Current and upcoming exhibitions
Moving Forward, Looking Back: A History of Darlington Hippodrome
Thursday 27 July - Thursday 7 September 2017
In March 2016 Darlington Civic Theatre received a £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to transform and regenerate the Grade II Listed building to its former glory. The theatre is currently closed for construction and restoration and will reopen in the autumn of 2017 with a new name – Darlington Hippodrome.
Through this exhibition we are inviting you to explore the history of the Hippodrome; examining its past as a busy music hall and Palace of Varieties and the great array of stars that performed in Darlington, while celebrating the remarkable life of its founding director Signor Rino Pepi.
This exhibition will examine the theatre’s architecture and the role of the three different architects in designing this iconic building, including some of the key features like the haystack ventilator and water tower, and how they are currently being restored.
The exhibition will also provide the opportunity for a sneak preview of how the restored theatre will look, as well as the exciting programme of works which will take it into the future.
www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk [external link]
Splendour of Steam - Railway and Landscape Art
Saturday 9 September 2017 - Wednesday 11 October 2017
Stephen was born in Leicester and has worked in the acrylic medium for over forty years. This exhibition will share his lifelong passion for the days of steam railways alongside his passion for landscape. His works have featured in magazines and have been used in historical text books and his works are detailed and technically accurate while portraying the atmosphere of the days of steam.
Having spent many happy hours at Peterborough and Grantham in his youth Stephen has a particular interest in Sir Nigel Gresley and his locomotives he is also a member of the North York Moors Railway and The Friends of the Settle – Carlisle Line.
His art is becoming increasingly well-known and recognised in the north, initially in Cumbria with exhibitions in Appleby and Carlisle, and now in Durham and the North East. Now living close to ‘Locomotion’ in County Durham has allowed Stephen to spend time painting at the museum and he hopes to forge further links to other railway centres in the future.
Community Arts Project spring exhibition
Friday 2 June - Tuesday 25 July 2017
The Community Art Project provides an opportunity for people with learning disabilities to practice various visual arts activities with guidance and encouragement from a professional artist. Now based at The Bridge, the Community Art Project is part of Darlington Borough Council’s Services for People and is funded and managed as part of the Adult Learning Disability Service.
This exhibition comprised a selection of new work from the thirty two people who currently attend the CAP. It included works in a range of media from paintings to digital art and was extended by popular demand attracting comments including:
Brilliant! I could buy all the pictures,
Interesting pictures showing good ideas and creative styles,
Brilliant exhibition, some very interesting pieces – varied used of equipment making exciting and innovative works of art,
Great exhibition CAP.
Darlington Society of Arts spring exhibition
Saturday 25 February - Thursday 20 April 2017
This popular exhibition attracted 3,711 visits (the fourth highest exhibition attendance since the gallery opened), works by several artists were sold during the exhibition and positive comments including 'it was a joy to come in and view these excellent pieces of work.'
Darlington Society of Arts now meets on Wednesday evenings 7-9pm at Hummersknott Academy. There is a themed club night programme to inspire and give support to anyone who enjoys painting and crafting in a friendly setting.
The exhibition at Crown Street Library provides an opportunity to showcase members’ work and to reflect the diversity of their creative talents.
New members are welcome, beginners or experienced, to join the society and enjoy our upcoming workshops.
Moved by the Spirit: The Friends Legacy
Exhibition by the Darlington Association of Photographers
Saturday 14 January 2017 - Thursday 23 February 2017
The exhibition included great original photographs and the display of various cameras and attracted nearly 3,000 visits.
The heritage of the “Quaker ‘ (Society of Friends) work ethic is prevalent in the North East of England, in particular in the towns of Darlington, Stockton and Middlesbrough. From the grid lined design of Middlesbrough Old Town to the grand architecture of civic, public and commercial buildings in the 19th Century, they heralded a new era of industry, philanthropy and commerce.
Not only were the Quakers in the forefront of the spiritual revival of the 19th century but were a catalyst in the establishment of non-secular activities, sports, civic responsibilities and social awareness.
Tell Her Story
Tuesday 22 November 2016 - Thursday 12 January 2017
Tell Her Story attracted nearly 2,000 visits to the gallery, including those attending events, which included workshops, talks and poetry performed by Vane Women around the gallery, with poems inspired by both new and old art works within the exhibition. The level and nature of representation/under-representation of women in public art collections, contemporary exhibition programmes and the visual arts world today remains a current issue.
Tell Her Story was a new exhibition, curated by Michaela Wetherell, which looks creatively at the images of unknown women in the Darlington Borough Art Collection and considers what they are saying to us now? Many art collections come together over decades or centuries and contain mysterious works. Sometimes little is known about the subject, artist, the work itself or how it entered the collection.
Darlington’s Art Collection has around 500 original works, including portraits of women now listed as ‘unknown’ and pictures with women who are not named. This exhibition includes paintings and a drawing from Darlington’s art collection, where information on the women involved was either absent, has been lost through time, or where images were drawn from the imagination in the first place. Tell her Story invited artists working today to consider such works and to generate new work in response, with both incorporated in this exhibition.
Artists working today involved in this project are Alyson Agar, Mircea Cirtog, Sarah Cooney, Tallulah Lines and Helen Winthorpe-Kendrick and Darlington's own Jonny Lancaster, Norma Kyle, James Quinn and poet, Helen Steel. This project has been supported through a Grants for the arts award from Arts Council England.
Tell Her Story Leaflet [pdf document]
The Art of Giving
Monday 7 November to Saturday 19 November 2016
Darlington-resident Dhananjay Kelkar is a naval architect by trade, but inherited a love and talent for painting from his late father, the renowned artist Madhusudan Kelkar.
Over the last 40 years, Dhananjay has developed his own unique recognisable style, and has exhibited his work in both India and the UK.
Dhananjay will now be exhibiting his latest works at Crown Street Art Gallery, Darlington, in a special exhibition entitled the “Art of Giving” featuring more than 30 paintings.
The paintings will be available for sale and proceeds will be in aid of local charity St Teresa’s Hospice, as well as Indian charities Quest and Lok Biradari Prakalpa which provide free healthcare and education in rural areas.
Dhananjay said: “I have spent a long time in the corporate world in different countries. However, an insight into the world of voluntary work across the world is simply a humbling experience. ‘Art of Giving’ is just a small gesture of appreciation of the selfless dedication of many.”
The exhibition has been organised by Dhananjay, his wife Mohini and their friends, with the support of Creative Darlington.
Further information on the Art of Giving and how you can get involved is available at kelkarsrangadhanu.com [external link]
Saturday 1 October to Thursday 3 November 2016
Dickens In Darlington tells the story of the strong connections Dickens had to the world of theatre and music hall and included workshops, readings, storytelling, footage of early Dickens films and plays as well as the display of an amazing dolls house based on Dickens’ home in Doughty Street, London which is now the Dickens Museum.
The Civic Theatre, in partnership with the Touring Consortium Theatre Company, will also present the Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities in the Dolphin Centre’s Central Hall, a venue Dickens himself visited on his reading tours of 1858 and 1861. The production will be created by a team of professionals and will feature a full cast of community performers.
A Tale Of Two Cities will take place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November 2016 at Central Hall, Dolphin Centre, Darlington. Tickets* are £18, discounts £16 and under 16s £10 (*includes £1 restoration levy). To book or for further information on any of these projects, please call the box office on 01325 486555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk
Works by James Lindsey Bird and other images of Darlington from the Borough Art Collection
Saturday 13 August - Tuesday 27 September 2016
This was the third exhibition drawn from the Borough Art Collection since Crown Street Art Gallery opened, each one has taken a particular slant on this wonderfully diverse and distinctive art collection, The exhibition attracted new visitors and positive comments -
'just been in for the very 1st time (shocking!). Wish I'd been before. My daughter (4) loved it'
'dropped in for 5 mins. Fantastic. (visitor from Herefordshire)'
' I love North Lodge Park oil painting - very romantic by Hobson, like the Old Smithy Cockerton and High Row by Gibbs and St Cuthbert's by Drinkwater. Never knew Blackwell had a mill. Now I know who Myles Meehan was and what he looks like and his works'
The Borough Art Collection contains over 500 pieces from drawings, paintings and prints to tapestries and photographs. This exhibition celebrates artists with a particular connection to Darlington and images of well-known buildings or locations, many of which have changed significantly. It includes 50 pieces of work including watercolours, oil paintings, drawings and a photo.
