Sunday, January 16, 2011

News Flash!

News Flash! – A selection of Photographs taken from Dave Jamieson’s 34 year career as a Press photographer with the Evening Gazette.

Is it art, I wondered, as I arrived at We Are Open's latest photography exhibition. The Gazette is known for many things, but not particularly for an artistic flair when it comes to their photography. What I was met with was a wonderful combination of subtle humour, intimate moments, animated expressions, and dramatic events, captured perfectly in iconic black and white. Of course its art, how could you ever doubt it?

Every photograph has a narrative, a story, a sequence of events leading up to a one-off snap. This exhibition is an example of when documentary photography is done well, it can draw you back to a time and a place, and leave you feeling nostalgic for something you never even experienced in the first place. I’m far too young to remember half of the events or people in these photographs, but I know of them…My grandma told me about that! My mother was there! I know that street! I’ve been there! I’ve read about that, my dad has a photo of himself at that exact same place!

What we have here is a brief history of the North East in stunning press photography, every budding photographer should go and see how it’s done properly, and everyone else should just go see it. Ask Dave Jamieson for a guided tour.

It’s our history, and it’s never looked so good.

We Caught up with Dave Jamieson for a chat about his exhibition.....

We Are Open: So tell us a bit about how the exhibition started, it was in Stockton before coming here wasn't it?

Dave: I held this exhibition over in Stockton before Christmas, it was very successful. There is a lot of my work from the 34 years I was at the Gazette as a press photographer.

What started this exhibition off was the talks I was giving to camera clubs about press photography, what sort of pictures were needed…etc. These were some of the pictures I was showing to them, and I thought, why not exhibit them?

We Are Open: Do you have a Favourite picture?

Yes I do, believe it or not it’s this one that I call ‘The Cannon Street Kids’ which I took years ago when Cannon street was just being knocked down. One day I saw these kids playing there and I just thought, they’ve got great faces, and to me it’s just got quality, the scruffiness, the look on their faces...

And then there was this one with the elephant, I just had the idea of what it would be like to be a mouse or worm…

We Are Open: Did you go stand under the elephant?

I Lay down under the elephant! On the ground and shuffled underneath, then got his trainer to shout. When he lifted his leg up and I pushed myself right under there very fast, took the pic, then got out.

We Are Open: Were you sent by the Gazette to take these? Or was it on your own initiative?

A lot of them were my own initiative, just sudden ideas you come up with, like the 'Mothers Day' one……

We Are Open: The guy with the flowers?

Yes. That was mothers day, I saw him walking around Stockton for ages and I kept thinking….I know I’ll do with him, so I went and bought those daffodils. I found him with his mates and I asked him for a picture, He said nah. So I said I’ll tell you what I’ll give you two quid …..ALL RIGHT! He said…Haha.

In fact, not long after that he was in the papers again, he dived into the Tees at Stockton to save a guys life. And about 8 – 10 years ago, he got in the wrong crowd and was murdered over drugs.

We Are Open: Did they use this picture in the Gazette?

Oh Yes

Others like these sports ones you get sent to do. This kickboxing picture, he was going in for the European kickboxing championships, so I sort of thought up the idea of him training with British steel at Redcar in the background.

We Are Open: It’s very iconic.

I was very please to get that, you have to imagine in those days we didn’t have great photographic equipment. We didn’t have digital cameras with super lenses.

We Are Open: Did it take a few shots or did you get it first time?

I was pretty lucky, we worked it out first, I got him to stand, I focused the camera, and got him to jump. It took about five or six shots.

Then you’ve got other (pictures) where you suddenly see something and you just take it, that’s what you’ve got to do.

We Are Open: Some of them are quite dramatic, you must have had to be on the scene very quickly.

That was lucky that one, A night club which also had the bowling ally up Linthrorphe road caught fire. It was a Saturday, and I was chief photographer at the time.

I’d nipped to a bar for a couple of pints and I heard this boom and someone ran into the bar and said, get out there, there’s a fire….

So I ran up the road, it was really dramatic, you could feel the heat from where we were standing. After that I went to the top of the tower at the university and did a long shot from up there in black and white.

We Are Open: I never realised so much of Middlesbrough has been on fire at one point or another.

