Skinningrove Artworks Celebration Exhibition

An exhibition celebrating artist Derek Mosey’s residency with the Skinningrove community is taking place at the Riverside Building, Skinningrove, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm on Thursday 24th July 2008.

Tees Valley Arts and the Environment Agency are working in partnership delivering a “creative consultation” on the issues surrounding flooding with the Skinningrove community.

The project aims to find new ways to engage with the community about flooding and flood risk. The first stage has involved local artist, Derek Mosey, delivering art workshops with the play scheme and youth groups at The Riverside Building. These workshops have involved working with driftwood and other flotsam to explore the processes of the proposed flood defences. The workshops have produced some superb artwork including colourful mosaic fish and driftwood picture frames which display images of the proposed flood defence site.

A fish supper was held to celebrate the work by the children and young people with an exhibition of their work and, yes, fish and chips for the thirty five children, young people, parents, play scheme and youth club staff and other community members who attended the event. The event was very well received (aided by a liberal dashing of tomato sauce) providing an opportunity for Derek to launch the next phase of the project.

Since the fish supper Derek has undertaken the role of “roving artist” which involves talking to Skinningrove folk and developing artwork that explores memories, thoughts and feelings relating to Skinningrove Beck past, present and future. Derek has also been holding willow weaving workshops, creating sculptures inspired by local legends such as The Skinningrove Merman and other aquatic themes. The exhibition will showcase a range of artwork created during the project.

Tees Valley Arts Project Co-ordinator Tim Coyte commented

“This project has been very successful. The Skinningrove community have explored Environment Agency proposals in a creative and exciting way which is a very meaningful and engaging approach to community consultation. The exhibition is an excellent opportunity to celebrate Skinningrove’s creative community.”

The artworks have been created as part of a wider Environment Agency project that is looking to install a new flood defence structure to reduce flood risk within the Skinningrove village.

The project is funded by Northumberland Regional Flood Defence Committee’s Local Levy, which is raised by local authorities and is used to fund projects that might not be eligible for national funding, or to enhance parts of schemes that are nationally funded. They are projects that have great local importance to smaller communities and the Committee.

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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.