A Season of Northern Conversations

Our programme of events and exhibitions, A Season of Northern Conversations, ran from March to July 2022. The programme explored northern identities through conversations and connections with the local community.

The exhibition, Our Words, which took inspiration from one of our old exhibitions, Lost Dialects, extended the conversation about how language is perceived, what is means to be northern, stereotypes and ways of being understood.

In the smaller exhibition was ‘The Hive’ which explored conversations with northern women through football analogies.

We held a great range of events where people shared their stories and expressed what it means to them to be northern, from South Tyneside or the North East.

A key part to the development of the programme was through engaging with community groups and local schools in new and creative ways. Ideas and conversations for The Hive were explored with poet, Kate Fox and local group, Women’s Health in South Tyneside (WHiST). We also worked with Unfolding Theatre to deliver workshops for local school children and their families where they created and shared stories together.

The Season of Northern Conversations Programme included partnership activity at Boldon and Cleadon Library and at The Customs House.

About Our Words

Our Words explored conversations about how language is perceived, what is means to be northern, stereotypes and ways of being understood.

The exhibition involved work by Erin Dickson, a visual artist from South Shields, and Lizzie Lovejoy, an illustrator/spoken word poet from the North East. Erin produced two audio visual pieces for the exhibition, which explored accent, regionality and the fear of being misunderstood.

Lizzie worked across communities in South Tyneside through creative conversations to explore what it means to be northern, how we represent ourselves and to hear people’s stories. The conversations informed 8 illustrations and a large map which were displayed in the exhibition. The drawings portrayed exactly what it means to be part of the South Tyneside community.

About The Hive

The Hive was inspired by the Kick-Off project and ideas developed by artists YARA + DAVINA. The exhibition explored conversations with northern women through football analogies, bringing together content which highlighted amazing northern women, as well as contemporary conversations had by local women about goals and ambitions.

For the exhibition, WHiST (Women’s Health in South Tyneside) worked with poet and performer, Kate Fox, to explore northern identity from their perspective.

There was also a football pitch display where visitors could create their own football team made up of amazing northern women. The exhibition encouraged visitors to think about who they want on their team and what is important to defend through the lens of many amazing women of the north –  past and present.

View the video below which showcases the exhibitions, some of the conversations that took place, as well as the fantastic events that were held as part of the programme.