Studio Bursaries

After a regional call out earlier in the year we have the pleasure of introducing our two artists selected to each receive one of our Studio Bursaries as part of our Professional Development Programme in 2016/17. With support from our partners in temporary space East Street Arts each artist will benefit from 6 months of studio space, mentoring and access to professional development opportunities and visits. The two artists are Sarah Cooney and Cristian Fiscutean Rus.

Cristian Fiscutean Rus

self-portraitAbove – Self Portrait, Cristian Fiscutean Rus

 

Cristian Fiscutean Rus was born in Timisoara, in the west part of Romania, moved to England in 2011 and currently lives and works in Darlington. Cristian acknowledged his artistic talent in adolescence and attended his first art class after finishing secondary school, where he learned the basics of drawing and watercolour painting.

 

After moving to Kent, in England, Cristian came in contact with his first mentor, who encouraged him to pursue his passion and taught him how to paint using oils, a technique that the artist prefers and has continued using since. Cristian created portraits of iconic people as well as family members  and has a passion for bringing book scenes and characters to the visual world through his paintings, experimenting with colour and light.  Cristian embraces traditional art, creating recognisable images while using colour and specific brush stroke styles to create his own expression in depicting his subjects.

 

old-manAbove – Old Man, Cristian Fiscutean Rus

Sarah Cooney

sarah_cooney_santana_oiloncanvasAbove – Santana, Sarah Cooney

 

Sarah Cooney’s paintings use subtle orchestrations of colour, texture, lyrical gesture and abstract and figurative elements to translate atmospheres and moods that locate a sense of place. Painterly revisions accumulate on the canvas alongside traces of provisional marks rubbed away -in a process of sense making.

 

Sarah Cooney (b.1982 Stockton-on-Tees) completed her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London in 2008. She recently returned to Teesside following ten years spent living and working in London. She continues to develop her practice and her work has been exhibited in the UK and in Berlin, Brazil and Russia. Selected exhibitions include: ‘Making a Scene’ NN Contemporary Art Project Space, Northampton (2016), The Trouble with Painting Today’ Pump House Gallery, London (2014), ‘Copy’ Paper Gallery, Manchester, (2013), ‘Pretty Deep (inside your head)’ The Royal Standard, Liverpool (2009),  ‘Pale Blue and Green’ Permanent Gallery, Brighton (2009),  ‘Winter Salon’ Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin (2008).

 

sarah_cooney_sinta_oiloncanvas_40x30cmAbove – Sinta, Sarah Cooney

 

Stargazing Tents at Nightfall 2016

On Friday 14th October the culmination of ideas, planning, mentoring and designing came to fruition, in the form of Stellar Project’s Nightfall Event. The programme of installations and activities took place in Middlesbrough Town Centre, inspired by the beauty and wonder of the night sky.

Stellar Projects and Navigator North have collaborated to offer five emerging artists from Teesside and County Durham the opportunity to create site specific installations as content for a series of Stargazing Tents. Each artist has benefited from a bursary which included mentoring, workspace, technical and professional support.

Life on Mars, Caroline Devine

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Inspired by the latest images of the surface of Mars, Caroline Devine created a piece of the Martian landscape here on Earth. Using a mixture of textile printing, sculptural techniques and manipulation of light sources to bring her vision of the newly discovered side of Mars to life.

Wishes, Rebecca Nicholson

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The act of wishing upon stars has been around since the ancient Greeks and is still something that brings a sense of hope, wonder and magic today. ‘Wishes’ was based upon this superstition and looked at the wishes of the people of Teesside. The interactive installation invited people to write a wish upon the star and add it to the sea of fallen stars which fill the space.

Moment, Namita Vijayakumar

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Moment, a light and sound installation inspired by the Northern Lights, included a sculpture that shifted various colours and emitted mysterious sounds in order to evoke its mesmerising atmosphere. Audiences stepped inside the tent and took the opportunity to take a moment, relax and enjoy an immersive experience.

Am I Still Functional? Hope Stebbing

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Am I still functional? Explored man’s relatively recent venture into space. In a universe where cosmic leftovers litter the sky, audiences could take the chance to rummage through the barren landscape, immersing themselves in texture and light.

Infinity, Saud Baloch

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Infinity brought the feeling of gazing into outer space into the intimate sphere of the stargazing tent. Inside, lights swirled around a dark centre, evoking in miniature a sense of the infinite depth of the universe, the vast collections of gas, dust and stars our galaxy is made of.

Special thanks to our project partners Stellar Projects. It was magical evening, with fantastic responses from visitors to the event.

All photographs taken by Jason Hynes

Winter Garden Research

Throughout April and May 2016 Navigator commissioned artist/researchers Michele Allen and p.a morbid to undertake a period of research into the Middlesbrough Winter Gardens. This research will inform future projects inspired by the site, connecting the history of the Winter Garden site to issues that are still relevant to Middlesbrough and wider society today.

Morbid & MicheleMichele Allen and p.a morbid, Navigator North Researchers of The Middlesbrough Winter Garden, 2016

 

Whilst researching the project we became interested in the writings of Florence Bell and also the links which the Bell family formed with the arts and crafts movement, especially the Webbs. We found this especially interesting since this history of the Arts and Crafts movement with its pastoral and artisan values offers an alternative narrative to the conventional image of Middlesbrough’s grimy heavy industry, and are interested in exploring this in more detail connected to the winter gardens site and other locations in the area. 

We feel that the winter gardens project offers a chance to reflect on the relationship between these two different narratives and an exciting opportunity to build on our previous research, allowing us to further explore the history of Middlesbrough’s built environment and relationships with the steel industry through the philanthropic work of the ironmasters.

In addition, the range of literary and artistic skills we will bring to the project will allow us to uncover both the historical details of the Winter Gardens site and related histories whilst having an eye for images, stories and locations which could act as inspiration for creative projects as part of Navigator North’s future programme. 

Quote from Michele Allen & p.a morbid

IMG_4734Winter Gardens Research Open Day

Saturday 21st May  | Dundas Shopping Centre – Shop space next to B&M

As part of Middlesbrough Local History Month Navigator created a one day only event in a vacant unit within Dundas Shopping Centre. With a packed out shop and a last minute rush for more chairs, the shop unit was packed to the rafters with an audience keen to hear more about the Winter Garden and the research that had been uncovered by Morbid and Michele.

With a display of photographs, maps and documents related to the Winter Garden, the once empty shop had a real buzz and energy. With ferns, refreshments and an electric atmosphere, you couldn’t help but imagine how the site had once been used for the Winter Gardens.

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If you have memories to share you would like to share about the Winter Garden, please get in touch via email to info@navigatornorth.com.To continue the legacy of the Winter Garden, head over to the Winter Garden Research facebook page or Pinterest Board.