On Thursday 29 September from 3 pm to 5 pm residents of Blyth are being invited to celebrate their home town in all its glory at the opening of a special Blyth Pride of Place Project exhibition.
This launch event is in a new pop-up space (formerly Shoezone) in Keel Row Shopping Centre. It will then be on display in the space from Friday 30th September until Saturday 29th October open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and Thursdays 6 pm to 8 pm. Admission is free.
Visitors to the exhibition will have the chance to see photographs taken this summer in and around the town by Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale from The Caravan Gallery who use photography to document the reality and surreality of everyday life, alongside creative contributions from local people.
The exhibition will showcase items created and loaned by members of the public including paintings, photographs, poetry, objects, memorabilia, music, stories – all with a Blyth connection. Items can still be contributed to the exhibition by getting in touch with the organisers below.
The Blyth Pride of Place Project, which has been commissioned by Northumberland County Council and delivered by PlaceCreate, is part of the £70m Energising Blyth Regeneration Programme and is one of a series of pilot projects exploring culture across Blyth in advance of major investment to improve the town centre and deliver major new events and activities for the community to enjoy.
Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, Cabinet Member for Business, said:
“The Blyth Pride of Place Project is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the creativity, personal stories, and images contributed by the community of Blyth at the same time as seeing all the fantastic photos the Caravan Gallery team have taken all over town.
“This is just one cultural event that is happening as part of the Energising Blyth programme alongside the plans for improving the town centre including the new Culture Hub on the Market Place. The public can expect a lot more cultural events in the coming years for the community and visitors alike to enjoy.”
Blyth Town Council, Mayor Warren Taylor, said:
“It's fantastic to see the community of Blyth contributing to this celebration of what makes our town special. I hope that local residents will get involved and visit the exhibition over the next month as their involvement helps us to plan events for the community to enjoy in the future.”
Artists and photographers Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale from The Caravan Gallery said:
“Having carried out numerous Pride of Place projects across the country we’ve never failed to be impressed by people’s generosity and enthusiasm to talk about where they live. The sheer quality and quantity of material added between the opening and closing celebrations is quite staggering. We’re confident that the exhibition in Blyth will be just as exciting and we can’t wait to see what will be added by members of the public over the coming weeks.”
Cristina Armstrong, Creative Producer at PlaceCreate, organisers of the Energising Blyth Culture Pilots including The Caravan Gallery’s recent visits to the town, added:
“We’re so pleased to be welcoming The Caravan Gallery back to Blyth to create an exhibition that will showcase the uniqueness and diversity of the town. Following the launch event the exhibition will continue to evolve throughout October and we would like to encourage residents to share their own Blyth-related contributions. If you’re an artist, writer or performer or if you’ve created anything that has been inspired by or is about Blyth then we would love to hear from you.”
To coincide with the exhibition there will be a series of free events taking place in the Project Space every Thursday in October from 6pm to 8pm. This will be a chance for residents to come together and hear from local creatives and groups living and working in Blyth as they share their work and ideas as well as the opportunity to be part of a conversation about what Blyth means to the people who live there.
To find out more about how you can get involved, join the Blyth Pride of Place Project Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1653528325026490) or contact The Caravan Gallery via email at email@example.com