Artists are Chasing Shadows with fairytale show

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TWO artists have teamed up to create an exhibition for a South Tyneside art gallery. Chasing Shadows is on display at the Customs House, in South Shields. VICKI NEWMAN found out more.

The exhibition, which is on show at the Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields, is made up of fairytale-like images of bears, wolves, and other characters, and based on a series of stories specially written for the project.

Chasing Shadows exhibition at the Custom House

Chasing Shadows exhibition at the Custom House

It saw the two artists working together to explore the themes of light, darkness, shadow and colour, and this week is the last chance for people to see it in South Shields.

Gaynor, a textile artist, from North Tyneside, said: “The Chasing Shadows exhibition has been 12 months in the making. I’m so excited to have been given the opportunity by Esen Kaya, at the Customs House, to be able to express myself in this way and create such an ambitious piece of work.

“I hope the pleasure I had in creating Chasing Shadows is communicated to visitors when they come to see the exhibition. The themes explored are parenthood and childhood, love and loss, holding close and letting go.

“But the work is also about the human imagination and our love for play and fantasy. I have enjoyed collaborating with Tracey Long and the work she has made is really magical and compliments the stories so well.

Tracey, an illustrator, based in Ross-on-Wye, added: “I was thrilled to be invited to collaborate with Gaynor Devaney for the exhibition Chasing Shadows.

“The stories written by Gaynor are thoughtful, magical and so full of imagery that basing my own work on them was a complete joy.

“I hope that everyone attending the show feels the sense of magic that I felt when making the work.”

Customs House visual arts curator, Esen Kaya, said: “Chasing Shadows has been a year in the making. This isn’t anything new for us and the way our exhibition programme operates, but it’s been a long and nurtured journey for us and artists Gaynor Devaney and Tracey Long.

“We have watched and supported both artists during the development of their ideas throughout this wonderful long-distance exchange they have had.

“Gaynor wrote the three stories the exhibition is based around and created an ensemble of magical objects, creatures and soft sculptures to depict elements from the stories.

“Tracey, having never met Gaynor and never seen her work in the flesh, read the stories, and through ruminative imaginings, has created a series of exquisite and charmingly playful illustrations. All of which has resulted in, a beautiful and magical exhibition.

“This exhibition will delight anyone of any age. It explores the world in an enchanting and poetic way. A lot of the work is for sale or can be made to order. Why wouldn’t you want an ethereal shadowy lampshade with falling stars and felt birds, or a print of Bear on a Unicycle? This is a must-see exhibition.”

n Chasing Shadows is on display until Saturday.

The gallery is open from 10am to 8.30pm on performance days and 10am to 6pm on non-performance days, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Entry is free. For information, go to or call 454 1234.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki