Factory Folk Showcase @ Literary and Philosophical Society, July 2010.

rednile in collaboration with The Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle hosted a celebration event to showcase ideas and new works that have developed from the Factory Night series since 2008 and brand new ideas held in Factory Night sketch books.

As part of this event, rednile commissioned a series of New Commissions and New Collaborations to be showcased in this unique and inspiring setting.

This event was highly successful with over 150 attendees who spent the evening viewing a dynamic mix of artworks and disciplines with the consistent theme of space and place and the inspiration. Factory Nights sketchbooks were also available on the night as visitors were invited to follow in the footsteps of the Society’s founding members to exchange ideas and be inspired by the magnificent reading rooms of the Lit and Phil.

The Factory Folk Showcase Celebration Event included:

Performances by Dora Frankel Dance and Sam Goodlet inspired by Viktor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion sculpture/architectural piece.

Animations under development from Helen Edling and Sarah Tulloch who went on to deliver a Factory Night  commission as part of Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival inspired by Berwick Old Town Hall.

Performances and showcase of ‘The Old Man’ Bag for Life for Joplings – by writer Louise Bell and rednile artists.

Performances inspired by the Lit and Phil included new work by sound artist James Wyness, a new collaboration ‘Marble Dropper’ by artists Kate Stobbart and Toby Lloyd and a site specific intervention, ‘The Lost Gods of England’ by Orly Orbach.

Exhibition showcase: works by Simone Hodgson, Benjamin Lawson, Michael Branthwaite, Helen Hudson, Steve Wright, Jason Thompson, Helen Schell, Peter McAdam and Tony Redman.

Poetry and Writing: A new reading by Sarah Shaw, ‘Apollo Pavilion’ by Steve Wright, ‘The Dark Heart of Berwick’ by Samantha Cary, ‘Shop’ for Joplings Departments Store by Paul Summers, ‘One Man’s Land’ inspired by Berwick Old Town Hall by Stewart Melton and ‘E’ Optional by David Goard.

Click here to view videos from the Factory Folk Showcase event

More information on New Collaborations and New Commissions which have resulted from Factory Nights:

Dora Frankel and Sam Goodlet
Bridging the Gap is an artist based collaboration which will involve the community for  a whole year in dance, visual art and music experiences. It will culminate in a performance using movement, dance, sound , ropes and abseils celebrating the Apollo Pavilion. It will be a wild mix of grunge and medieaval summer festival and will reference Brueghel and space travel. Two dancers will move in an astonishingly high tempo and challenging show with the audience in and around the pavilion and on rafts on the artificial lake. Think Japanese floating world as seen from a contemporary manga based view! Unmissably wild and wonderful.

Louise Bell

My interest in this commission was sparked by a visit to Joplings as part of the Factory Nights project run by Rednile. It was so interesting to me to be immersed in the rich history of the Joplings store. After a small amount of digging I found some great personal stories in my own family and these led me to write the poem “The Old Man of Joplings”. Louise Bell is a writer and singer from South Shields who has tried her hand at most forms of writing but is most comfortable with poetry. She has performed her work at various events in the North East including “The Blue Room”, “Love Poetry, Hate Racism” and “Ten by Ten” and recently gained a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Newcastle University.

Helen Edling & Sarah Tulloch
Edling and Tulloch’s new collaborative project centers around the old Berwick gaol in the town hall. They are using the 16th century wall drawings made by previous inmates as a starting point for their own intervention in one of the cells. The artists will create animations using a combination of drawing, collage and objects associated with the gaol and its’ ex-inhabitants. For the final exhibition, the detritus of their activities will be left in the cell along with screens showing the animations. The artists seek to pose the question, what or who is performing? Through the mediation of the screen as ‘stage’ Edling and Tulloch can be unseen players working with traces of previous inmates presence while leaving traces of their own. The animations will show the space ‘performing’, creating a constant push and pull between the real and the imaginary, presence and absence.

James Wyness
Using hand made acoustic and electronic instruments, field recordings and a mixing desk, James Wyness will activate and energise the listening space in the Lit and Phil by responding to the incidental sounds within its Music Library. As a development of his recent in-progress conceptual series ‘five meditations in a silent space‘, in which incidental sounds of the playing space are considered as musical cues, the challenge for the improviser lies in contemplating and responding to the apparent silences. The first of the series is available online as a free .flac download at James Wyness works in the field of free electroacoustic improvisation. His current work draws on a background in performance, composition, instrumental building and environmental sound art. From 2005 – 2009 he gained a PhD at the University of Aberdeen. During that time his compositional work achieved international recognition. As a sound artist he works on long term projects, often in collaboration with other artists. The most significant work to date has been the documenting of Seville’s Holy Week processions in sound, resulting in a large scale multi-channel installation, 58 Processions.

