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Best Event Sunderland Award: Beautifully Crafted

THE idea of this exhibition at the National Glass Centre was to show how we live with beautifully crafted objects and encourage us to look more closely at how objects are made.

WINNER: Beautifully crafted

THE idea of this exhibition at the National Glass Centre was to show how we live with beautifully crafted objects and encourage us to look more closely at how objects are made.

The exhibition brought 70 artists together – including 15 from the North East – and served as a celebration of the craft, including lace-making, taxidermy, weaving, wood-turning and leather-working.

Alex Evans, creative producer, programme and communications at the Glass Centre, said: “Beautifully Crafted was an exhibition that taps into a need we all share for beauty and creativity in our everyday lives and celebrates what we can achieve from raw materials and techniques that have been handed down through the ages.

"We wanted to find artists whose work you don’t normally come across. Through word of mouth and plenty of research we discovered artists using art and craft techniques in some wonderful or unusual ways.”

FINALIST: Whispering in the leaves

Chris Watson’s rainforest soundscape was a special commission for the AV08 Festival and was broadcast to visitors of Sunderland Winter Gardens.

The audio installation constituted the sounds of animals broadcasting their presence to others.

More than 200 speakers were used to immerse visitors into the world of a South American rainforest.

The opening event saw the artist perform a live sound mix over three hours featuring a tropical thunderstorm and ending with the sounds of the nocturnal insect chorus. A family sound recording workshop also allowed visitors to create their own soundscapes.

FINALIST: Sunderland Aquatic Centre launch

Following many years of planning and lobbying, the North East’s first 50m pool was officially launched with a series of celebrations on April 17, 2008.

The city council worked with Magnetic Events and the community to put on an indoor and outdoor programme.

Boasting the best that the creative industries in the region and country have to offer, the indoor programme saw the main pool hall transformed into a performing arena via the wonder of lighting and music.

An impressive display of aquabatics followed.

Featuring divers, swimmers and dancers all being inspired by the 1930 choreographer Busby Berkeley and performing to music composed by Hong Kong’s Seaming To.

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