TeesDance Festival

Counting the days until TeesDance Festival, happening on Instagram in two weeks’ time – find out all about our local dance artists and gain an insight into the creative industries

It’s here! The full line-up for TeesDance Festival, happening on Instagram from 1 – 14 August to celebrate our dance workforce across the Tees Valley

Call Outs Aplenty – It’s All Happening

Call Out One

‘Our Place’ – a community Art’s Project for Darlington

Want to give meaning and purpose to your daily walk?

In these strange times, leaving the house at least once a day and getting some fresh air is so important to many of us. Join in a range of weekly creative tasks and really ‘see’ your surroundings; use these discoveries to reflect upon and speak of your life and experiences in Darlington.

Where do our paths cross or perhaps diverge? Who knows? Over the course of four online workshops (each lasting around one hour) we’ll explore and make. Our aim … to contribute to a bigger project ‘It’s All Happening Here’ and hopefully a live celebratory trail around the town. Our contribution… possibly a piece weaving together footage of Darlington captured through street view, overlaid with spoken word gathered from letters, poems, diary entries or just fragments of thoughts. Creation for the curious!

No special skills or prior experience required. All ages and backgrounds welcome. How much, and how often, you join us is up to you. No cost involved.

Email Hannah at ourplacedarlo@gmail.com with any questions you have or to register your interest.

Call Out Two

Call Out Three

Society of Arts at Home

Darlington Society of Arts have been sharing their work during lockdown through their website.The Arts Society are certainly seeing Lockdown as an opportunity to make work and share, in their words ‘Remember every cloud has a silver lining.’

Members have been invited to create work responding to a common stimulus or to post work they have created during the lockdown period. This has been a great way of sharing the practice of the group and encouraging ongoing creative engagement.

A pre-lockdown Darlington Arts Society gathering

Be sure to head over the the Arts Society website to have a look at what they’ve been creating and sharing digitally.

Celebrating Conversations in Painting

Creative Darlington supported Conversations in Painting: Fiesta MK 2 in 2019. It’s great to be able to celebrate this project and view the overall project within the project catalogue, available to view online at here

Stay at Home Stories

Have you ever fancied making a short film? Or are you trying to find a fun way to keep your family entertained?

Creative Darlington and Undivided Pictures are looking for short films featuring ‘Lockdown’ as the theme to enter our competition, with the winner to receive £100 worth of vouchers to Darlington Hippodrome. 

As long as you stick to government guidelines then you can be as creative as you want. We’d love to see a mixture of drama, comedy, dance, song or anything that you think will be entertaining. Please ensure the films are under four minutes and include a maximum of four characters.

The competition was created by Susie Potter and Dalton Deverell whose creative roots both started in Darlington.

“We think now is the perfect time for people to flex their creative muscles and we’re excited to see the entries”

“Short films can make a welcome break to your everyday and we’re hoping people enjoy the experience of creating the content”

They might be shot on your phone, or laptop using one of the group apps like Zoom, whatever you think works best for your film. We’re looking for zero budget masterpieces so please check with whoever pays the bill if you’re using someone else account. Don’t worry too much about the editing- just send us your finished version and we can always spruce it up a bit in post production! We recommend using WeTransfer to send your film, as it’s free and will allow you to send over a bigger file.

We have a panel of judges who will whittle the entries down to the top 5 and then it will be put to a public vote.

Questions and entries to be sent to darlingtonshortfilmcomp@gmail.com

This call out is open to those who live or work in Darlington

Submit your films from 6th May.

Open call closes 12 noon Friday 22nd May 2020.

Darlo@Home Programme Extended

Tracks​ in partnership with ​Creative Darlington ​and​ Darlington Borough Council ​are pleased to announce an additional series of live streamed gigs, bringing a further selection of regional artists to your home in this time of national lockdown.

