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Gateshead's Shipley Art Gallery prepares for Acts of Making Festival

The Shipley Art Gallery will be hosting six artists who all create curious moments which are fascinating and short lived

The Shipley Art Gallery
The Shipley Art Gallery

Preparations have already begun at Gateshead’s Shipley Art Gallery for a fortnight of creativity in March.

Interactive installations, performances and parades will all be taking place at the venue fro March 7-21 as part of the Acts of Making Festival, which aims to move craft out of the gallery and into new spaces to explore performance and time-based work.

Visitors will be able to witness the creation of a patterned carpet made entirely from dust, create their own music via logs and wooden horns, watch a folk procession of Vespa and Lambretta scooters through the streets, become part of an ongoing project exploring our relationship with jewellery, watch a performance piece using un-fired ceramic pots and encouraged to skateboard on specific benches in public spaces.

The six artists: Catherine Bertola, Keith Harrison, Owl Project, Mah Rana, Clare Twomey and Richard Wheater all use craft skills in unexpected ways to create moments that are curious, fascinating and short-lived.

Acts of Making will explore the collaborative processes of making, ephemeral and time-based work and performance in craft through a two-week programme.

Rosy Greenlees, executive director, Crafts Council, says: “We want Acts of Making to really challenge people’s perceptions of what craft is. The exhibition will allow visitors to Gateshead a one-off opportunity to see these unique moments – be it via the streets they proceed through or the local peple that perform them or the portraits that are created. Acts of Making takes craft out of the gallery and explores the beauty in impermanence.”

Visit www.craftscouncil.org.uk/acts-of-making for more information and use the hashtag #ActsofMaking to share your festival experiences and follow others.

Mah Rana Interactive installations, performances and parades will happen at the Shipley Art Gallery
Mah Rana Interactive installations, performances and parades will happen at the Shipley Art Gallery

Catherine Bertola will create a patterned carpet made entirely of dust over the course of the festival. The carpet’s pattern will be inspired by its location and so represent the invisible history of the Shipley Gallery.

Keith Harrison’s Tombstone (let’s get over this) is a series benches in Gateshead’s Dynamix Skatepark. The benches are made of sandstone so will change shape over time as they are sculpted through use by skateboarders and scooter riders.

Owl Projects’ piece Photosynthonium is a log pile embedded with LEDs. These convert light into sound and can be played by moving hand-held iLog devices over them. The iLogs are connected to four large wooden amplifiers, allowing you to create your own sound art.

Mah Rana will bring her Meanings and Attachments project to Gateshead Central Library. People are asked to contribute a personal story relating to a piece of jewellery which will be recorded in writing or by audio and which will be accompanied by a photographic portrait which will be displayed at the Shipley Art Gallery during the Acts of Making festival.

Clare Twomey’s Is it Madnesss. Is it Beauty is a performance piece which will be carried out by local performing arts students. The piece is about the futility of human action as a number of un-fired ceramic pots are repeatedly filled with water and emptied resulting in their gradual disintegration.

Richard Wheater’s piece Trees and Scooters is a procession of Vespa and Lambretta scooters carrying flags representing fallen poplar trees in each town ending at a destination (tbc) where the flag ‘trees’ will be planted.


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