The Caravan Gallery rolls into the NGCA Sunderland

The Caravan Gallery rolls into the NGCA Sunderland

In March 2015, artists The Caravan Gallery will reveal work citywide across Sunderland in conjunction with both a major exhibition of their work at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, and a new study of the city, the Pride of Place Project.

The project is the first instalment of a national tour across the length and breadth of the UK throughout 2015 and 2016, encompassing many of the country’s galleries and photographic venues including Impressions Gallery, Bradford; Ffotogallery's Diffusion Festival, Cardiff; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Museum of Lancashire, Preston; and Solent Showcase, Southampton.

The Caravan Gallery document the unseen aspects of the way we live now. For fifteen years their work has examined those practices of daily life, places or spaces, and processes of social change that the mainstream media frequently overlook. Alongside a major new exhibition, extra{ordinary}, that represents a distillation of their observations from over a decade and a half, the Pride of Place Project brings the artists into direct contact with the public to learn about secret parts of the cities they visit. The Caravan Galleryʼs photographic practice is based on travel – near and far. The artists re-appropriate what has been called ʻthe tourist’s gaze’ to see spaces, places and people that are seldom visited or thought worthy of ʻtouristicʼ attention.

The sites and sights that the artists document are often precisely those beneath a threshold of visibility. Like the very best travel writing, their work opens our eyes to those things already beneath our feet. Their work might be said to echo the approach taken by author Ignacio Vidal-Folch in his book ʻBarcelona: Secret Museumʼ. For Williams and Teasdale, the city itself is a kind of museum – a place of secret treasures – where one finds wonder, astonishment, moments of grace, and unexpected beauty. Yet this museum is itself a ʻsecretʼ even to – indeed especially to – its own residents, who bypass it daily.

The Pride of Place Project asks city dwellers to share in this project; to look again at their shared habitat, across its beauty and brutality, and at the improbable, imaginative, and intransigent behaviours that we invent when forced to share space in cities. The artists’ astonishing observational acuity will be put to the test when confronted with residents’ own lifetimes of observations about the places they live in.

The artists ask:

  • How do we live together?
  • What do we invest our time and energy in collectively – or when no-one is looking?
  • Just what is it that makes us different or distinctive?

As part of their national touring project The Caravan Gallery will spend a six-week residency at each city they visit, undertaking research into what people imagine defines them and where they live – and how far their sense of place creates their sense of self.

Find out more about the Caravan Gallery.

Find out more about the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Find out more about the Caravan Gallery at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

 

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Did you know?

Mowbray Park in Sunderland city centre is one of the oldest parks in the North East. Restored to its former Victorian splendour, it has an intriguing array of art works.

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