We Are Open: So, have you always got your Camera with you?

Yeah, Always carry your camera with you, even if its one of the smaller ones. I always have a camera with me.

We Are Open: Who’s this?

This was from the New Port Jazz festival, which was at Ayesome Park in 1978

The Newport Jazz festival was a big thing in London, there was a Middlesbrough councillor who was really into Jazz and he got an arrangement where once they’d done their show down in London, they would all then come up to Middlesbrough the following day. Of course we got some of the biggest names in jazz, Buddy Rich, he was the best jazz drummer in the world at the time. There’s a picture of Lionel Hampton who was on the xylophone, Ella Fitzgerald there, and down there is a snapshot of a couple there who were kissing in the dug out.

We Are Open: There are elements of humour in your work, in a lot of your photos.

Yes I try to do that, its not all doom and gloom, again this photo was my idea, I thought well they’re iron monsters, and the steel industry in Middlesbrough was disappearing, and the shipping industry, and this was my idea of it devouring the industry.

We are Open: It’s like there's a little narrative in the pictures.

This is Billingham Festival, I was lucky with this one, this was the Russian Ambassador who was there to give a speech. He was over the other side of the room, when I went round the corner ( the room was really hot ) and saw this little dancer had fallen asleep. So I got the Russian ambassador to come and look over him although he was looking at the pictures…

That there was an Israeli girl who just looked so beautiful, she was just stood looking at something, I just put a long lens on to diffuse the background and make her stand out.

This picture was published in the World Press Photos Yearbook. Every year photographs come in from all over the world…Its quite an honour to be published.

(At another wall of the exhibition)

Round this corner we’ve got a bit of royalty, (this photo is of) the Duke of Edinburgh at Preston park, and the rain started and no one bothered about the Duke. They all stuck their umbrellas up and left him to get a soaking. (The Duke is sat surrounded by people with umbrellas, and is indeed getting a bit wet)

Here is the young Prince Charles, in Middlesbrough.

We Are Open: Was he opening something?

Yes he was opening the…I cant remember the place…(Charles is peeking around a door and smiling) The reason I got that expression was...well its all very formal when you’re with royalty, and he was just going in this door here when a woman further up shouted “ CHARLIE” and he sort of heard it and he came out like that to look and see who it was.

We are open: And you got him?

Yep I got him.

If you want to see the whole exhibition of Dave Jamieson’s work, it is currently at The Pop Up Gallery ( 148 Linthorpe Road) until February the 5th.

Open Week days (and Saturday) 10 til 5

Blogged with thanks to Dave for patiently talking me through his photos.

by Aimee Charlotte.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Psyche Christmas Fair Stalls!

Hello Everyone!

'We Do' are working with Psyche this year to put on a Christmas Fair throughout the day on December 10th and 11th.

If you are interested in having a space/stall to promote and sell your products then please get in touch. The cost will be £25 per day plus Vat.
Both We Do and Psyche will be promoting the event in advance! So its guaranteed to be bustling with Christmas shoppers!
This is a great opportunity for local creative businesses!

The event aims to attract pop up shops throughout the store on both days that will enhance the festive shopping experience. Steve Cohrane MD is also keen to support other independent businesses and give them an opportunity to market themselves to a new audience.

This has already been tried at Middlesbrough Fashion Week in May and it worked really well.

All you need to do is get in touch with Lisa Holt

Please email/call/write to:

Lisa Holt

We Do Marketing | Multi Media Exchange | 72-80 Corporation Road | Middlesbrough TS1 2 RF

Mobile: 07814 395590

Tel: 01642 224706


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Workshops at Pop Up Gallery

Hi All, Rednile and their resident artists will be running some free workshops
while at the Pop Up Gallery (148 Linthorpe Road)
They don't cost anything, so come along to the Pop Up Gallery and join in!


Nail Art with Nails Republic
Come along and find out how to turn your nails into little canvases
with nail painting techniques.
Friday November the 26th
10 ~11.30am

Knit one Pearl one
Knitting workshop with a twist, using unusual materials to create
artistic styles and patterns.
Friday November the 26th
1.30 ~ 3.30pm

Mold a Memory
Michael Branthwaite is running a session that invites you to
bring along a small item which has personal significance to you
You will then learn how to cast and replicate using the item.
Thursday December the 2nd

There will also be a Final Showcase Exhibition on Friday 3rd December 6-9pm at the Pop Up Gallery, to showcase work produced during the residency and workshops.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Coming soon to We Are Open, Rednile.....

