MAKING THE CUT at Darlington Library

Big thanks to artist Bethan Maddocks, winner of the Dover Art Prize 2019, for sharing MAKING THE CUT in the gallery at Darlington Library. The exhibition is open to the public from 10am to 4pm daily on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between Monday 22 November 2021 and Thursday 16 December 2021, thanks to Darlington Cultural Volunteers for their support in stewarding the exhibition. The gallery is closed to the public on weekends.

Grand Constructions celebrated in Queen Street Shopping Centre

Grand Constructions exhibition on display in Queen Street Shopping Centre – November 2021

Models created by Cabinet of Curiosity Studio as part of a Grand Constructions participatory arts project which used art, making and design to explore the architectural and industrial heritage of the North East of England can now be seen in Queen Street Shopping Centre in Darlington, who have kindly provided space to share work created during the programme. Grand Constructions was a project supported by Arts Council England and Creative Darlington.

Cabinet of Curiosity Studio worked with people in Darlington during Darlington Arts Festival 2021 and at the Head of Steam railway museum during the programme, and have kindly made templates for their models of Baltic Flour Mills, Darlington Clock Tower, the Gaunless Bridge and Sydney Harbour Bridge (shown below) available online if you want to get involved and have a go at conjuring up your own Grand Construction model. There are also a small number of templates of Darlington Clock Tower available at Darlington Library while stocks last.

Further information on Grand Constructions and templates are available at:

A big thank you to Cabinet of Curiosity Studio, Queen Street Shopping Centre, all the people who had a try at making models, all the people including architects, builders and engineers who created the buildings and bridges depicted within the exhibition, and the makers of carboard and the inventors of the laser-cutting.

Thank you Caroline and Edmond from Cabinet of Curiosity Studio for bringing Grand Constructions to Darlington and demonstrating what happens when creativity, cardboard and ingenuity meet.

Grand Constructions exhibition being installed

MAKING THE CUT by Bethan Maddocks exhibited in the gallery at Darlington Library shortly

Photo credit: Bec Hughes

Bethan Maddocks Making the Cut exhibition will be on display in the gallery at Darlington Library between Monday 22 November and Thursday 16 December 2021. The gallery is open to the public Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm. The exhibition is presented with thanks to The Dover Art Prize and with thanks to Darlington Culture Volunteers for help in stewarding the exhibition.

Explore giant ladders, paper leaves and open books in this presentation of new work that celebrates the forests and trees of County Durham. Making the Cut will share Bethan’s experiments with hand and machine cutting to present a series of sculptures and explorations in paper, perspex and metal.

Artist Bethan Maddocks, winner of The Dover Prize 2019,  works with light, paper, fabric and found objects to make sculptures and installations that audiences can touch, explore or add to. During the last two years she has explored new technologies in paper cutting and paper sculpting techniques, to create a series of work and exhibitions developed with support from The Dover Prize

Having aimed to work closely with the community in 2020, Bethan shifted the focus of this work to instead reflect the landscapes and forests that both shaped the heritage and industry of County Durham and provided a salve of respite for the community in recent challenging times.

The Dover Prize is a 2-year bursary awarded to an artist to provide them with time to think, research, reflect and experiment with new ideas to create work premiered in Darlington.

Creative Course places for Spring 2022 at The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts are available now

Places on the Bridge Centre for Visual Arts creative courses for adults in spring 2022 on sale now, just contact the artist whose course you’re interested in by e-mail (see leaflet) to find out more about these courses or to book your place. With courses in Ceramics, Jewellery, Open Art, Pop in and Paint, Life Drawing and Painting, Portrait Drawing and Painting and The Art of Abstract Photography there are lots of creative avenues to explore at The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts in Spring 2023. Creative activity can brighten your week and these courses are aimed at adults, run for 10 sessions and start in the Week Commencing Monday 17 January 2022 with a half term break in the Week Commencing Monday 21 February 2022.

Release from Lockdown album launched 29 October 2021

Thanks to the fantastic Forum Music Studios for the invite to the launch event of the above album last night, with great artists and bands sharing their music in front of a live audience. I was really struck by the quality of their music, the breadth of talent and people who appreciate engagement with the Forum Music Studios, with emerging talent who’ve participated in the Forum’s Song Club Sessions and experienced artists sharing their songs. I found it heartening to hear those performing advising of what the Forum Music Studios, this project and the chance to share music live again meant to them. A lovely evening, and a tribute to those involved, particularly those performing, the fabulous Form Music Studios and Kirsten Yates, who designed the album cover and managed the programme, and Arts Council England for supporting their work through the Supporting Grassroots Music Fund.

