Unseen Beautiful clearly appealed

Image credit Joanne Coates

April 2019 saw Creative Darlington collaborating with Lens Think to bring a second call out for 2019. The call out invited people to submit images through Instagram of the ‘Unseen Beautiful’ in and around Darlington. 

Photo credit: Joanne Coates

We were particularly interested in our beautiful surroundings and everyday things that you think showcase our town through a different perspective.

Photo credit: Joanne Coates

We received an amazing response to the call out with around 700 images submitted by end of April 2019. Selected submissions were showcased through an exhibition at Crown Street Gallery, which opened on Saturday 18 May 2019 and closed on Wednesday 29 May 2019. The exhibition also included images commissioned from Joanne Coates of Darlington Library, Darlington Town Centre and other aspects of Darlington community. 

Photo credit: Joanne Coates

During the exhibition visitors to the gallery could enjoy over 700 images permenantly on display, a rolling projection of images from the call out and take time to explore Unseen Beautiful Darlington through three drop in creative sessions.  People were encouraged to vote for their favourite image in the exhibtion with the winning image announced at the end of the exhibition.

Photo credit: Luke Piper

Congratulations to Luke Piper for winning the public vote for the Unseen Beautiful Call Out. Luke will have a workshop with Joanne Coates of Lens Think informing a  solo exhibition at Darlington Town Hall in spring 2020. We had an amazing response to both the call out and the voting. With such an incredible response, we decided that three runners up will also take part in the photography workshop.

The programme was very popular. Darlington Borough Council measured 1,576 visits to The Unseen Beautiful exhibition in the gallery at Darlington Library in May 2019. The exhibition ran Saturday 18 May 2019 – Wednesday 29 May 2019.   Over 350 votes were cast and it was encouraging in my view to see that 159 images were at least one person’s favourite.

Photo credit: Joanne Coates

A variety or organisations and enterprises made the Unseen Beautiful an intriguing and popular exhibition. Darlington based Trendsetters went above and beyond to support the production of the exhibition, Tees Valley Arts supported promotion and offered technical support and both they and North East Contemporary Visual Arts Network offered us the opportunity to do a social media takeover, spreading the word about the exhibition to new audiences.   Thanks to everyone who got involved and came to see the exhibition. We’re planning future Call Outs, keep your eyes peeled!

Bulldog clip sales rocketed in Darlington during exhibition

The Unseen Beautiful, Closing Event

Join Lens Think and Creative Darlington this evening from 5.30pm at Crown Street Gallery for food, drink and to find out the winner of The Unseen Beautiful Call Out.

Visitors to the exhibition have cast their votes for their favourite photograph and we will reveal the who will be in receipt of a one day photography workshop with Joanne Coates (photographer and founder of Lens Think) and a solo exhibition in 2020.

See you this evening!

The Unseen Beautiful

In April 2019 photographer Joanne Coates (Lens Think), graphic designer Nicola Golightly, artist Gemma Tierney and Creative Darlington collaborated to offer a Call Out for photographic works celebrating ‘The Unseen Beautiful’ in Darlington. Over 650 photographs were submitted through Instagram by a diverse range of photographers – beginners to professionals.

All of those who submitted works are in with the chance to win a one day photography workshop with Lens Think founder and professional photographer Joanne Coates. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to vote for their favourite photograph, by posting their vote into the voting box. The favourite photograph voted for by visitors will be announced at a closing event for this exhibition which will run from 5.00pm – 6.30pm on Wednesday 29 May 2019.

In addition to the project call out, Joanne Coates was commissioned to take photographs in and around Darlington, which are also presented within the exhibition. Joanne is a working class documentary storyteller who uses the medium of photography. Based in the North of England. She is interested in working life and class inequality. 

Exhibition Dates

Sat 18th May until Wed 29th May

Crown Street Gallery, Darlington

Workshops

Crown Street Gallery will also play host to three collaborative image making workshops in May. Work alongside artist and graphic designer Nicola Golightly and Photographer Joanne Coates to explore storytelling using images and words. The chance to create your own story about Darlington! The resulting artwork will grow throughout the lifespan of the exhibition. Workshops will be taking place on the following dates

Wed 22nd May 11am – 2pm

Tue 28th May 11am – 2pm

Wed 29th May 11am – 3pm

Workshops are free to attend, materials will be provided. All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Closing Event

Audiences will have the opportunity to vote in the gallery for their favourite photograph. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 29th May as part of the Celebration and Closing Event. The winner will receive a day long photography workshop, led by professional photographer and Lens Think founder, Joanne Coates.

Closing Event 5.00pm – 6.30pm Wed 29th May.

