projects
I think that the West End area of Sunderland has quite a few hidden gems, and stories that probably aren’t celebrated as much as they should be. I have identified the Mountain Daisy pub on Hylton Road as a fantastic example of arts and crafts era architecture, and interior design. The architects who created the pub, also created our other architectural gem – the Sunderland Empire. This is a story rich with visual art, and tells of the global appeal of Sunderland style.
R.T. Milburn architects worked to create theatres across the world.
2. To gather the opinions of residents on which sites and stories should be prioritised and how the research should be presented
Using the Mountain Daisy as a base of operations, I would like to host community art sessions that use photography, printmaking, and filmmaking to explore and research the story of the architects, and the story of the buildings they created. Why are these buildings are what they are? Who were the buildings originally made for? And who has frequented the pub from local factories or industry?
Sign up for next week using the link below
Opening up conversations with people who have lived in the area a long time, and creating links with the new people in the area. By creating art inspired by the interior of the pub or photographic journeys striking out from the pub. I will create a space for residents to identify aspects of the West end that they would like to draw attention to and highlight through research. Workshops are an excellent way to opening up conversations without the pressure of an intense chat. Stories flow naturally when you are working together creatively.
3. To produce a creative interpretation of some of the research gathered, which will suggest a way forward for future Industrial Heritage
It is impossible to say what the final output will be until I have worked with the communities in the area. In the past I have created exhibitions, films, artist books, zines, animations, and art trails that include walking the landscape. I would be amenable to working with the group towards any of these final formats. I also know a lot of artists in the local area, so if it is identified that the community would like to work in something like poetry, podcasting or something similar that I would be able to bring in someone to facilitate those sessions.
4. Present research into the Industrial Heritage of the Millfield ward, which goes beyond shipbuilding and highlights other sites of interest, for example iron works, foundries, glassworks, and others. A list of possible sites is included in the Additional Information
Using the Mountain Daisy as a segway into the history of the area should have the potential to explore a lot of the industrial heritage by focussing on the clientele that used the pub. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that people from the ship yards or glass factory would end up there for a wee dram before heading home. It would be interesting to see if the pub was more for the foremen than the workers, or whether I am making assumptions based upon the outrageously ostentatious decor.
5. Community engagement work (at least two engagement events) which would encourage residents to engage with research and gather resident’s memories of Millfield.
The budget would allow for me to arrange weekly meetings and art sessions. Having more regular contact with the residents will give time for people to trust me, and to really get stuck into the process. I am a member of the antiquarian society of Sunderland, and I work regularly with the Museum, so I have immediate access to historical photography, and possibly to some handling objects from the area.
6. Produce a creative interpretation of some of the research gathered and the findings/ stories from community workshops aiming to engage the pubic with the heritage of the Millfield area.
I think that an exhibition and a photography walk would be a great way to present the findings. An exhibition gives the participants the something to aim for that they can be proud of, and a photography walk would help to link up the rest of the west end with the pub. This could be a guided photowalk that incorporates oral histories. It may be that we could also use some software to create web links or QR codes in the landscape, but that would likely need to be further researched as well, and decided on as a group.