24 Aug 2017

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Hartlepool Art Gallery was converted from a church to a space to exhibit in 1996. It was here that Ashley Landsbury, Cultural Officer (Arts & Exhibitions), talked to the Latest Edition team about her vision for the future and the demands of having a small budget to create exhibitions. Ashley explained there were always honourable intentions to the artists and exhibition agreements included a small exhibition fee. Other financial support to artists came in the form of running paid workshops and using the venue as making space for artists.

The vision Ashley talked about embedded the Tees Valley community into the future programming, supporting local artists, guiding post-graduate students as well as setting standards high. The concept feeds into the “Hartlepool Vision”, which encompasses a major regeneration of the area with the gallery forming a focal point for the cultural quarter.The gallery space is lofty, full of character, noise and bustle. Situated towards the back of the space is...

17 Aug 2017

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As part of the Latest Edition project with Navigator North the group of artists visited Greenfield Arts in Newton Aycliffe.

Greenfield Arts is a creative hub used by the local community and artists to develop their creative practice. Our challenge for today was to design ideas for the merchandise that will be sold alongside the Limited Edition show at the Festival of Thrift, and other venues including Hartlepool Art Gallery, Palace Arts in Redcar and the Witham Gallery in Barnard Castle

We eagerly met up in an amazing space carpeted with fake grass and decorated with glowing cloud lighting. One of our mentor artists Alex Sickling arrived this morning with an excellent vegan Banana Loaf which got the day off to a great start. We were introduced to the centre by co-ordinator Sophie Lewis who explained to us the Greenfield’s ethos and purpose. There are excellent facilities for the community and the school next door to use. We were given a guided tour and saw some great drawing in the galle...

17 Aug 2017

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Our second Latest Edition meeting was held at the Festival of Thrift Site in Kirkleatham.

After a coffee and half a packet of Jaffa Cakes we soon got down to some serious work, each of us in turn gave a small presentation on our proposed art works and how we’d display the work in the Pavilion space. Discussing the project as a group really helped open up a dialogue as to how our work would show not only as individual installations but how it would come together in the space as a group exhibition.
 

 
The proposals behind the work of each artist are incredibly exciting and varied, not just in materials and process but the ideas and inspiration found relating to the site and surrounding area.

Becki Harper has been researching Bee colonies and has taken inspiration from the Dorman Museums collection of Victorian Bee cabinets as well as researching the array of waggle dances bee’s use to communicate to one another.

Nick Kennedy has been researching Modernist architecture in the area and has be...

10 Aug 2017

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As part of our Latest Edition project we visited the studios of the three more established artists involved.

The first studio we visited belongs to Alex Sickling, who works from a converted garage in Gateshead. She has been working in this location for about 8 months, and has one big kiln and one little kiln. The space also houses a large table, lots of shelves, pottery in progress as well as some charming finished pieces, and other bits of stock.

I would describe Alex as a ceramicist and illustrator. She sells her work through various stockists and galleries, including The Baltic in Gateshead and The Hepworth in Wakefield, as well as online and at markets.  When she finished studying in Leeds, Alex started her own online shop selling t- shirts, and small ceramics based on her Wuthering Heights project work. She happened to meet the buyer for the Salts Mill in Saltaire who wanted to stock her work. Through this opportunity her exposure slowly grew and she went on to stock ceramics with Y...

9 Aug 2017

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Our first site visit included a guided tour and introduction to this year’s events at Festival of Thrift with Festival Director, Stella Hall who believes that ‘The Latest Edition’ project perfectly reflects the Festival’s aims to help build a creative community -

“It’s about empowering artists with business acumen and up-skilling them by giving them increased commercial awareness which they can test out first-hand with the 40,000 plus visitors we are expecting. Making artists more business aware will, feed back into the communities where they live and work, both financially and culturally, as well as increasing the sustainability of the local economy by making it more diverse.”

Stella Hall, Festival of Thrift Director

During the visit we got behind the scenes and were given access to Kirkleatham Museum’s collection store, where Collections Officer, Janet Williamson showed the artists the wide ranging artefacts which form the collection. These included everything from antique maps, engin...

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