We invite you to join us at the Opening Exhibition of
rednile HEART Teesside

Friday 12th November, 6-9pm @ WE ARE OPEN, Pop Up Gallery on 148 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough
(and join us afterwards for drinks at Blu Bar).

What creative skills are present or embedded in Teesside? As part of the ‘We Are Open’ Pop Up Gallery, rednile are taking inspiration from local artists, non artists and businesses to draw out their approaches to creative expression and question the categorisation of the artist, designer, maker and non artist.

This exhibition will provide the inspirational backdrop for a 3 week residency in the Pop Up Gallery for rednile and local invited artists. Work featured in this Opening Exhibition includes photographs, paintings, prints, installation and displays by Neida Pearson, Margaret Williams, Hugh Mooney,
Feloura Moghadamy, Sharon Mcgonigal, Claire Ford, Adam Hogarth, Jemma Gibson, rednile artists Suzanne Hutton, Janine Goldsworthy and Michael Branthwaite plus information, installations and images from local creative businesses.

Refreshments will be provided and you will also have the chance to sign up for free creative skill based workshops taking place during
rednile HEART Teesside project in the Pop Up Gallery.

rednile HEART Teesside is supported by Middlesbrough Council, ERDF and Redcar and Cleveland Council

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Time and Place, Hither and Thither, War and Peace, exhibition review and interview

"Time and Place, Hither and Thither, War and Peace....We bring you a visial conversation (without words). Come and find out what that means...."

....And of course we did go, here's what we found out....

The Pop up gallery stands out on Linthorpe road tonight, brightly lit for an exhibition by the artist collective GnU AgB. Middlesbrough’s creative lot are braving the cold and even the dark to attend the opening of Time and place, Hither and Thither, War and Peace’

GnU AgB is a non-profit, art collective consisting of artists, illustrators, designers from across the UK. They actively work together on projects and provide support for individual or smaller group projects.

The Pop Up Gallery is a small, but perfectly formed mini-gallery in an enviable location on Linthorphe road. Comfortably retro and happily unpretentious, its public-friendly and ideal for this young collectives show.

“Time and Place…” consists mainly of contemporary graphic design based art; inside we found a whole range of work by different artists in different media, colour, style shape, format and size.

This exhibition is running parallel to one of the same name in Newcastle, having not experienced Newcastle’s, I can’t judge which I prefer, but they would be hard pushed to match the diversity and passion these images convey.

But with such a large collections of different artists and points of view compressed into such a small space, was it over whelming for the audience?

“It’s all very interesting,” said one visitor, “The dislocation adds to the view of the work as a form of conversation.”

As we looked around, we couldn’t help getting a political, revolutionary vibe from the work. If it is to be viewed as a conversation, then it would be one that started light and flirty, a dash whimsical, then headed straight into angry talk about the state of the world today, with sinister undertones, and abstract comments.

Who’s to say that’s a bad thing? Art is nothing if not a social commentary. At this point I’m going to stop reviewing and urge you to go see “Time and Place…” for yourselves.

148 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough. Open daily 10 til 5.

Later, after the Opening night, We Are Open caught up with curator Dan Rad (cool name) to talk a bit more about the Art of “Time and Place…”

We Are Open: Hi Dan, can you tell us a bit about the whole concept of the exhibition?

The exhibition, what we have here is a collective of artists based across the united kingdom and from abroad now, including American and recently Japan, there’s a Japanese artist involved, we work primarily within the graphic design format, with variations within that of course, print making digital media linear drawing and also forms of photography.

We Are Open: Are all the Artists based in Teesside?

Well, we have two exhibitions running at the moment, ones in Newcastle, and there’s this exhibition based in Teesside, a proportion of the artists are from, or have lived in Teesside or studied at Teesside university, such as Norma Kyle, Myself, Michael Hall, Karan Lewis, Adam Hogarth and Steven round.

We Are Open: So is the Art inspired by Teesside?

