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Writer’s Residency: Day Six

August 20, 2013

Day Six and over half way through the residency already!
Today I was greeted with a flurry of entries for the ‘One Poem for Teesdale’ project. Half a dozen were by poets living in Teesdale who are inspired by the river, the halls and castles, and changes in the landscape wrought by the seasons. Good to know that the dale still nurtures so many creative people.
Staffing the gallery today is visual artist Brighid Black who is preparing a new Teesdale Tale entitled ‘The Vavasour Girl’. The tale is based on an effigy in Cockfield church where the Vavasour family were lords of the manor seven hundred years ago. The effigy is said to represent an abandoned servant girl who drowned herself in the moat of Cockfield Hall.
I find it uncanny that the male character in the story had a similar upbringing to the protagonist in the mediaeval tale which I am redrafting for the 1000 Creations exhibition. But perhaps that was once true of all young people who were born and raised at the same time and in the same place.
Brighid’s story is beautifully illustrated with hand-printed lino cuts and will be on display in the gallery in time for the exhibition which celebrates the return of the Lindisfarne gospels to the North East.
Brighid lives and works in Teesdale, and creates digital videos and 16mm film as well as producing prints and artist’s books. Her work has been screened and exhibited both nationally and internationally and can be viewed at http://axisweb.org/artist/brighid-black.
The theme for this week’s workshop on Thursday is ‘telling the story of objects.’ Participants are invited to bring in objects which have a history behind them. I’m not expecting any effigies but have been surprised by what people have brought to similar workshops in the past. Not unlike some of the items which appear on the Antiques Roadshow programme. The main difference is that I ask people to bring their items wrapped so that we have to use our senses to guess what they are before we find out more about them.
Creative writing workshops start at 10a.m. in NeST gallery, 25 Newgate, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham and cost £9.

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