Call Out create Sempahore As Metaphor in Darlington on Friday 29 October 2021

A call out for participants to have a go at sending messages around the town using semaphore. We will quickly, either individually or in pairs, or in groups, devise a short phrase for you to send using a signaling flag system to others in the town who are a distance away and will translate. This is a fun and accessible activity, it will all be filmed in many different locations and we hope will feature the town to a worldwide audience when distributed online. Anton Hecht’s channel has 2 million views alone.  The flags are specially made and represent aspects of Darlington’s heritage. So if you, your business, your friends or group want to take part in this work, want to have a go at using semaphore, please get in touch with Anton Hecht at .   Filming on the day should take approximately fifteen minutes and is expected to take place during the day on Friday 29th October 2021.

Darlington Borough Council and/or Creative Darlington have supported several programmes devised by Anton Hecht, including the Trolley Dance in the Market Square a Stop Start Tango inside Darlington Market, a Sign Language Duel during the Festival of Ingenuity and Slime Tango in the Market Square and Sign Language duels, with many works shared online and some featured in film festivals thereafter. If you want to explore Semaphore as Metaphor in a particular location the first step is getting in touch with Anton to find out more. We hope you enjoy it if you take part.

Grand Constructions on display at Darlington Library and a chance to make your own model of Darlington Clock Tower

Cabinet of Curiosity are delivering a Grand Constructions project inspired by Darlington’s engineering and construction heritage. Further details of the Grand Constructions programme are below. There are opportunities to download a selection of paper-toy making templates and to have a go at making the models below yourself from the programme website , with all four templates available from 1st October 2021.

As part of the project Cabinet of Curiosity delivered workshops during Darlington Arts Festival 2021 involving c 40 participants who made their own model of Darlington Clock Tower. If you’re visiting Darlington Library there are some of the paper-toy making templates printed onto card available alongside a display of the models which can be made. The paper-toy making templates of Darlington Clock Tower are printed at A3 on card and you can take one for free with only scissors and glue (e.g. a glue stick) required to make the models, while stocks last.

Poetry meets Myriorama exhibition in Darlington Town Centre

Darlington based artists Phil Sculthorpe and Brian Ramsey for collaborating to create a Poetry meets Myriorama Exhibition in Darlington Town Centre during Darlington Arts Festival 2021. The Poetry meets Myriorama exhibition combined original poems evoking some of the distinctive aspects of Darlington’s life, with images of well known local buildings and sites. Neither Phil nor Brian were Darlington born but both sought to celebrate their current hometown and they have combined their creative talents to develop an eye-catching and thought provoking affectionate tribute to Darlington’s heritage and character.

Phil Sculthorpe has strong connections with the performing arts in Darlington, including engagement in ODDMANOUT’s Foundry programme, and regularly creates distinct and original work in various media, including writing.  These enthusiasms are reflected in some of Phil’s poetry, which was shared via banners displayed during Darlington Arts Festival 2021.

Brian Ramsey was born in Newcastle, raised in South Shields and lives in Darlington, and creates original artwork through drawing and watercolours .  He has featured on Sky Landcape Artist of the Year programme and is interested in creating artwork drawn from industrial and urban landscape.

Phil and Brian provided a few sets of postcards combining images and poems which customers were able to collect for free from Guru, Darlington Art Shop and Waterstones during Darlington Arts Festival 2021 before supplies ran out, unfortunately they had when I got to the Art Shop, but glad to hear a colleague collected a set which we’ll add to the Local Studies collection in Darlington Library.

For me, the myriorama brought something of the fascination of some of the devices used in the past by people to capture places, like a pinhole camera, and presented Darlington in an amusing, exciting, stimulating way and original way. Thanks to Phil and Brian for sharing their work during Darlington Arts Festival 2021 and to Darlington for Culture for supporting the project with a small grant.

Darlington Arts Festival 2021 is fast approaching

???? Darlington Arts Festival is an exciting way to end off September, running between the 24th to the 27th.

???? The festival will run throughout the town centre and other venues, and offer you the chance to watch all sorts of performances, browse through art in the giant marquee, and take part in workshops.

???? All genres of art are welcome, and the festival offers a fantastic opportunity to display the creativity of Darlington, Tees Valley, and the North!

ℹ For more info:

The Cat and the Canary at Darlington Hippodrome now

⭐ Starring international superstar Britt Ekland and Coronation Street’s Tracy Shaw, The Cat and the Canary is a suspenseful star-studded thriller returning to the UK stage.

????️‍♀️ Twenty years after the death of Mr. West, his descendants gather to learn who will inherit his vast wealth and the hidden family jewels. Within moments, the heritage hunters turn into prey. Walls crack open, shadows loom, and dark secrets are revealed.

Don’t miss out on this phenomenal performance brought to Darlington by The Classic Thriller Theatre Company in their fifth production.

???????? The Cat and the Canary comes to Darlington Hippodrome Tuesday, September 21, 2021 to Saturday, September 25, 2021, find more info here: