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Posted By Robert. Stephenson
Heritage Tour of Stephenson Works – Michael Taylor, The Robert Stephenson Trust FREE, Saturday 26th October 2013 – Meet at Sussex Street entrance to Stephenson Works at 12pm In 1823 George Stephenson along with four other people - his son Robert, the. Quaker businessman Edward Pease, Pease’s cousin Thomas Richardson and Michael Longridge who managed Bedlington Iron Works - opened the world’s first purpose built locomotive factory at South Street on Forth Banks, Newcastle upon Tyne. Locomotives built at these works were exported to developing railways all over the world and were often the first locomotives to be seen and used in those countries. At Robert’s death in 1859 the firm was the largest employer onTyneside and by the early 1890s the works had expanded to occupy all available land on Forth Banks. The old works finally closed in 1904 and the site was takenover by automotive manufacturers George and Jobling who remained active in the building until the early 1970s, producing bicycles, automobiles and airplanes. After a period of dereliction the site was restored in the last years of the 20th century. Following this restoration, when the Robert Stephenson Trust used the building as its office, volunteers (including Michael Taylor) presented public tours illustrating the building’s history. Michael Taylor is a Trustee, Exhibitions Curator, Newsletter Editor and Webmaster of the RobertStephenson Trust. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer, Past Chairman of the North Eastern branch and Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and is North East Representative for the Panel for Historical Engineering Works, Chairman North East Heritage Panel, and Chairman ICE NE Senior’s Group. Michael was chairman of the Millennium Ponteland Pele Tower Restoration Group, Vice Chairman, Magazine Editor and webmaster of Ponteland Local History Society. A lifelong member of the Scout Association he was awarded a MBE for services to young people in 2006. This event is made possible by the kind support of the Robert Stephenson Trust.

 
Posted By Robert. Stephenson
CIRCA Projects
Space Release #18
DOES THE IT FIT
Joanne Tatham & Tom O'Sullivan

Joanne Tatham & Tom O'Sullivan, John Smith, David Dye, Fiona Jardine, Alexander Harmon, Lothar Götz,
Alex Dordoy, Nadia Hebson, Alan Michael, Chris Evans

Preview: Thursday 17 October, 6pm

17 October-14 December 2013
Thursday-Saturday, 11am-6pm

CIRCA Projects invited Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan to work with them on the final instalment of their Space Release programme at Newcastle upon Tyne’s Stephenson Works. The exhibition responds to the Stephenson Works and the surrounding area, a site currently undergoing major redevelopment by Newcastle based property developers Silverlink Holdings. DOES THE IT FIT is an interrogative response to this situation that, amongst other things, considers the complex and nuanced relationships between re-generation and art.

The Stephenson Works is an historically significant building currently being used by a range of different organisations. A number of design companies have offices there and the space also provides a venue for cultural and food events. CIRCA Projects programme of exhibitions itself fits within a wider cultural agenda promoted by Silverlink Holdings.

DOES THE IT FIT positions a new work by Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan alongside a curated programme of works and talks. This schedule of exhibitions and events has been devised by Tatham & O’Sullivan, working with CIRCA Projects, as a response to both the context of the site and the commission.

In common with many of Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan’s works, their new commission comprises of a number of choreographed elements and uses a range of forms and approaches. Two constructed structures, sited on the factory floor and the mezzanine echo the recent and original architecture of the site and engage with the buildings current use and status. A second presentation comprises of a series of photo-works of composed subjective encounters with civic space within Newcastle. Finally, a printed text re-positions information relating to places, people and organisations connected both directly and indirectly to DOES THE IT FIT at the Stephenson Works. These seemingly disparate facts build a narrative that becomes increasingly coherent as a more complex picture emerges around the relationships between art and public space.

DOES THE IT FIT will be accompanied by a series of talks and screenings from Nadia Hebson, Fiona Jardine, Lothar Götz and Chris Evans. Each of these will follow through a theme or idea relating to the space and the commissioned work, from mural painting to corporate identity. Alongside this programme will be a cumulative exhibition of work by David Dye, Alex Dordoy, Alexander Harmon and Alan Michael. This series of presented works encourage a viewer to consider modes of art-making quite different to the demands of public engagement and the redevelopment of urban space.

Close by to the Stephenson Works and just visible through the windows of the factory floor is a high rectangular water tower. Given the vicinity of this structure, John Smith’s The Black Tower functions as a wilful curatorial device, drawing attention to the site and the choreography of the project.

Heritage Tours lasting around one hour will take place at 12 noon on:
Saturday 26 October by Michael Taylor, Robert Stephenson Trust.
Saturday 07 December by Ian Ayris, Urban Design and Conservation Team at Newcastle City Council.
 
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Robert Stephenson Locomotive on display at the Paris Exhibition in 1867


 

 

 
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