Calligraphy inspired by Lindisfarne Gospels on display in South Shields at The Customs House

A calligraphy exhibition inspired by The Lindisfarne Gospels is on display at The Customs House in South Shields.

Inspired by Lindisfarne has been created by amateur calligraphers, who meet on a weekly basis at Mortimer Community Centre.

Tutor and former Gazette journalist Angela Reed from Creative Calligraphy successfully applied for funding from Arts Council England (ACE) for a three-month project, to mark the return of the famous manuscript to its native North East at the end of 2022.

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The groups visited the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle in September and worked with two guest artists, Yvette Ja and Carrie Dennison, who taught them traditional bookbinding and Celtic knotwork respectively.

Angela Reed, left, with some of the members of her groups at the launch of the Inspired by Lindisfarne exhibition at The Customs House.

Calligraphy, bookbinding and Celtic knotwork are all key features of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

The members of both groups then spent several weeks working on individual responses to what they had seen and learned, prompted by the question: “What do you take as Gospel?”

Angela said: “It’s been a year since I first started looking into funding for a project that would coincide with the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the region, so it’s extremely rewarding to see the culmination of all our hard work.

“The groups have thoroughly enjoyed working with Yvette and Carrie and taking inspiration from their workshops, as well as the manuscript itself. We hope the exhibition inspires other people to take up a creative pursuit. You never know where it might lead.”

The exhibition is at The Customs House until Sunday, February 26.

The work was unveiled at a special preview evening in front of invited guests, including the Mayor of South Tyneside, Cllr Pat Hay.

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Inspired by Lindisfarne was supported by a £2,664 National Lottery Project Grant awarded by ACE.

Rory Williams, exhibitions and visual arts programme freelancer at The Customs House, who curated the exhibition, said: “We are very happy that this is the first stop on a whirlwind tour of three venues between South Tyneside and Sunderland.

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“It has been great bringing together people from different artistic backgrounds to learn new skills, to learn from our cultural heritage and bring a new, modern approach to it.”

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The exhibition is at The Customs House until Sunday, February 26. It will be in South Shields Museum and Art Gallery after Easter.