New Exhibitions Connecting Communities

We are celebrating and showcasing the work of communities in South Tyneside as two new exhibition open at The Word.

The first, The Extraordinary in the Everyday, has been produced with the help of Equal Arts – a North East-based creative charity.

It aims to connect different parts of local communities, both young and old, through a range of creative activity that the public will help to shape and grow over time and features a 3D sculptural project that has been created by adults and young people from across South Tyneside.

Local groups have been involved in some of the features, one of which is ‘Jubilee Dress’ – by artist Caroline Collinge. The exhibit is made up of folded paper flowers, created with residents of Harton Grange Care Home in South Shields and young people from Bright Futures North East. The flowers are inspired by the floral symbols on The Queen’s coronation dress.

A second exhibition, South Tyneside Scribe, has been developed by artist Laur Fitton and uses reportage drawing to document what life is like in South Tyneside from 2019 to 2022.

Through first-hand drawings in locations like libraries, football matches, cafes, pubs, landmarks and more, Laur reflects on the many different places and people that make up the Borough, the stories they tell and the everyday creativity they demonstrate.

Both exhibitions are running until 30 October.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture, Leisure and the Visitor Economy, said: “We are excited to bring these two new displays to The Word.

“While both celebrate South Tyneside communities, the main exhibition The Extraordinary in the Everyday showcases the strength of people working together. The thought-provoking display has been created with, and inspired by, older people, those living with dementia and young people’s groups.

“There are also lots of opportunities for people to add their own ideas and artwork to the display as well as take part in a range of interactive activities for all age groups. We look forward to seeing the exhibition grow as more and more people get involved.”

Visitors will be encouraged to add their favourite South Tyneside landmark to The Extraordinary in the Everyday display’s ‘Wonderland’ landscape as well as share their thoughts and experiences of living in and visiting South Tyneside in a playful visual arts exhibit.

Kate Parkin, Equal Arts’ Creative Age lead, said: “Among the routines and roles we give ourselves, taking a moment to stop, explore our imagination, notice what’s around us and be in the moment can be so valuable.

“Being creative has a wealth of proven, positive benefits for our wellbeing and is free from judgement. We can’t wait to see how the exhibition evolves with people’s imaginations, experiences and the different ideas they’ll bring to it.”

As part of the programme, there will also be a touring exhibition Home Alone, created by Sharon Bailey which tells the day-to-day experience and untold stories of living alone.

For full details of events, workshops and exhibitions see: The Extraordinary in the Everyday

The Word