James Lindsey Bird (1903 - 1972) gained a place at the Royal College of Arts, where he was a contemporary of Henry Moore, and taught art at Darlington Grammar School for many years. A number of James Lindsey Bird’s pictures in this exhibition, were kindly donated to the Borough Art Collection recently, including pictures of Tubwell Row, Bell’s Place and the area around Stanhope Road and Duke Street.
Myles Meehan was a local amateur artist, (as well as being a police officer), with the Myles Meehan Gallery established at Darlington Arts Centre acknowledging his work. A painting by Ralph Leslie Swinden, who served as Principal Art Master at Darlington School of Art, is also included alongside works by practising artists, including Jackie Plews and Paul Dillon.
Works here were chosen by Robert Wootten, who has worked with this collection over 15 years. Some depict Darlington in the nineteenth century. Others depict landmarks which may have disappeared or changed in your lifetime. Whether you know Darlington or not, we hope you find the exhibition interesting.
An Exhibition of Textile Art by Helen Winthorpe Kendrick
Saturday 25 June – Thursday 10 August 2016
Helen organised a well attended exhibition opening event and a number of pieces included sold during the exhibition
Stones form the bedrock of our planet, being the substance on which we all live and survive. Stones of all varieties are used by man to build houses and roads, to create dams and other huge engineering projects and to create art. For thousands of years mankind has prized the precious and unusual rocks that nature creates. The exhibition explores the relationships between us and the stone that nature places at our command. But at the heart of the exhibition theme is a contradiction; on the one hand is the hardness of stone and the other is softness of textiles. The juxtaposition of these two extremes draws attention to the contrast between life and its need for softness and nurture and the hardness and strength of the very stones on which our lives depend.
Helen's last exhibition at Crown Street Art Gallery 'Mapped Out' was one of our most popular and attracted over 3,000 visits.
Art at AGE UK Darlington
An exhibition of work by tutor and students from AGE UK, Bradbury House, Darlington
Landscape artist Neville N. Dawson was born in Sunderland and trained at Sunderland College of Art. He took early retirement from full time teaching, but continued to teach part time and as a volunteer tutor. Students at the AGE UK group led by Neville meet at Bradbury House in Darlington and were taught good draughtsmanship and encouraged to experiment and develop their own ideas. Demonstrations and individual instruction on a one to one basis was provided. Previous experience although welcome was not essential. Meetings are informal, lasting about 2 hours with a break for refreshments. Basic arts materials were available but most students acquire their own materials, such as acrylics, watercolours, pastels and drawing materials. The exhibition was very popular and demonstrated the appeal of creative activity to all ages and the fantastic talent in Darlington.
Ceramics by Petra Lloyd and paintings and prints by Paul Dillon
A great exhibition by two established local professional artists, popular Darlington based ceramist Petra Lloyd and landscape artist Paul Dillon showed some of their recent work. The exhibition attracted several thousand visitors and both artists sold work as a result.
Paul was born in Market Bosworth in 1952 and moved to County Durham when he was 10 years old. Educated at Cleveland College of Art he has exhibited paintings and photographs in galleries through out the country for the past 38 years. As an arts professional he has worked for Durham University, Darlington Borough Council, Darlington Media Group, Cleveland College of Art and Design and Teeside Tertiary College. Paul is now a self employed Artist and Tutor specialising in Landscape painting. His last solo exhibition, Forest Light II, was the most well attended at Crown Street Art Gallery to date. Petra Lloyd creates sculptural work reflecting her love of nature, especially of birds, fish and animals. She works mostly in stoneware using a mix of oxides and glazes which enhance the character of each piece of work
There was be a special opening for the exhibition running 6pm – 8pm on the evening of Friday 8 April 2016.
