A little bit of Saatchi chic

A little bit of Saatchi chic is transforming an otherwise functional tunnel in Middlesbrough’s Captain Cook Square as Gallery TS1 comes to life this week.

Site Artist Paul Steerman has created a stunning design which will host the activities of a unique arts apprenticeship scheme over the next four weeks in Middlesbrough. Supervised by six professional artists, a team of 25 young apprentices will work on site to produce high quality art and design pieces for sale to the public.

Taking inspiration from the Saatchi Gallery ideal, the tunnel linking Captain Cook Square with the public car park has been transformed by design and light to enable making, retail and observation to take place. The space even has seating and projection screens showing animation for the duration of the Gallery, (August 19 – September 10, Tuesdays – Saturdays).

Captain Cook Square Manager Lynn Stainsby said, “I am very pleased to welcome Gallery TS1 to Captain Cook Square for such a fantastic project. I wish all the apprentices good luck with their activities and would encourage everyone to come along and offer their support for this innovative scheme.”

Project Co-ordinator, Mike McGrother said of the site design, “we wanted to create something that was accessible but practical – a meeting point for people to observe what the young people are doing – and hopefully stick around to buy! What Paul Steerman has produced is absolutely beautiful and is a fantastic installation on which art can be produced and displayed – an inspiration!”

Gallery TS1 is an arts apprenticeship scheme for young people that will operate throughout the summer holiday period. It is based on an original idea that ran in Chicago and was developed in Birmingham. The project broadly aims to motivate and inspire young people through cutting edge creative arts opportunities, developing skills, revealing talent and building self-confidence through training and ‘work type’ experience. Skills in digital imagery, stained glass production, creative writing, textiles and jewellery are being developed as the apprentices produce high quality arts products under the guidance of 6 professional artists.

Gallery TS1 was initiated by Middlesbrough Borough Council’s Cultural Services Department and is being managed by Tees Valley Arts as part of their In:volve Programme. Tees Valley Arts Director, Lesley Featherstone said,

“this is a really exciting project that offers the young people of Middlesbrough an opportunity to explore the potential of creative industry as a viable future employment prospect”.

Gallery TS1 will operate from 10am – 4pm, Tuesdays – Saturdays for four weeks from August 19th.

TVA is a participatory arts organisation, based in Middlesbrough and working across the Tees Valley, helping people change and improve their lives by taking part in the arts. TVA is a small organisation which makes a big impact in imaginative and unexpected ways.