This call out is supported by Creative Darlington, in collaboration with Lens Think, Joanne Coates and Nicola Golightly. This project also forms part of the Darlington Arts Festival 2019.

Thanks to Tees Valley Arts and Trendsetters for their valuable support.

Heritage on Track History Walk fast approaching

On Tuesday 21 May 2019 there’s a Heritage on Track History Walk, exploring our rail heritage, starting at 1pm at the Head of Steam railway museum, booking details as per poster and free places going fast, so please get in touch with Helen Towes at Groundwork quickly if you want to get involved.

I was lucky enough to join a similar event led by Niall at the outset of Heritage on Track, which also started at the Head of Steam railway museum, with a train ride to Dinsdale Station, followed by a walk back to Darlington.  I found it illuminating and enjoyed hearing more about our rail heritage whilst walking in great company.

Noisy Daughters Vinyl – North East’s first vinyl compilation featuring all female artists

Darlington music collective Tracks have joined forces with North East record label Butterfly Effect and Rianne Thompson (BBC Introducing/Amazing Radio) to curate the North East’s first ever compilation album featuring all female artists.

Cut on 12″ vinyl, the album is a continuation of Tracks’ Noisy Daughters project that aims to inspire females in the music industry by highlighting women doing amazing things, and offering credible opportunities for participation and growth.

From 2012-2017, a review of the 600 most popular songs showed that only 22% of them were performed by women, and a furthermore shocking statistic revealed that only 12% were written by women.

“Sadly there are still many issues around achieving equality in music, as a female musician and promoter I see this all the time. Through Noisy Daughters we hope to contribute to the change in our musical landscape and hopefully highlight and support female artists where we can” –

Sarah Wilson, of Tracks

All money raised from the sale of the Noisy Daughters Compilation LP will be used to support future female-focused events and workshops in the area.

“It was important to Tracks and Butterfly Effect that we selected artists who showcased the incredible diversity of female artists in the North East. It would have been all too easy to feature a host of acoustic female vocalists playing songs about love, but it was important to us to provide a platform for the cutting edge genre pushers out there whose voice is perhaps not heard as loudly as more mainstream musicians” explains Stephen Gill of Butterfly Effect.

The vinyl features a varied range of artists, from noise punks Blóm and radge popsters GGAllan Partridge, to experimental electronic producer Jennifer Walton. Redcar’s own acoustic duo Komparrison and Newcastle hip-hop artist Kay Greyson also grace the tracklist alongside Darlington’s urban pop queen Eve Conway and singer songwriter Zararuth, plus Martha Hill brings her brand of hard hitting alt-pop into the mix, topped off with jagged soundscapes from guitar virtuoso Girl From Winter Jargon.

Rachel Gatiss (Girl From Winter Jargon) commented:
“I was over the moon to be asked to contribute to the project; the Noisy Daughters initiative is so important because there’s never been a vinyl release quite like this one!”

Sarah from Tracks “We were thrilled with the commitment from local organisations to support Noisy Daughters and make this release possible. Darlington For Culture have provided a grant contributing to the costs of the release along with Butterfly Effect record label, who are always hugely supportive of the North East music scene. There are signs that the industry and people’s attitudes are starting to slowly change towards women in music and hopefully our release can add to that narrative”

Noisy Daughters Artists

To celebrate the launch of the vinyl there will be a gig at Darlington’s Voodoo Cafe on Friday 17th May featuring Martha Hill, Komparrison, Kay Greyson and Eve Conway with BBC Introducing’s Rianne Thompson hosting the event. Doors will open at 7.30pm and the first 50 attendees will receive an exclusive bottle of Noisy Daughters beer courtesy of local brewers Saints Row Brewing Co.  Creative Darlington is supporting the live music programme at this event.

Tickets are available now from www.tracksdarlington.co.uk priced at £5 each, or £15 to include a copy of the vinyl which they can pick up at the gig.

The vinyl is available to pre-order from
https://butterflyeffect1.bandcamp.com/album/noisy-daughters

Darlington Mind Art and Creative Crafts Exhibition

Darlington Mind Art and Creative Crafts Group in collaboration with Creative Darlington is hosting an art exhibition at Darlington Town Hall from the 29th April to 14th June 2019.

Darlington Mind Creative Crafts Group is a safe and supportive environment where people with mental health issues can go to rediscover old talents and learn, develop and explore new skills and to express themselves creatively.

It is also a place to go, to make friends and escape the loneliness and isolation that can be experienced. It is a place to have a laugh, a chat and find a voice in. This helps its members to cope with life’s everyday stresses and strains.

Gary Emerson, CEO of Darlington Mind said

“This is a great opportunity for our service users to display some of their exceptional and unique artwork to members of the general public. We would like to thanks Creative Darlington and their team for allowing us to make this art exhibition a reality.”