Darlington Society of Arts exhibition
The gallery is looking forward to hosting a group exhibition by Darlington Society of Art, with great original work from many different artists on show. Darlington Society of Arts was founded in 1922 with the object of stimulating interest in, and also the creation and appreciation of art and craft in Darlington and the surrounding area. The society normally meet on Wednesday evenings at Hummersknott Academy, with further information available at Darlington Society of Arts.
Community Arts Project - Spring exhibition
The Community Art Project is an innovative and ground-breaking project that has been part of Darlington Borough Council's services for adults with learning disabilities since 2004. It provides an opportunity for adults with learning disabilities to try out various visual arts activities with support and encouragement from a professional artist. Those involved in the Community Arts Project exhibit regularly. Their previous exhibitions at Crown Street Art Gallery included original paintings, drawings and textiles. Presented in a professional manner and in the context of a mixed contemporary programme of exhibitions, the artwork regularly attracts favourable reviews and positive feedback and is frequently sold to private buyers.
Katherine Routledge, Darlington and Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
The Retracing Routledge exhibition helped raise awareness of particular aspects of Darlington's heritage, included some great work from young people in schools in Rapa Nui and Darlington, and was accompanied by a range of interesting talks and activity. The exhibition or associated activity, were supported by a range of organisations, business and Hummersknott Academy. The exhibition attracted over 2,500 visits
Anthropologist Katherine Routledge (neé Pease, born 1866, Darlington) sailed to Rapa Nui as part of the official 1914 Mana expedition to Easter Island. In 2014 Susie Stephen retraced the steps of Katherine Routledge, travelling from Darlington to Rapa Nui (via Southampton, Argentina and Chile). Retracing Routledge, the exhibition, is curated by Susie Stephen and retells the story of the changes that have taken place on the island, and indeed across the world, in the last century.
The exhibition opened on Saturday 28 November 2015 with a great lecture by Susie Stephens and we understand Susie may be planning a book on the project. Retracing Routledge helped to raise funds to support a young woman from Rapa Nui in accessing higher education.
Cartography for Girls
Supported by Creative Darlington, Cartography for Girls was a new exhibition developed by Darlington based artist Carol Sommer, which considered how a visual art approach can engage with and add to, critical readings of the novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch’s fictional depictions of female experience. www.carolsommer.net
BOO! Telling Tall Tales
With Peter Barron, John Chadwick, Amy Houghton, Stephen Irving, Kim McDermottroe, Liz Million, Jessica Shepherd, Stuart Trotter, Paul Wick, David Wright.
Magic, mayhem and monstrous morals abided in this interactive exhibition for children (of all ages), featuring illustrations from the world of children’s books, by popular authors and illustrators. Visitors to the gallery were invited to explore the world of make believe, fantasy and fairy tales, in an exhibition designed to suit both big kids and little kids. Crown Street Art Gallery has promoted several exhibitions by artists exploring and promoting the links between visual art, literature and libraries. BOO! was curated by Norma Kyle, and inspired by illustrations from the immersive world of children’s picture books.
Various activities were held to accompany BOO! A special opening event, staged on Saturday 12 September 2015 attracted a large family audience who heard Peter Barron read Fidgety Bridget Wrigglesworth and saw children from Stagecoach Theatre Arts School perform it. BOO! coincided with Alice in Wonderlands 150th birthday, and Crown Street Library’s birthday. A special event focused on adults, or those seeking a career in illustration was promoted on Friday 23rd September to celebrate this. Historian and author, Chris Lloyd gave a short talk on the enduring popularity of Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland and things which inspired his writing, including his connection to Croft on Tees and Darlington. Liz Million, Stuart Trotter, and Peter Barron together with Paul Wick, completed the line up of speakers giving short talks on their work.
