Exhibitions are currently programmed at Darlington Town Hall and Crown Street Library and we are involved in a variety of visual arts activity in Darlington, including The Dover Art Prize co-ordinated by County Durham Community Foundation. More information on the current Dover Art Prize winner is available www.doyleandmallinson.com.

We also manage and promote access to Darlington’s Borough Art Collection. Works in the collection in oil and acrylic paint can be accessed online through the Art UK website. Appointments can be made to view particular works in the collection and we have staged 4 exhibitions including works from the Borough Art Collection in Crown Street Art Gallery and 1 at the Darlington Town Hall Exhibition space since 2012.

The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts is an independent charity based in Darlington, which offers a range of great activity and facilities. More at www.thebridgedarlington.org.uk


Creative Darlington manages exhibition programmes in the gallery at Crown Street Library, where exhibitions secured 128,000 visits between May 2012 and May 2018, and at Darlington Town Hall, where visitors can enjoy the work on display.  Contact the Creative Darlington Manager, Stephen Wiper via email at stephen.wiper@darlington.gov.uk if you are interested in finding out more about exhibition opportunities.


Outside of fixed exhibition programmes Creative Darlington has been happy to work with visual artists in developing ideas in other locations, supporting projects including the Art Lending Library and the Navigator North temporary artspace on High Row in Darlington. We have worked with the County Durham Community Foundation and Darlington Society of Arts to remodel the delivery of the Dover Art Prize in Darlington, and are looking forward to seeing new work presented by the winning artists, Doyle and Mallinson later this year. Further information about the artists can be found here.

The Dover Prize Exhibition began in 1998 when Peggy Nonhebel (née Dover) set up an endowment with County Durham Community Foundation to promote art and the education of art in and around Darlington. The Fund paid for an annual art exhibition for local artists which was held at the Crown library in Darlington. The Prize was relaunched in 2016 as a 2-year bursary of £10,000 to support excellence and experimentation in the arts and creative industries. The bursary is awarded to an artist or artists to provide them with time to think, research, reflect and/or experiment with new ideas to create work premiered in Darlington. This opportunity is open to any UK-based creative practitioner, individual or collective and aimed at raising the profile of contemporary arts in Darlington to make a positive impact on the town.


The winners of this prestigious North East contemporary art competition in 2016 were London based artists, Shaun Doyle and Mally Mallinson. The visionary pair won a bursary of £10,000, to create an exhibition of works to be premiered in Darlington in 2018. The artists were selected from more than 70 applicants from across the UK.


The winners first met at Wimbledon School of Art in 1989 and have already begun to make their mark in the art world. The pair’s visual creations have been exhibited across the UK and Europe, featuring at well-known institutions such as the Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Britain, Galerie Nostheide-Eycke in Dusseldorf, Germany and Venlo Stadhuis in the Netherlands. Mallinson is also known for co-directing an artist run project in London that went on to become MOT International, a commercial space that represented two Turner Prize winners.


Doyle and Mallinson have created a blog about the Dover experience, and the creation of their work based around an old landmark in Darlington – the Bulmer stone: http://doverprize.blogspot.com/2017/


The artwork

The artists have produced a sculptural recreation of the Bulmer stone that will slowly rotate.  The piece will be approximately 1.5 x life size and exhibited in a prominent site or different sites around the town. The reason behind the stone rotating is based on the legend that the stone rotates when the clock strikes 12.

A series of prints and hand painted banners are being produced, influenced by protest posters and calling for the Bulmer stone to be released from its present site behind bars on the Northgate road. The original protests occurred when the stone was moved in 1923. Posters and banners will be placed on railings by the actual stone as well as lampposts etc around the town.  As song has been commissioned (possibly involving Tracks/ Tees Music Alliance) and will be performed at the opening of the exhibition.