40 Days in the Dark

PREVIEW: Thursday 12 March 2015, 6pm – 8pm
EXHIBITION: 13 March – 2 April

As part of our programme to mark 2015 as the UN International Year of Light, our spring exhibition was inspired by a short film ‘Return of the Sun’. This documentary by Glen Milner looks at an Inuit community in Northern Greenland, who spend 40 days of their winter in complete darkness. To tie this in with the season of lent, we curated an exhibition which encouraged people to imagine what it would feel like to live in darkness, waiting for the moment when the sun rises for the first time.

For this group show, we invited artists to respond to the theme by exploring personal experiences of how creativity is a form of expression and hope, which can help us journey through dark places and into the light. Partnering with Newcastle and Gateshead Art Studio (NAGAS) the exhibition featured work by some of its members, as well as powerful interpretations by other artists including Lorraine Udell, Fetlework Tesfaye and Kay Steven.

Kay Steven‘s mixed media installation is triggered by her experience of darkness bringing life and hope. She curates the residual aspects of a time of illness and recovery – handwritten notes, sounds, images and textiles, creating a space in the gallery for people to step into.
Fetlework Tesfaye is an Ethiopian born artist, now living in the UK. Through her evocative ceramics and paintings she explores her experience as a refugee, the anguish of displacement and the hope that helps her journey through it.
NAGAS is a service offering creative participation aimed at enhancing the quality of life, well being and social engagement of members. Provision is for those who are, or are a risk of, experiencing mental health problems and other forms of social exclusion within their communities. For more information visit their website.