The exhibition was also accompanied by a participatory programme, BOO! BIG DRAW: Every Drawing tells a Story, October Half Term Activities. A series of free sessions was promoted. Activities included opportunities to learn how to produce your own flip books, design characters, plot a storyline, make a zine, using text, collage and automatic drawing and drawing chance, with illustrators including Stuart Trotter and artists including Nick Kennedy involved.
Have you ever wandered into a strange place and wished you could capture part of its essence? Absorbed the colours and textures of an object and wanted to share the experience?
Images from 5 Photographers that capture the rich textural colours of objects and landscapes from the North East. Photographers Tom Jones, Colin Wilson, Sarah Morehead, Leon Maurice, Gloriana Morehead.
A Grand Tour
This exhibition was the second shown by The Materialistics at Crown Street Art Gallery since it opened in May 2012, and attracted a great deal of praise and positive comment from gallery visitors. The Materialistics led various events in Darlington during the exhibition to promote engagement in knitting and to get people involved
This was the Materialistics second visit to Crown Street Art Gallery, based on past experience expect great things. The inspiration for A Grand Tour came from the Customs House project, “A Coat for a Boat” in which a fishing coble was completely kitted out in an array of knitwear. A core group of those who were involved decided to form the Materialistics and continue to create quirky exhibitions.
In 2010, the Materialistics took the fishing coble on an imaginary tour around the world, collecting art from the countries visited. Iconic paintings and less famous pieces that represented particular regions were chosen. Some pieces took months, while others took just a few weeks. Most of them were a team effort depending on the skills needed. Some were the work of individuals.
Sponsored by the Port of Tyne Authority and following its opening at the Customs House, A Grand Tour has been on show at venues across the country, including London’s Olympia, the Harrogate International Centre, Cumbria’s Woolfest, the Newcastle Arena, Sunderland Museum and South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.
These exquisitely detailed pieces have drawn international acclaim, featuring in national and local newspapers and numerous knitting magazines and blogs. Some original pieces have now been “retired” with new works created to replace them.
What people have been saying;
"I really enjoyed calling in and seeing all the art work. All of these material pieces are wonderful!"
"What a wonderful range of textiles works. I love this exhibition – wish more people showed an interest in marvels like this, as people are missing out!"
"The minute I walked in this exhibition ‘grabbed’ me. I really enjoyed looking at the different techniques."
"Fabulous exhibition – artworks recreated using fabric and knitting. Inspiring."
"Stunning, imaginative, skilful, learned. Mind-blowing."
"Absolutely ‘blown away’ with some of the work I’ve seen today. The time and effort that must have been spent creating these ‘works of art’ – absolutely brilliant!"
"The Materialistics exhibition – it absolutely took my breath away. I loved every bit of it and applaud all the exhibitors for their innovative and artistic interpretation of the various art works – I couldn’t be more impressed! Hearty congratulations and thanks to all the exhibitors."
Colin Graham - The Mind’s Eye
Colin presented a lecture and question and answer session on a 'mind's eye' on Wednesday 1 April 2015 and made a point of welcoming visitors to the gallery, engaging them in conversation around the exhibition and encouraging people to leave comments, see below.
'A very interesting exhibition and so good to see skill & variety combined.'
'Magnificent! I'd like to own them all! A very enjoyable experience - thank you.'
'The diversity of media and technique is really impressive.'
'Privilege to witness a wonderful catalogue of such great art.'
'An excellent exhibition, this has inspired my wife and I to try.'
'Lovely. Thank you for sharing.'
'Wonderful pictures, made our morning. Great display.'
'I know what I like!! and I love them all.'
'One of the nicest exhibitions I have been to. Glad I called in.'
'Wonderful to find such a high standard of painting here in Darlington.'
'An inspirational exhibition, thought provoking and a range of different styles.'
