South Tyneside arts project launched

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An innovative new arts project has drawn together three South Tyneside organisations with three regional artists.

The Introductions project has been organised by The Cultural Spring, an Arts Council England funded initiative working to increase participation in the arts in both South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The project involves three short, paid residencies, during which the artists and organisations are working together to develop an idea for a project or longer residency.

A budget of £3,000 has been set aside for each of the collaborations to then realise the idea in a second stage of Introductions.

“The aim of Introductions is for artists and organisations to come together and gain a deeper understanding of each other’s work and explore a theme to develop into a proposal for a piece of work or plan for a long-term residency,” explained Emma Horsman, Project Director of The Cultural Spring.

“The artists we’ve chosen to work with on this project are new to the Cultural Spring, and we’re excited to be working with them,” she added.

The three collaborations are: film-maker Julie Ballands and Age Concern Tyneside South (ACTS); Northumberland-based artist and photographer Jose Snook and befriending service Happy at Home; and animator and film-maker Sheryl Jenkins and St Clare’s Hospice.

The first short-term residencies started last month and will continue until December. Jose said she was already enjoying working with Happy at Home, whose volunteers support elderly and isolated people throughout South Tyneside.

“I am excited to be collaborating with Happy at Home. Together we are developing a residency that will explore and raise awareness of loneliness and isolation; share personal stories and celebrate the friendships that are nurtured by Happy at Home.  The Introductions residency is a brilliant opportunity for me to create a powerful and meaningful body of work, while also providing Happy at Home with a testament to their valuable work,?” she said.

Julie said: “I am delighted to be working on Introductions project and to be partnered with Age Concern Tyneside South (ACTS). It’s a great opportunity for me to be an interested outsider and explore something with the organisation that will be interesting to me and hopefully useful for them and to come up with a piece of work that is born out of working together.”