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Culture Awards 2009: Best Event Sunderland

THE question of who we think we are is one which has occupied most of us at one time or another.

BEST EVENT SUNDERLAND

Winner - Rank: Picturing the social order 1516 - 2009

THE question of who we think we are is one which has occupied most of us at one time or another.

A touring exhibition at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland made a bid to provide some answers last year.

Rank: picturing the social order 1516-2009 constructed a fascinating picture of society over the past 500 years, comparing and contrasting through a mix of witty, poignant and satirical art.

This was the first time these representations of society, as seen by British artists and commentators from the Renaissance to the present day, had been drawn together. And it was all thanks to the gallery's programme director, and exhibition curator, Alistair Robinson whose ambitious idea it was in the first place.

FINALIST – Flagrant Wisdom

Flagrant Wisdom was an ambitious, original artwork which explored the dynamism of glass making and acrobatics.

Presented in front of the glowing furnaces at National Glass Centre and University of Sunderland, the spellbinding performances brought the two disciplines together in a string of spectacular vignettes.

FINALIST – The Uses of Intelligence

This was an interest-pulling, art-meets-technology exploration of the world of espionage with a World War Two Enigma machine – used for the encryption and decryption of secret messages – as its centrepiece.

Playing host to a unique array of gadgets, the exhibition also included an interactive CCTV Treasure Hunt and hidden cameras.

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