A major exhibition of Darlington artist Colin Graham's imaginative work, containing paintings and drawings developed across the last decade, informed by the mind's eye. Born in North Lincolnshire, Colin trained at the Leeds College of Art and Leeds University, with Degrees in Book Illustration and Teaching (Art Education) with further degrees at the Open University and York University. This exhibition showed the direction his work has taken.
His professional career has been in Art(s) Education in Schools and in Colleges and Polytechnics/University. Throughout his career he has lectured on art and artists and given practical demonstrations on drawing and painting to Art Societies, in addition to judging their annual exhibitions of work. Encouraging learning in others has enabled him to develop his skills in a wide range of art mediums including Watercolour, Oils, Pastel, Charcoal, Pen and Ink, or Pencil. He is particularly interested in the important role of drawing in art.
Over the years Colin has exhibited around North Lincolnshire, in the North and North East of England and in London, including one-man shows in Redbourne Hall, Lincolnshire; The Scunthorpe Museum & Art Gallery, Galleries in Middlesbrough, Darlington and Alnwick and more recently in the The Art Works Gallery, Newcastle. He has also exhibited in the Middlesbrough Art Gallery, the Billingham Art Gallery, the Captain Cook Museum, The Station gallery, Richmond, Yorkshire and the Mall Gallery, London.
Colin hopes you found his exhibition interesting, moving and satisfying.
Working across fine art media, using both the handmade and the digital, Stitt draws upon text and technology to create thematic works that straddle installation, sound and video. By cross weaving intercultural exchanges, the work explores imperial-colonial relations in art and natural history, as 18th century Britain encountered Australia. Exposing the slippage between the unprecedented transience of contemporary space and experience, and the constructs we choose to preserve, Stitt uses impersonation and artifice to cross-examine the ways in which we frame assumptions and meaning, and in particular, the notion of displacement. Exhibition and screenings ran 14 Feb-12 Mar.
Have you ever felt neither here, nor there? Do you find that your life is in one place and your memories in another? Daphne’s artworks and archive of notions of transposition will be taking off on its travels soon, heading to Australia. She would really love your input towards an on-going archive of personal and public experiences of displacement or re-settlement. People took part simply visit the exhibition, making a response on a luggage label, and leaving it in the designated place provided.
Daphne's exhibition and the film screening event attracted positive comment from those attending, including 'I like the bird film', 'Love the exhibition ..... As good as anything at Baltic or Tate'
A Diverse Anthology
From the source of the River Tees to the mouth, Darlington Association of Photographers (DAP) visually celebrate our inheritance. Along their journey through the Tees Valley, the natural beauty of woodlands and rich pastures, industry and architecture, are recorded as signs of life and human intervention.
Exhibiting Photographers: Eddie Bishop, Geoffrey Bradshaw, Vivien Clear, Richard Collier, Geoffrey Dodds, Robert Elliot, Eric Hall, Jim Lycett, Peter Lycett, Bob McAvoy, Gloriana Morehead, Shelly Newnhan, Pauline Pentony, Keith Rowland, Janet Salmon, David Shaw, Hilary Shaw, Linda Taylor, Ted Wilding, Durham County Records Office
The exhibition was accompanied by a number of events, including photographing to a theme with guest speaker Clifford Banks, President of the Northern Counties Photographic Federation and a gallery talk on choosing images for display. The range of photography, affection for the river Tees and excellent curation from Norma Kyle made this a very popular exhibition.
St Cuthbert's Final Journey
Richard W Hardwick and Paul Alexander Knox
A fantastic exhibition by writer, Richard W Hardwick and photographer, Paul Alexander Knox, which was first seen as part of the Lindisfarne Gospels 2013 programme.
Both retraced the route taken by 9th century monks as they flew from invading vikings with the body of St Cuthbert and the Lindisfarne Gospels – and undertook a momentous journey that helped shape England.
St Cuthbert's Final Journey [external link]
The exhibition was accompanied by writing and photography events led by Paul and Richard which were very well received.