With measures being extended we felt it was important to carry forward our series of live stream gigs so the people of Darlington and beyond can continue filling their housebound calendars with events to look forward to and enjoy, whilst also helping to keep artists’ platforms of expression alive.

After Nadedja’s already scheduled performance on Friday 24th, the second run of Facebook live stream sessions welcomes Claire Tustin from Lullaboogaloo to perform a special family gig on Saturday 25th for BIG Little Gigs, with the weekend run being completed by local favourite Chris Davison on Sunday 26th.

The next set of three kicks off on Thursday 30th with George Boomsma, Caitlin Morrow the day after, and the whole series is rounded off on Saturday 2nd with another Silly Song Singalong with BIG Little Gigs’ own Sarah Wilson at 2pm.

“We’d never run any online gigs before these, and we’ve been really pleased with people’s responses. It’s been so nice having that communication between artist and audience. It’s also been great to offer some support to local musicians who are struggling during lockdown”


Friday 24th @ 7pm
Born in the North-East of Brazil but now making the North East of England her home, Nadedja’s beautiful music combines her soulful, soaring vocals with piano and acoustic guitar-infused melodies, showcasing her honest, raw and heartfelt lyrics drawn from her experiences. Her debut single, ‘Fire’, was selected as track of the week on BBC Introducing and has been featured on BBC Sounds podcast, ‘The Next Episode’.

BIG Little Gigs featuring Claire Tustin from Lullaboogaloo

Saturday 25th April @ 2pm

Join Claire as she live streams her songs for small children. Sing along and have a boogie whilst she sings about mini-beasts, dancing animals, grandmas on roller skates and springtime. If you send her a message mid-gig, she might put your favourite animal into a song! Deely boppers, animal onesies and rabbit ears welcome

Chris Davison

Sunday 26th April @ 7pm
Stalwart of the local music scene, multi instrumentalist and band member of Weekend Sun, Astoma and many more, Chris will be performing a mixture of originals with a few covers thrown in for good measure, all powered by his menagerie of electronic augmentations. Send him some love and he may even do a request or two.

George Boomsma

Thursday 30th April @ 7pm

George Boomsma is a progressive folk musician from Northallerton. His effortless vocals and sensitive guitar playing are achingly beautiful and have received national airplay on Radio 1 and BBC 6Music. This will be a beautiful laid back performance, something special to soothe our souls in these uncertain times.

Caitlin Morrow

Friday 1st May @ 7pm
Sweet songs and heartfelt lyrics, Caitlin’s adorable acoustics will have you smiling all stream long, as her delicate voice leads you through some outstanding originals.

BIG Little Gigs: Silly Song Singalong with Sarah Wilson

Saturday 2nd May @ 2pm
Sarah and her trusty ukulele are back with even more silly songs to share with you and your little ones. Grab your shakers and cardboard guitars and join her for songs about friendship, jungles, poems and more!

To access any of the FREE ​darlo@home​ live stream gigs simply tune in to the Tracks Facebook page at the times above, sit back and enjoy!

Our Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/tracksdarlington

Open call for artists, creative practitioners and the curious.

The Auxiliary have teamed up with Creative Darlington for our next round of ABODE, an artist-in-own-residence programme. For this project we will be offering five mini-grants of £200, with the hope that it encourages artists to develop new skills and to consider new approaches to their creative practices. 

The open call is simple. Select a free open source programme from the list below, download it, install it and start learning, experimenting, succeeding, failing and creating.   

There is a lot to play with here, whether its creating music in Pure Data, 3D sculptures in Blender, crazy visuals in VVVV or even turning your Skype into something fun with the green screen function of OBS… the possibilities are truly endless. 

At the end of quarantine, we will invite everyone to share the work with The Auxiliary and the wider community. Along the way we will also encourage artists to send in what they are working on and share it online. 

The four programmes to choose from are Blender, VVVV, Pure Data and OBS Studio. 

Blender is a 3D computer graphics software tool-set used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, motion graphics, interactive 3D applications, and computer games.

VVVV is a general purpose toolkit with a special focus on real-time video synthesis and programming large media environments with physical interfaces, real-time motion graphics, audio and video


Pure Data (Pd) is a visual programming language for creating interactive computer music and multimedia works.


Open Broadcast Studio 

OBS Studio is a free and open-source software suite for recording and live streaming. OBS provides real-time source and device capture, scene composition, encoding, recording, and broadcasting.  


During this residency, we will host a number of live Q&A sessions with experts in the aforementioned programmes, taking inquiries about the programmes. Even if not successful with receiving a grant the Q&A will be open to the public and we do encourage everyone to explore the above programs as they provide a wealth of exciting possibilities.

Apply By: 28th April, 2020

Open to DL postcodes only.

Single A4 Page Application emailed to theauxiliaryprojectspace@gmail.com 

Please include the following:

1. Artistic Practice Description.

2. Which programme who will work with.

3. Rough idea of the project’s ambition.

4. Links to previous work.

5. Website.

Creative Darlington is a partnership of organisations and stakeholders who share a passion to strengthen and sustain a vibrant cultural offer for Darlington. Our work is focused on arts and heritage and informed by the principles that the culture should be available to everyone, bring people together and champion inclusion and social cohesion. We value excellence, by which we mean striving to be the best of which we are collectively capable and finding ingenious ways to take things forward. 

To find out more about Creative Darlington see https://creativedarlington.org.uk/

blimey! Lucretia Documentary Film

Creative Darlington have worked in partnership with long standing Darlington based, all female artist collective blimey! to further explore their collective practice and create work which considers themes presented in Guido Reni’s baroque painting ‘The Death of Lucretia’.

More information about the project, exhibition and artists can be found here www.blimeycollective.co.uk/blimeylucretia

Unfortunately the current exhibition at The Bowes Museum is not currently accessible due to Covid-19, but you can still watch the project documentary film to further understand the context and the artists’ responses to this.

The film and photography featured within the blimey! Lucretia exhibition at The Bowes Museum document the Piercing Lucretia events. This series of events took place in a number of venues and engaged with various audiences. These included the opening night of the Guido Reni – The Power and The Virtue exhibition at The Bowes Museum which launched the project, Crown Street Art Gallery at Crown Street Library, Darlington and Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, Darlington.

The project included collaborative events with Lust For Life Drawing, Nasty Women North East and Eliot Smith Dance. A diverse range of participants at each event offered opportunities for a range of creative responses to be made. This included artists, writers, local and international students and the public. Participants and these interactions were recorded to share this creative process.

Click the following link to watch the documentary film. https://www.blimeycollective.co.uk/documentary-film

Film & Photography Credit : Joanne Coates

Keep an ear out, enjoy great music at home

Tracks​ in partnership with ​Creative Darlington and Darlington Borough Council ​are pleased to announce a series of live streamed gigs, bringing a fine selection of regional artists to your home in this time of national lockdown.

We’re excited to welcome Anna Leigh Stainton, Jamie Farrell and Nadedja plus a special BIG Little Gigs Silly Singalong Session, all of which will be beamed straight to your screens via Facebook live over the next three weeks. Send them your heart & applause emoji, or pop in your song requests for the full virtual gig experience, right from your living room!

Rob Irish of Tracks commented:

“Staying connected has never been so difficult, and so important.
Locked away in our homes, it can be easy to lose our connection to the outside world, and to each other. It’s especially tough for artists, whose livelihoods have been swept suddenly from beneath their feet. Hosting gigs like these is a really great way of supporting them, keeping audience interaction alive, and giving gig-goers a little piece of live music experience they’re missing at the moment.

We want these gigs to feel personal, like the next best thing to having the artist right there with you, so comment, chat, applaud, and fill our virtual venue with the buzz of social connection.”

To access any of our FREE ​darlo@home​ live stream gigs simply tune in to Tracks Facebook page at the following times, sit back and enjoy!

FRIDAY 10/04 @ 7PM: Anna Leigh Stainton
SATURDAY 11/04 @ 2PM: BIG Little Gigs “Silly Song Singalong” FRIDAY 17/04 @ 7PM: Jamie Farrell
FRIDAY 24/04 @ 7PM: Nadedja

Find further information on www.facebook.com/tracksdarlington

blimey! Lucretia Exhibition

An exhibition which aims to spark conversation around the representation of women in our changing world opens on the same weekend as International Women’s Day at The Bowes Museum.

blimey! Lucretia looks at the way women have been portrayed in both classical and contemporary culture, using The Bowes Museum’s recent exhibition The Power and The Virtue: Guido Reni’s Death of Lucretia as the catalyst.

The blimey! collective, a group of female-led Darlington based artists, used the focal point of that exhibition, the painting of The Death of Lucretia, as a tool to open the debate about  the representation of women in art and the story of Lucretia.

In a series of ‘Piercing Lucretia’ sessions people of all genders were invited to express their response to the painting by sewing on a miniature textile image of it, while seated at Lucretia’s table, reminiscent of the pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party.

It is these patches, which number approximately 500, along with Lucretia’s table, that will make up the central point of the immersive installation, as they are displayed sewn onto denim jackets worn by dozens of mannequins, which visitors will be able to walk around and amongst. 

The blimey! collective chose the act of sewing as the method for making the responses as in the story of Lucretia, she was raped after being seen to be virtuous by not leaving her weaving to gossip with her friends.  The cloth patches symbolise a sense of community and utilise a counter culture embellishment that signifies identity, personality and solidarity.

The artists who make up the blimey! collective are Carol Sommer, Amanda Marshall, Nicola Golightly and Vicky Holbrough.

Funded by Arts Council England and supported by Creative Darlington, the exhibition will be open from 7 March until 10 May.

A thought provoking series of events and talks has been scheduled to take place throughout the exhibition.

On Saturday 14 March there’s a free drop in event at Crown Street Art Gallery in Crown Street Library in Darlington from 6pm to 8pm, where you can join the blimey! collective to hear from the artist themselves about how the experience has shaped both their collective and individual creative practice. There will also a screening of the project film, which documented the Piercing Lucretia events.

The blimey! artists will be giving an insight into the project and sharing their thoughts on the work and being part of a collective in Gallery Talks in The Bowes Museum on Wednesday 8 April and Wednesday 15April from 2.15pm to 2.30pm.  These are free with admission to the Museum.

Saturday 25 April sees the Museum host a symposium from 10am until 3.30pm with a  fascinating interactive day of talks, performance, workshops, film screenings and a discussion panel which will focus on the themes of the blimey! Lucretiaproject: representation and engagement. It’ll also look at how our relationship to art in the museum setting.

Vicky Holbrough said: “We’re thrilled with the response that the project received at the ‘Piercing Lucretia’ sessions and we’re looking forward to people seeing these works alongside the painting that inspired them.”

Stephen Wiper, Creative Darlington Manager, said: “It’s been fantastic to support the work of the blimey! collective and to see this grow from the responses people had to the painting of Lucretia, to become an exhibition is exhilarating.”

Dr Jane Whittaker, Head of Collections at The Bowes Museum, added:Our Founders were dedicated to sharing art with everyone, so it’s fantastic that the Museum is continuing this vision through partnerships like this one with the blimey! collective. The Power and the Virtue exhibition, focusing on the Museum’s painting of The Death of Lucretia, attributed to Guido Reni, featured their interactive blimey! Lucretia project, the result of which is shared in this thoughtful exhibition.”

blimey! Lucretia is open from 7 March until Sunday 10 May.

The Bowes Museum is open from 10am to 5pm every day. Entry to Café Bowes and the shop is free.  For more information on our exhibitions and events programme please see our website: thebowesmuseum.org.uk