It’s inspired by a theme we have running, we sent out a proposal to everybody, which was Time and Place, Hither an thither, War and Peace….So I wouldn’t say it is Teesside generically, but more of a running theme and conversation between the artists.

We Are Open: Were you concerned about curating an exhibition with some many different styles and media?

Within this space? No, because we have so many different variations in media, and formats and such, this space has given us an invaluable opportunity to display them one by one next to each other. Because everybody was working from the same starting point, even though they’re varying in style and imagery they’re all in conversation with each other at the same time.

We Are Open: So, if it’s a conversation, what do you think its saying?

That’s an interesting question, it think there’s a lot of stress between the work from what I perceive so far I think anxiety about socio-political issues at the moment, hence in my work, news articles that create the UK (Dan’s work is a large outline of the UK made from words and phrases) and are related to issues at the moment, there are a few artists that have gone off on a tangent, doing more abstract forms of expression

We Are Open: So what are you guys hoping to take from the We Are Open Experience?

Personally I’m giving myself an active opportunity to run my own exhibition space, I’ve never really had the chance outside an academic root. Generally I think with the We Are Open scheme and the Pop Up Galleries it gives us the freedom to work as a collective of people in a neutral space.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Non-We Are Open Exhibition....

Hi all, Just a bit off info about the new exhibition opening in Middlesbrough Tonight.... It's not by We Are Open, BUT We like to support Our Boro Art Scene.

Here not There

Running from:
29 October-02 December 2010

Upstairs above the Olde Young Tea House

84 Grange Road
Tees Valley

The exhibition will include works by Middlesbrough based artists Adam Clarke and Diane Welford alongside German born, Glasgow based artist, Michael Stumpf. The majority of works in the exhibition have never seen before in the UK and include four new commissions.

Set over three rooms, disused office space in Middlesbrough town centre, two striped of their previous office space attire to showcase Original Artwork, the third (The Lamp Room) will house a temporary library, writing desks and space to share. An entire wall has been dedicated to a new site specific process drawing by Adam Clarke, other wo a new series of furtive pen and ink drawings by Diane Welford and two new commissions by Michael Stumpf.

To accompany here not there a limited edition screen print and catalogue will be available at £40.00 and £2.00 respectively.

This exhibition was initiated by Adam Clarke as a positive response to the ever increasing gap between the artist and museum or commercial galleries. Here not There is an alternative space that offers flexibility and responsiveness to new artistic trends that institutions do not. Here not There strives to show that artist’s can and should look to be more intuitive at creating their own success. The established systems already in place do not always allow for this level of exposure. An essential part of this is The Lamp Room, a space for emerging communities to meet.

Exhibition preview event will take place 29 October at 6 - 9pm with the exhibition continuing until 02 December 2010. Anyone interested in doing it for them themselves and getting involved should join the here not there facebook page.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Show @ The Gallery

Look At This! Its coming to our little Pop Up Gallery on Friday! Drop by if you're on Linthorpe Road (Middlesbrough)

Here's the facebook event if you wish to attend the opening!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Zine Launch At Writers Block!

Local Art Zine 'Making it look Accidental' is launching its first and second issues this week at Writers Block!

Making it look accidental is an underground look at Middlesbrough from the perspective of two, somewhat jaded, ex Art Students. Funny, sad, touching and confusing, it covers the joys of CCTV cameras, 'interesting' local art, Reviews and interviews, cartoons and articles written by the terminally mad that no one would ever dream of publishing.

Also launching its second issue at the event is 'Im Afraid of Everything' a zine comprised of funny, dark and twisted short stories by writer Michael Hann, illustrated by John Chadwick.

We promise you we'll be selling a selection of local zines by Teessides finest underground Artists/Writers/Poets, Short film screenings, booze, slightly sinister poetry and short story readings, ART NETWORKING (come and maybe meet the next person you'll collaborate with) some more booze (perhaps wine), music, some stand up comedy, a selection of lamps for you to look at and enjoy at your leisure and lovely art.

You're welcome to come along, Friday the 22nd of October 7pm til 9pm at Writers block HQ (95-97 Albert road)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Facebook Page for updates!

Psssttt......hey, guess what?

