South Shields arts project looks for World War inspiration

Alizon Bennet
Alizon Bennet

The centenary of the end of the First World War will feature in a new arts programme in South Tyneside.

The Cultural Spring’s Autumn programme will include sessions on exploring the literature of the ‘War to end All Wars,’ while other sessions will provide people with the opportunity to create textile pieces to commemorate the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

Carol Cooke

Carol Cooke

Writer Carol Cooke will lead the literature workshops - entitled In Flanders Field after the First World War poem written by Canadian Major John McCrae.

She said: “The tragedy and enormous losses endured in the First World War inspired some of the most famous – and moving – poetry ever written. The war also provided the inspiration for books, stories, films and plays and during our four weekly workshops, we’ll be looking at the varied literature that came out of such horrific experiences.

“You don’t need to be an expert to attend the sessions, just have an interest in discovering, talking and sharing,” she added.

The workshops will be held from Thursday, October 18 to Thursday, October 18, from 2pm to 4pm at Westoe Crown Community Hub in Westoe Crown Village, South Shields. There will be a charge of £2 per session.

The five Textile: Armistice 100 sessions will be led by artist Alizon Bennet, who worked on a previous Cultural Spring project for the national Processions initiative that created banners to mark the centenary of some women getting the vote.

Alizon said: “Whereas the Processions workshops were about us working together to make a banner, these sessions will enable people to concentrate on making their own individual pieces of art.

“People might be inspired by themes around peace or the role of women in war – or they might be inspired by local stories from the First World War.”

The Textiles: Armistice 100 sessions will be held each Saturday from Saturday, October 6 to Saturday, November 3, from 11am to 1pm at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery. There will be a fee of £3 per session.

To book a place on the activities, email or call 0191 427 8197.

Cultural Spring is an Arts Council England funded initiative working to increase participation in the arts in South Tyneside and Sunderland.