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Artists Inspired By Great Outdoors For Great Exhibition

Posted on 13 July 2018


Musicians and poets took to Northumberland’s great outdoors for inspiration for a Great Exhibition of the North performance being staged at Sage Gateshead this summer.

‘Backbone of Our Land’, on Saturday 28 July, will be an evening of music and spoken word exploring what it means to be Northern. In recent weeks people connected to the North have been asked to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the project, sharing why we live in the North and why we often choose to stay.

Poets Degna Stone, Kim Moore and Andrew McMillan and musicians Peter Brewis (of band Field Music), Bella Hardy, Sarah Hayes and Dan Rogers are producing the show. They visited Northumberland National Park for further creative insights into our ‘Great North’.

They were met by head ranger Paget Lazarri and Sill Engagement Officer Mandy Roberts who gave them a guided tour of the area near the Pennine Way.

Creative Producer, Degna Stone said: “The visit and tour were such a treat. From driving past the famous Sycamore Gap on the way to Hadrian’s wall, to standing in the peatlands where the weight of silence was punctuated by the sounds of skylarks and meadow pipits. It’s an incredible landscape.

“Mandy and Paget’s knowledge of the history of the National Park was astounding and little gems from the conversations we had with them have already found their way into the final piece.”

The performance will take place at Sage Gateshead at the end of the Folk on The Tyne Festival – a day celebrating folk music in the North. Backbone of Our Land is an hour-long performance and takes place in Sage Two at 6pm. It has been specially commissioned by Folkworks and is funded by Art50, a scheme commissioned by Sky Arts to explore the notion of British identity.

Other events taking place as part of Folk on the Tyne festival include the triple bill with The Unthanks and The Young’uns and The Wilsons as well as a Late Night Ceilidh with the Monster Ceilidh Band and family friendly activities with free performances, stalls, crafts and folk instrument taster sessions.