Some work in the exhibition will be for sale.

For further information contact Darlington Mind Ltd, St Hildas House, 11 Borough Road, Darlington, DL1 1SQ or telephone 01325 283169. www.darlingtonmind.com


Darlington Mind is the area’s largest voluntary sector mental health agency and provides services from bases in Darlington, Northallerton, Bedale, Richmond, Colburn, Stokesley, Catterick and Bainbridge. With a team of 38 staff and 50 volunteers, the charity provides a range of services for people with mental health problems.

Here Comes the Summer – Take Yourself to the Bridge Centre for Visual Arts


The Vintage Summer Fair on Saturday 13 July sounds like a great reason to visit https://www.thebridgedarlington.org.uk/visit/ .  I’ve  been to a few Bridge Centre for Visual Arts summer events over the years. In my experience they provide a nice chance to relax, explore stalls of local arts and crafts, meet creative people, enjoy live music and tasty cake and/or biscuits alongside a nice cup of tea if that’s your fancy (I foresee a long beach walk to try and offset my intake of refreshments on Sunday 14 July 2019).  I hope some of the images below I took at one of The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts previous summer events give a flavour of what may be in store.


Darlington Jazz Festival Returns for an Eighth Year

Darlington Jazz Festival Returns for an Eighth Year

Darlington Jazz Festival makes its return for the eighth year this May and organisers have been working in partnership with Darlington Food and Drink Festival to ensure that the bank holiday weekend offers something for everyone.

The jazz festival kicks off on Friday 3 rd May with an ‘After Dark’ Session which once again will be located upstairs at The Voodoo Cafe on Skinnergate. The charismatic Darlington born- London based trumpeter and composer Matt Roberts, who has recently wowed crowds at
sold out gigs with his BigISH Band at the London Jazz Festival and Ronnie Scott’s, will lead his very own sextet playing the music of Blue Mitchell. This gig was a sell out last year, so get there early and take in the jazz lounge atmosphere of the Voodoo Café, before experiencing top class performers pushing jazz to the limit!

Saturday will see local talented musicians playing in various ensembles as they converge on the Joseph Pease performance area to provide an outdoor festival atmosphere. The Northern Monkey Brass Band will be on hand to bring a flavour of New Orleans groove to the proceedings.


Friends of the festival Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club are meeting during the festival at St Augustine’s Parish Hall on Saturday afternoon where the New Century Orchestra are joined by special guests’ trumpeter Enrico Tomasso and drummer Nick Ward. Five times winner of
a British Jazz award, Enrico is considered to be one of the country’s top jazz trumpeters.


Jazz at The Quaker House during the afternoon will feature top class North-East jazz combos including the Josh Arcoleo Quartet, the Milne Glendinning Band and Not Now Charlie. It’s free to enter and the atmosphere is always amazing.

On the evening of Saturday 4 th May, the festival moves into Darlington Market Square for its headline event. Leading drummer Sebastiaan de Krom brings his quintet to the festival marquee for a night that is not to be missed. Sebastiaan graduated with a dual degree from Berklee College of Music and went on to study a Masters degree at New England Conservatory. In 1995 he won the prestigious Buddy Rich award and from 1997 to 1999 was the drummer for the renowned Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Performance Programme. Sebastiaan has performed with artists such as Herbie Hancock and John Scofield, and played regular sessions for Jamie Cullum from 2001 to 2008. The Sebastiaan de Krom Quintet features names well known on the National jazz scene including Martin Shaw (Trumpet), Brandon Allen (Saxophones), Gareth Williams (Piano) and Steve Watts (Bass).

On Sunday morning festival goers can enjoy a relaxed brunch at Hash Bar to the gentle sounds of Gypsy Jazz with Emma Fisk and Dave Harris and Strings Attached. Sunday will once again see various ensembles including the best of Darlington’s young musicians converging on the Joseph Pease performance area to provide an outdoor festival atmosphere.

St Cuthbert’s Church provides the venue for Sunday afternoon’s activities with music from Triptych and Darlington choirs with guest Aga Serugo-Lugo. Paul Edis’s Triptych Trio brings a diverse repertoire and extensive experience to create new interpretations of old standards alongside new compositions, often with a subtle rhythmic twist. Their melodic, lyrical style
will be ideally suited to the venue’s atmosphere. As a clarinettist, saxophonist and singer, Aga Serugo-Lugo has had the opportunity to explore many different styles including classical, jazz, soul, and funk. Professionally, his style of choice is jazz, which Aga has played
across London with an eclectic mix of groups. Aga has done much work with Sing-up, the national singing strategy, allowing him to work with a variety of age groups and diverse levels of ability.

