Artist Ruth Ewan to collaborate with the Laing Art Gallery
17 May 2022
Artist Ruth Ewan to collaborate with the Laing Art Gallery on a new project inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels
Portrait of artist Ruth Ewan at the Laing Art Gallery
A display of precious personal objects belonging to the people of Tyne and Wear will go on show at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, in summer 2022.
Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, These are Our Treasures is a community project by artist Ruth Ewan which invites individuals to share their stories and objects of significance.
From the historical to the handmade, spiritual and sentimental, family heirlooms or accidental finds, the objects and more importantly their stories will be sourced through a series of workshops run in libraries across the region, from Middlesbrough to Northumberland, as well as a public open call throughout the spring.
Libraries are at the heart of communities, reflecting and responding to local needs. They are a key partner in this project and play an important role in collecting people's stories and objects.
A selection of people’s stories from across the North East will be shortlisted and recorded to be represented alongside their object, in a display in the Laing Art Gallery’s Marble Hall for six months from 30 July. These are Our Treasures will form a constellation of belief and meaning, exploring the true value hidden within the objects of our lives.
The project has been conceived and developed by Ruth Ewan in response to the Lindisfarne Gospels, the most spectacular manuscript to survive from Anglo-Saxon England, which will go on display at the Laing Art Gallery, on loan from the British Library, from 17 September to 3 December 2022. Ewan was invited by the Laing to create a participatory project with local residents and communities to run in parallel with the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition.
Ruth Ewan said “I am genuinely looking forward to seeing and hearing about the objects people will select and share as part of this project. As someone who is interested in the idea of ‘history from below’ I hope the objects will come to form a collective insight into our everyday emotional lives, what we choose to value and why.”
Julie Milne, Chief Curator of Art Galleries at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: “We're very grateful for the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and look forward to working with Ruth Ewan and local communities to hear stories about their treasured possessions and the powerful impact those objects have on their lives.”
David Renwick, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are thrilled to support the people of Tyne and Wear in celebrating and sharing their personal heritage as part of this exciting project. Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will help the local community better understand their heritage and history and help others discover their own. The North is the home to fascinating heritage, which we know is a great way of bringing people together and creating a sense of pride of place, and this project is a fantastic example of that.”
The Lindisfarne Gospels will feature in an exhibition about its meaning in the world today and its relationship with themes of personal, regional and national identity. Created on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, the book represents the golden age of design and craftsmanship in Northumbria and has survived in almost perfect condition for over one thousand years.
The exhibition will begin with an immersive digital experience and include a stunning selection of early medieval treasures brought together from across Britain, representing both personal and collective religious experiences in the 8th century. A selection of paintings, drawings and photographs will further explore how art and spirituality have developed in the centuries since the Lindisfarne Gospels were created.
Throughout 2022 attractions across the North East are hosting events inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels in celebration of its display at the Laing Art Gallery in autumn 2022.
The Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition is sponsored by Ad Gefrin Visitor Experience and Distillery, which will open in Wooler in autumn 2022 and bring to life the hidden history of the 7th Century Anglo Saxon royal summer palace of the Northumbrian Kings and Queens discovered at Yeavering only four miles away – one of the 20th century’s most remarkable archaeological finds.
The Laing Art Gallery is also grateful for support from The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), The Barbour Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Headley Trust, The Kirby Laing Foundation, and sponsors, Fergusons Ltd and Tyne and Wear Metro.
To find out more visit www.laingartgallery.org.uk, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @LaingArtGallery and ‘Laing Art Gallery’ on Facebook.