We now have a community page on Facebook, So we can keep you updated via status and pretty pictures and eveything else.


Be our friend. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sarah Bennett Opening At the Pop Up Gallery

Currently in the Pop Up Gallery is Sarah Bennett with an exhibition of romantic costume design.

*Kindly modelling the Corset with finger details and Crinoline for the photos is Steph.

The exhibition charts three years worth of work from her Degree and clearly shows Sarah’s progression from creating historically accurate costumes to a designer of fantastical corsets and vamp inspired dresses in red satin.

We Are Open: This is great, we love dresses, hats and corsets! What were your inspirations for all of these costumes?

Well firstly, I love the Goth style, not the skulls and cross bones, more classic gothic. I love black, red, this (Red Dress with Crinoline) is basically Victorian in style, the shape is correct, the opening is historically accurate, but I wanted to give it a fantasy theme, it has a bit of a vampire thing going on.

I’ve never made anything like it before and it was just something I was interested in.

I did a 5 week work experience at York theatre royal, they were working on Wind in the Willows, the costumes were very advanced…they showed me different ways of doing things. I learnt a lot of different techniques. Our first two years (during the Degree) were purely constructional, re-creating 18th century corsets etc.. No design work, the third year stuff is all my own ideas.

We Are Open: What about this chap over here? (Mannequin dressed remarkably like Henry the Eighth)

Oh him? He was inspired by an oil painting from Auckland castle at bishop Auckland, He’s Tudor, there’s a collection of paintings there which are quite biblical, they wanted us to create a costume from the painting. He’s made with hand painted fabric, with freehand gold thread details done on a sewing machine, all been finished to a really nice standard, nothing will happen to it, you can wash it wont fray or damage. These (mannequins in costumes) are all made from historical patterns, its pretty much spot on. The princess dress is from 1460…

We Are Open: The hats really pretty…

The hat is really uncomfortable, it’s supposed to be worn at an angle, and its really hard to keep on.

We Are Open: Do you like the Pre- Raphaelite style?

I do actually, I like the style, I like going to auctions and buying junk, a lot of the pictures are from my house, lots of fantasy, romantic Pre-Raphaelite prints and calendars.

We Are Open: So what are your hopes for your time in the Pop up Gallery?

I’d like to see what happens in the next year, I think this is just testing the publics reaction, and to see if there’s a market. I’d like to make someone something special, a gown or outfit or wedding dress, something for a themed event made especially for them, a bespoke service. It’s not dressmaking, its costume making! I’d love someone to come in and ask for a corset, something fun! I like to be free and break the tailoring rules a bit.

We Are Open: Great! Ok, sum your entire practice up in one sentence…..

I enjoy the fantasy and I love sparkly things!

Sarah Bennett Costume Design is now on at the Pop Up Gallery on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough. Pop in and see, weekdays from 10 til 5.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We Are Open Talks to Designer Michelle Parratt

Opening today at the Pop Up studio on 9 Newport road is Designer Michelle Parratt with her collection of unique jewellery, fine art canvases and beautiful handmade scarves (We particually liked the scarves, we had our eye on them all the way through the interview :D)

We Are Open: So, tell us a bit about your background in design?

Well, I’ve got a BA (Hons) in interior textiles and floor coverings, specialising in floor covering design. I came up North 11 years ago working for the commercial and residential markets, So far I’ve worked for two design companies, (Amtico ltd and Armstrong World Industries)

We Are Open: Impressed! What influences your Art work?

I love looking at architecture, because of my background in surface design, I love incorporating the

texture and patterns and building layers on the canvas. I work in mixed media, I

love to draw but also incorporate that abstract modern feel, I like using gold leaf, acrylics, I started doing jewellery, I make my own beads in polymer clay. I like to try and keep my jewellery and my art similar in both colour and theme, I try to be individual do something different to what everyone else is doing, some of it is a little bit wacky, unusual and quirky.

We Are Open: I like those scarves….

The scarves are handmade too! I customise them, adding buttons and beads, Arty scarves with a little twist!

We Are Open: How’s it been setting up a shop for the first time?

At home its difficult to see how (all the art) is going to come together in the shop, but the pinks and purples in the canvases have tied in well with the shop colour, I’m quite pleased with it.

