Our Words Exhibition


Suitable for all ages

‘Our Words’ is a new exhibition inspired by The Word’s Lost Dialects exhibition which ran from October 2016-June 2018. Lost Dialects celebrated lost words of the North East Dialect’ – words that are slowly disappearing from everyday conversations, including those that were used in local shipyards, mines, in street games and social gatherings. Visitors to the exhibition donated their own favourite words to create a word bank of ‘lost dialect’.

This new exhibition, Our Words, is an extension of the Lost Dialects exhibition and explores conversations about how language is perceived, what is means to be northern, stereotypes and ways of being understood.

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

Lizzie has 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 new illustrations and a large map to form part of the exhibition, which portray exactly what it means to be part of the South Tyneside community.

The exhibition is part of our Season of Northern Conversations programme which celebrates our northern identities.

About Erin Dickson

Exploring ideas of home through language, culture and vernacular architecture, Erin Dickson’s practice is connected through tongue-in-cheek themes of ‘Britishness’. Using a variety of digital and analogue techniques, her work ranges from time-based performance and photographic glass reliefs, through to monumental sculpture and installation.

Beyond digital fabrication and traditional sculpture, Dickson uses contemporary tools to engage in broader discussions about cultural constructions and craft histories. Exploiting gaps and inherent ambiguity in Artificial Intelligence systems, she challenges our understanding of the reliability of digital interpretation. Her often humorous practice softens deliberately provocative subject matter, including mistranslation, British class systems and institutional bias, intimacy, and isolation. Her creative practice often takes place virtually, processing data to create 3D models and selectively delegating production.

Dickson originates from South Tyneside and since graduating from University of Sunderland in 2015, has exhibited internationally, most notably in Glasstress at the 2015 and 2017 Venice Biennales, and in 2020 as part of the group show ‘Unbreakable: Women in Glass’. She has received international awards, most recently an Honorary Diploma from Kunst Palast, Germany, and her work is part of major international collections, including the V&A.


About Lizzie Lovejoy

Lizzie Lovejoy is an illustrator and writer based in the North East of England. Born Northern, Lovejoy has dedicated their life to celebrating and exploring the culture and heritage of the local area. With this new project, Lovejoy is exploring the heart and soul of South Tyneside, reaching out to the community to hear their stories and visually interpret them. Putting together pieces of history with contemporary life, the goal is to create a range of artwork that embodies exactly what it means to be part of South Tyneside.



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