Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Everything Will Be Alright in the Stables at Cheeseburn

Thank you to all who visited the Cheeseburn Open Weekends in May and saw my audio installation 'Everything Will Be Alright' in the Stables.

As well as setting up and closing down my installation, I spent both weekends assisting the small team involved in making the event happen. My duties included greeting visitors, giving directions to all the different places to explore within the grounds, providing information about the artworks and artists, handing out maps, offering marbles to visitors to use to vote for the artist they wanted to win the The Gillian Dickinson North East Young Sculptor of The Year award, and generally facilitating the visitor experience. 

We had a remarkable number of people through the gates, and the record for the highest visitor number to Cheeseburn per day was exceeded by a significant amount. Arguably more important was the incredibly positive feedback that we received. 

Visitors commented that the friendly and informative welcome that we offered contributed greatly to their experience of Cheeseburn, and this personal approach echoed Joanna's generosity in permitting the public into her living quarters.

I had some great interactions with people who thoroughly enjoyed my installation. Some had experienced it when it was previously exhibited in Newcastle University as part of my MFA Summer exhibition, and for others it was their first encounter with the work. For me, as well as for others, the work changed with its new surroundings of the Stables. Some found it more relaxing because it was no longer in a black space, but others thought the metal dividers in the stables that cast the shadows on the wall added to the unsettling nature of the work. I was concerned that the situation may detract from the audio and confuse the audience, but this was not the case.

There will be a different sound installation "Lost Voices" happening in the stable yard on the next two open weekends on July 1st/2nd and 8th/9th. There will also be a different exhibition in the gallery. It is well worth a visit.

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