We Are Open: The shop opens today, how do you think people are going to react to your work?

I’ve already had a lot of interest before we’ve even opened!. On Saturday we were in the back room and we heard a rattle someone was trying the door, we came out and there was a big massive crowd, it was scary! A lady spotted some of my stock in the window and placed an order for some handmade buttons. I think my art works well as gifts, that’s always what I intended it to be, I love the gift shops in Yarm, that’s what I love about the north east, all the quirky little towns and gift shops. It’s really affordable art! The canvases are a little bit more expensive, but it’s all original.

Visit The Pop Up Gallery Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm @ 9 Newport Rd Middlesbrough

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Post residency interview ‘He is Dead and He is Going to Die.’

'I took to dribbling down my front' Oil on wood

“Playfully descriptive titles cannot hide or disguise the melancholy sense of loss, impermanence and dislocation haunting Sebastian Trend and Adam Hogarth’s work.”

Adam Hogarth and Sebastian Trend have been residents at the Pop Up Gallery since the 14 September, showing their multi-media exhibition of screen prints, photography and new video pieces

With the end of their residency at the Pop Up Gallery drawing near, we caught up with Adam Hogarth to talk about how their exhibition ‘He is Dead and He is Going to Die’ has been received in Middlesbrough.

We Are Open: So, for anyone who missed your exhibition, could you describe the influences and techniques behind the work?

Ok, so obviously the collection of work is called “He is dead and he is going to die”
and it references Roland Barthes' book about the essence of photography, the books called ‘Camera Lucida’ and is concerned with the ‘domestic photograph’

The process pretty much starts with photographs, family photographs, but it is the domestic photograph, so its not necessarily just family, there are pictures of pets as well, and ex girlfriends, this is the starting point for the two different sets of mine and Sebastian’s work.

Sebastian is concerned with the impermanence of photographs, he paints the photographs in with bleach then they’re re-interpreted into oil paintings. He’s really interested in having a dripping quality, that’s why he started using bleach in the first place, it give his work a viscous quality, he uses layers of gesso so it almost looks like wet paint.

(Adam) Mine is screen prints, my work is more interested with sentimentalities of imagery, some of my work has an obsessive streak, so I’ll do things like repetitive tasks, a lot of my work was animation, drawing similar cells over and over again, or the dart board where I’ve been throwing darts at an object loads of times, or even the screen printing process which is a repetitive process. My work titles reference dart slang, there’s ‘Three in a bed’ which is a darts term for 3 darts in one number, diaper dart, black dog and madhouse which is a double one finish.

'Three in a bed' Screen print

We Are Open: Tell us a bit about the new installations?

(Adam) My film is a photograph that’s been placed on a dartboard, and had three darts thrown at it, for every three darts that hit it, its been scanned into a computer, the process is repeated, a few thousand times, then its turned into a stop frame animation. Sebastian’s films are photographs that have had bleach pored onto them, the whole emotion of the photograph slowly taken off the face of the photograph, so by the end of the film, you’re just left with a blank photo.

We Are Open: So how have you found the residency? Has the space worked out well for your exhibition?

It’s a good space, well lit and in a good location! You get plenty of people walking in; it’s a good place to respond to as an artist. We’ve had this exhibition shown in Narc magazine, we’ve had a lot of punters coming in, commenting on how good it is,
The opening night was really nice as well!

We Are Open: Do you think having a Pop Up Gallery exhibition has helped you as an artists?

At the moment we’re just in a position where we’ve graduated and just starting to exhibit on our own and figuring out our own practice without external support. This kind of exhibition helped build on that really, build up to the next stage as an artists.

We Are Open: So what next now the exhibitions finished?

(The Art) is probably going to get taken back to the studios and used for my next pieces of work, so this dartboard piece with the picture in the middle (“Stadium”) that’s going to be used in a series of screen prints I’m going to produce, that’s called around the clock, it's going to be pictures of the royal family, with darts thrown at them. So, yeah, it’s just back to the studio for us to get on with making work!

Friday, October 1, 2010

We Are Open is now on Twitter!

