The Caravan Gallery, the brainchild of artists and photographers Jan Williams & Chris Teasdale, will arrive in Blyth town centre on Tuesday, 12th July. The exhibition contains a selection of their photographs from a recent visit to Blyth as well as thought-provoking observations of other towns, places and communities across the UK.
The public is being encouraged to pay the caravan a visit in one of the multiple Blyth-based locations it will tour to including South Beach, Ridley Park, and Market Place over the course of the week to talk about what makes Blyth special.
The Caravan Gallery artists are eager to meet local people and invite them to contribute to a large-scale participatory exhibition, the ‘Blyth Pride of Place Project’, which will take place in Keel Row Shopping Centre in September 2022.
Jan Williams said: “We are so excited to be visiting Blyth and explore this historically rich town. We hope that residents and visitors in Blyth will enjoy looking at our photographs and be inspired to share their own personal stories, insights and artwork. “We believe everyone is creative and can’t wait to discover and celebrate local talent in Blyth.’’
The Caravan Gallery tour is only the first stage of the Blyth Pride of Place Project. The larger exhibition will be in Keel Row Shopping Centre throughout September and October and will showcase items created and loaned by members of the public including paintings, photographs, poetry, objects, memorabilia, music, and stories – all with a Blyth connection.
The cultural activity is part of the £70m regeneration programme, Energising Blyth, to revitalise the town over the next five years delivering new jobs and learning opportunities and helping to drive the green energy revolution in the UK.
Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, Cabinet Member for Business, said: “The Energising Blyth programme is vital to developing Blyth from a business, educational and cultural perspective. The Caravan Gallery’s Blyth Pride of Place Project is a fantastic opportunity for the community to get involved and showcase their personal stories and images of the area. This is only one activity that is happening as part of our culture and placemaking programme we have planned for Blyth; the public can expect a lot more cultural pursuits in the coming months and years. It’s a very exciting time for the people of Blyth.”
Blyth Town Council, Mayor Warren Taylor, said: “It's fantastic to see The Caravan Gallery visiting us, we would love to see the community of Blyth come forward and get involved, take part, and uncover all the wonderful things about our town.”
You can see The Caravan Gallery and take part by visiting one of the following locations:
12 July Ridley Park
13 July Market Place
14 July South Beach
15 July Market Place
16 July Market Place
Interested parties can also visit the Blyth Pride of Place Facebook group for timings and updates
CREDIT: Photo by The Caravan Gallery
About Energising Blyth
Energising Blyth is a £70m regeneration programme to transform Blyth, funded by the Government’s Future High Street Fund and Town Deal, plus investment from Northumberland County Council and our partners.
From 2021 to 2026 several major capital projects are being explored and if approved, they will:
- Renew the town centre with new cultural, education, leisure and residential projects around a revitalised Market Place.
- Create 7,500 jobs, 5,000 learning opportunities, and attract over 100,000 extra visitors to Blyth each year.
- Provide skills, culture and leisure activities to local people, communities and businesses.
- Improve walking and cycling routes and connections to public transport networks, making it easier to travel to and from Blyth.
- Boost the growth of Blyth's major renewable energy industry at the Quayside, Port of Blyth and industrial sites.
The latest information about the programme is available by visiting the website: www.northumberland.gov.uk/energisingblyth.
About The Caravan Gallery
The Caravan Gallery is a collaboration between artists and photographers Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale to ‘document the reality and surreality of the way we live today. It is also a mobile exhibition space that engages with people and places 'normal' galleries might not easily reach. Williams and Teasdale use colour photography to create accessible but thought-provoking images which explore a ‘sense of place’, frequently celebrating overlooked and occasionally bizarre aspects of everyday life.
Since setting up in 2000 The Caravan Gallery artists and their mobile venue have travelled thousands of miles and exhibited in hundreds of locations in the UK and abroad, from community events to international art festivals, sharing images from an ever-expanding photographic archive with the most diverse audience imaginable. Equally at home exhibiting in their distinctive yellow caravan in a shopping centre car park or in a prestigious arts venue, Williams and Teasdale enjoy interacting with people. Their participatory Pride of Place Projects -part evolving exhibition, part alternative visitor information centre - invite audiences to explore their surroundings in a creative way by contributing their own ideas and artwork to the display.
About Energising Blyth’s Cultural Placemaking Programme
The Culture and Placemaking Programme is one of two major cultural regeneration projects that are being delivered as part of Energising Blyth. Alongside the Blyth Culture Hub and Market Place project, the Blyth Culture and Placemaking Programme will provide a complimentary programme of events, festivals and cultural activities aimed at attracting local people and visitors to Blyth, as well as improving perceptions of the town through a high-profile communications campaign.
The development of Blyth’s Culture and Placemaking Programme has been informed through the delivery of a package of creative pilot projects by PlaceCreate, a cultural organisation, working collaboratively with local people.
To find out more about PlaceCreate, email: email@example.com