The Festival concludes on Sunday Night with a grand finale and party atmosphere as the Durham Alumni Big Band welcome you to go back in time and celebrate those who were “Born in the 1980’s”. Matt Roberts directs the DA Big Band in a fun nostalgic gig featuring popular themes from his childhood. The Durham Alumni Big Band was formed in 2007 and
features top musicians from the North-East and surrounding regions. Former winners of the Great North Big Band Festival they have worked with top jazz artists including Al Wood, Dave O’Higgins, Dennis Rollins, Mark Nightingale, Julian Siegel and many more.


Shaune Eland, Darlington Jazz Festival organiser, said:
‘The enjoyment of the festival has grown year on year for performers and audiences alike, and we hope that this year will be no different. We’re excited that we have been able to team up with Darlington Food and Drink Festival and offer something special to suit all tastes.’

Darlington Jazz Festival runs from Friday 3 rd May to Sunday 5 th May 2019. Full details of the festival line up and ticket information can be found
at http://www.darlingtonjazzfestival.co.uk/

Darlington Food & Drink Festival runs from Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May 2019. Full details of the festival line up and events over the Bank holiday can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/1120122881474278/

Local History Month – May 2019 programme

A fabulous programme of exhibitions and events runs from Wednesday 1 to Friday 31 May 2019 .  During Local History Month, amongst a packed programme, printmaker and artist Adrian Moule is leading Trace Lines activity on Saturday 11 May 2019 with a bookable workshop for adults running 9.30am – 11.30am and a drop in session open to all ages running 12 noon – 3pm, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.  Adrian is leading the fantastic Trace Lines programme including activity in Darlington Library and around Darlington.  Sessions held in Darlington Library this March produced some fantastic work and they and those in the Town Centre in April were very popular and stimulated conversation about Darlington.

 

In Local History Month he will invite participants to creatively explore the Darlington bear in print.  I’m also looking forward to A Talk on Story Collecting and Paper Cutting by Dover Art Prize winning artist Bethan Maddock in the gallery at Darlington Library on Saturday 18 May at 1.30pm.  There will be opportunities to learn more about Bethan’s practice and to share thoughts around the heritage of Darlington.

The full Local History Month programme includes free exhibitions, and a mix of drop in and bookable events, including  great talks.  To book and for more information please call 01325 349630, or visit the Centre for Local Studies, Crown Street Library, Darlington, DL1 1ND or go online at www2.darlington.gov.uk

The Unseen Beautiful

Photo Credit : Joanne Coates

April sees Creative Darlington collaborating with Lens Think to bring a second call out for 2019. This call out will invite you to submit images through Instagram of the ‘Unseen Beautiful’ in and around Darlington.

We are particularly interested in the ’Unseen Beautiful’ to celebrate Darlington, our beautiful surroundings and everyday things that you think showcase our town through a different perspective.

Photo Credit: Joanne Coates

Photographs will be collected through Instagram throughout April. Anyone can log on and get tagging their photographs with @creative_dton and the hashtag #unseenbeautifuldarlo. Whether you are a professional or amateur photographer – we are keen to see your perspective on Darlington and what beauty you see in the everyday aspects of our town.

A Pop Up exhibition at Crown Street Art Gallery will feature the call out photographs, alongside the work of professional photographer and Lens Think founder Joanne Coates.

Photo Credit : Joanne Coates

EXHIBITION DATES

Sat 18th May until Wed 29th May. (Gallery Opening Times Apply). The exhibition will also be proudly associated with Darlington Arts Festival.

WORKSHOPS

Crown Street Gallery will also play host to three collaborative image making workshops in May. Work alongside artist and graphic designer Nicola Golightly and Photographer Joanne Coates on storytelling using images and words. The chance to create your own story about Darlington! The resulting artwork will grow throughout the lifespan of the exhibition. Workshops will be taking place on the following dates

Wed 22nd May 11am – 2pm

Tue 28th May 11am – 2pm

Wed 29th May 11am – 3pm

Workshops are free to attend, materials will be provided. All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

CLOSING EVENT

Audiences will have the opportunity to vote (online and in the gallery) for their favourite photograph. The winner will be announced by Stephen Wiper (Creative Darlington Manager) on Wednesday 29th May as part of the Celebration and Closing Event. The winner will receive a day long photography workshop, led by professional photographer and Lens Think founder, Joanne Coates.

Closing Event 5.30pm – 6.30pm Wed 29th May.

This call out is supported by Creative Darlington, in collaboration with Lens Think, Joanne Coates and Nicola Golightly. This project also forms part of the Darlington Arts Festival 2019.