Orly Orbach
Since her first memory of walking into her local library, Orly Orbach has regarded libraries as temples, places of mystery that offer the possibility of connecting to an ‘other’ world. After typing in the word ‘lost’ in the Literary and Philosophical Society catalogue, Orly Orbach discovered a book called The Lost Gods of England by Brian Branston.  She was inspired to make a project themed around this book, but found that it was missing. The project reintroduces the missing book back into the library collection, and with it, the lost gods of England.
Orly Orbach creates visual narratives that explore magical thinking and human interaction. She is concerned with ‘making the invisible visible’ and sets out to explore ways of building and discovering hidden narratives, often through collaborative processes with communities and in response to different environments. Her works include drawings and prints, moving-image, art-trails, site-specific and interpretive artworks for museums and galleries, publications, research-based residencies, interventions and workshops.

Michael Branthwaite
Michael Branthwaite’s work focuses on the experience of the Bingo Hall; drawn in to the repetitive calling of numbers during the game of ‘Bingo’ at Factory Nights at Mecca Bingo Wallsend he has created a video based animation of the medative experience of repetition  experienced as an onlooker and not a participant. He is also interested in the metaphor of time passing and numbers being called and how this relates to the decline in Bingo Halls across the country, the numbers will remain but maybe Bingo will not. This concern is centered on the community’s that use the bingo halls as points of meeting and conversation.

Simone Hodgson
Simone is from Newcastle upon Tyne and currently works in the Civil Service. She recently received a Masters Degree in Fine Art from the University of Northumbria. The piece is made up from three photographs taken at the Old Town Hall in Berwick-upon-Tweed. I was interested in highlighting elements of ornamentation used within the building and allowing them to become the main feature.

Stewart Melton
‘One Man’s Land’ was provoked by the Factory Night at Berwick Town Hall earlier this year. Wobbling up the spiraling steps and creaking ladders to the top of the town hall’s spire, we were rewarded with a gull’s-eye panorama of Berwick, the coast curving to Lindisfarne, and the Cheviots and Pentland Hills glowering on the horizon. The thick, wavy blue line of the Tweed cut the view roughly in half. Later, after a small refreshment, I found myself standing on the Old Bridge, watching the moonlight flicker in the water. This activated some of my long-mulled preoccupations about lines, borders and identities and from these emerged the poem. Stewart Melton is a writer, storyteller and theatre director working in London and the Borders. Much of his work involves collaborating with children, young people and adults from different communities to create new stories and performances. Theatre directing includes T. S. Eliot’s Sweeney Agonistes at the Arcola Theatre and Purgatory at the King’s Head Theatre. Assistant directing includes Hair at the Gate. Poetry and storytelling performances include regular appearances at Vayu Naidu Company’s License to Tell events, the Cambridge Storytelling Festival and Wandsworth Arts Festival. He is currently composing his first collection of poetry and writing a play about his native Aberdeen.


More information on the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle:

The Literary and Philosophical Society was founded in 1793, a place for the people of Newcastle to meet, talk and learn. It was soon established as a place where leading thinkers of the day could meet and exchange ideas; early Presidents of the Society included Robert Stephenson, Lord Armstrong and Sir Joseph Swan.

The magnificent reading rooms remain largely unchanged today and the Lit and Phil now houses historical collections covering every field of interest. Specialising in history, biography, literature, science, travel, local history and poetry, our 160,000 volumes are coupled with an extensive set of periodicals, providing an exceptional resource for both general reader and academic researcher. Our literary links continue to grow; local writers and poets enjoy the peaceful and inspirational surroundings and renowned authors perform readings and book launches at the Lit and Phil. We have a full programme of poetry readings, music recitals, book launches and lectures throughout the year. All our events are open to the general public. Keep an eye on our website for details of forthcoming events.

 FACTORY NIGHTS 2008-2010 Funded and supported by:
Arts Council England and Northern Rock Foundation, Inspire Northumberland, North Tyneside Council, Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure, Redcar and Cleveland Council Arts Development.

The Literary and Philosophical Society, Fergusons Motors and Cycles, Peter Douglas, Oceana Group, Wildworks, New Writing North, Nigel Jolly and staff at Joplings Department Store, Inspire Northumberland, Berwick upon Tweed Film & Media Arts Festival, Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, The Maltings Theatre and Arts Centre, Alison Lister and Colin Robson at Durham County Council, EDAN, Saltburn Artists Projects, Gateshead Council Conservation and Public Art Teams, Martins The Printers and Dove Marine Lab.