Real Tees Valley YouTube playlist made up of 25 films from the Real Tees Valley Film Trail. In the order they were shared on social media.
Real Tees Valley Film Trail
I’ve been volunteering with Tees Valley Arts on their Real Tees Valley project, where I’ve been engaging with members of the public and encouraging them to take time out of their day to watch the films made by young people.
The films deal with major issues such as transitioning, mental health issues, fleeing a war zone and just about being young in Teesside. What makes the films so unique is that you hear their voices, rather than how other people might misconceive them, their feelings laid bare.
“Sadie” is, for me, the moving film, having gone through darkness myself. For her to be so open about it takes so much courage and with so many people taking their own lives we need to be more open about the challenges people face.
“Luke” tells the story of a young local boy and his transition from female to male. Through the film he talks about interactions with people and their responses after finding out he has transitioned.
Growing up in a small town means that things like this are not heard of as much, so it is great to learn more about it in the local area and see the positive outcome of this young boy’s situation. When mentioning the way in which people ask about the transition he states they are not trying to cause offence, but are just curious which helps to shine the local area in a positive and forward-thinking light.
Footage is shown of the scars received due to the surgery involved in the transition which shows the real physical dedication this boy has had in becoming what makes him happy. He also mentions the hormone treatment he has undertaken and the downsides involved with it, in particular getting spots.
Through the film, he is seen to be a happy, energetic person from footage of him dancing with friends and family, to the interview segments during which he cannot stop smiling.
It is brilliant to see stories like this come from Teesside showing the residents happy and content in the life they have chosen to lead.
Join us from 10am today for our week-long take-over of the #brilliantlyboro #creativefactory space in the Hill Street Centre, Middlesbrough, where we will be working from for the next week. So if you’re in Boro and fancy popping along and meeting with us, then we look forward to seeing you.
What’s Going On
There will be a number of things happening every day – from the screening of our curated Life films, as part of Real Tees Valley, to our exploration of your memories of public art across Teesside to a reflection on the books we have published over the years – we’ll also be announcing each morning a series of special guests who’ll be joining us that day. So keep your eyes peeled for more information…
Real Tees Valley Films
If you enjoyed the of our Real Tees Valley Films then you’ll be excited to know that the #brilliantlyboro space will be the Middlesbrough stop of our Real Tees Valley Film Trail and you’ll be able to see our five films curated on the theme of LIfe.
From our foundation in 1983 until the late 2000s Cleveland and the Tees Valley Arts was one of the largest commissioners of public art in the country, yet we only have a photographic record of those commissions.
So we’ve printed those photographs and brought them to the space so that we can hear your stories and memories of these pieces of public art, some of which are no longer in place.
Over the past thirty years, we have published many pamphlets, books, anthologies and other publications to document our work. Many of these works feature the writing of the people we were collaborating with.
Did you participate in one of these projects? Did your work get published?
If so we’d like to hear your story and if you’d like a copy of the work you contributed towards, we have a number of surplus copies that we’ll be happy to give you.
I’m an illustrator who grew up in the Tees Valley, I studied my foundation diploma at Cleveland College of Art and Design and studied illustration at Leeds Arts University. I graduated last July and I am currently living in Leeds working on freelance illustration projects.
Being asked to create a map for the Real Tees Valley Film Trail was really exciting and it was so much fun illustrating buildings and landmarks from the Tees Valley, such as the Transporter Bridge, that I was familiar with. It was also great to make work for part of a creative project so close to home and be part of something exciting from the area.
Growing up in Guisborough, near Middlesbrough a lot of my interests centred around the amazing wildlife and coastline the Tees Valley has to offer. Some of my favourite ways to spend time in the area are visiting Skinningrove beach and walking along the clifftops to Saltburn or seeing the seals at Seal Sands near Middlesbrough.
I think the Tees Valley is a very inspiring place to be an artist and there are countless beautiful areas to visit, juxtaposed with the remnants of industry, often both in the same place, such as the captivating South Gare near Redcar. Growing up around nature has definitely come forward as a theme in my work and you can find more of my work at megandobbyn.co.uk or on Instagram @megdobbyn_illustration.