Keep up to date with the latest creative adventures in Middlesbrough, follow us!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Writers' Block are based at Pop Up Arts Space: 95-97 Albert Road, Middlesbrough

Friday 3rd September


Writers’ Block is incredibly pleased to be able to present a day with MARC PRICE, director of highly-acclaimed made-for-£45 zombie feature Colin. Join Marc for…

1pm Zero-Budget Special Effects Workshop
Pretty self-explanatory. Colin cost £45 (did we mention that already?) and it's brim-full of gore, make-up, gunfire and bits of body. How did he do it? Come along to find out.
3pm Flip for Horror Challenge
The first Writers' Block "Flip for Film" challenge. With Marc's expert guidance we will write and shoot at least one short horror film in just three hours, using our Flip cameras and your ingenuity.
5pm-7pm Film Screening TBC
Marc will choose a film to be screened while we order and scoff tasty takeout foot... uh, food... Basically we’ll order pizza and watch a movie, and Marc will talk us through it.
7pm Marc Price Q+A
Marc Price wrote and directed Colin, a practically zero-budget feature which brings a new angle to the zombie movie genre. Made with inventiveness and enthusiasm, problems had to be solved using creativity rather than cash.
How did he do it? Why not ask him yourself?
8pm Screening of COLIN
The most touching film about a decomposing corpse you'll see all year ****
Colin is bitten by a zombie; he dies and returns as one of the undead. We follow him as he wanders through suburbia during the throes of a cadaverous apocalypse. Through his encounters with objects, places and people, we learn who Colin was and more pertinently, what he has now become. Including a broad daylight zombie versus human street battle, an epic housebound siege and bags of gore. Colin is the must see Zombie phenomenon of the year.

£12 SPECIAL EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT for the whole day if you book before midnight on Friday 27th August

Saturday 4th September


We’re writing a feature film as a community, and it’s never too late to get involved. Next session will see us writing a beat sheet for the film, while eating chocolate brownie. ALL WELCOME - and we'll warn you, as soon as you're through the door you're classed as a writer...

£3 (incl. hot drinks and home-baked confections) 10am – 1pm. Pay on door.

Sunday 5th September 10am - 4pm
Writers' Block Sweding/TEESing Day
Location: Writers' Block

Ten teams of up to four people will gather at Writers' Block at midday. Each team will be provided with a Flip camera ( and two local actors, and have access to a prop box and a whole load of cardboard. They will then have just four hours to recreate a film, sweding/TEESing-style. It's pretty much what Tim Burton did with Planet of the Apes...

At four, we'll break for a rest as our panel of distinguished judges decides which film is the GREATEST SWEDED FILM EVER. The makers of the winning film will take home a trophy and some other special goodies. And their film will be screened as part of the Christmas 'Concept' film event.

We will all then decamp to Blu bar for a post-Sweding party, and a screening of all the films plus a special screening of Be Kind Rewind.

Sweding day is a great opportunity to have a laugh remaking a film, and meet other artists and filmmakers from the region - and then we'll add in a film and popcorn in a great basement location - this is networking but with tinsel and flipcameras.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? WHO'S WITH US?

Entry fee is £20 PER TEAM (which includes free refreshments and screening of Be Kind Rewind), but we're got a SPECIAL EARLY-BIRD DISCOUNT of £15 until midnight on Friday 27th August. To less that £4 each for all of this!


Back to the Future sweded:

Wednesday 8th September


Screening films by North East filmmakers, the next Concept Film Night will return to its regular home at Teesside University Campus. Laura Degnan and James Harris from Writers' Block are guest hosts for the evening and we will have a few little surprises in store for you including a film challenge. And hey, maybe we'll make a film on the night!

If you would like to attend this event please email Christine Wilson at

FREE 7pm – 9pm, Centuria Building, Teesside University

Thursday 9th September


Apples by Richard Milward.

FREE 6-9 pm

Saturday 11th September


Early September 2011 will see performances of a new site-specific and multi-media work in and around the buildings and spaces of the plaza outside MIMA.

That work has yet to be created.

All we have is a starting point created by writers at the Writer’s Block Launch on July 2nd 2010. What we now need are writers, from whatever media, genre and experience, to begin the creating a work that will excite all people involved – artists, audience, funders, sponsors, politicians, cynics, the young, the old – so that they will leave the event having had a night out they will talk about for years, energised, optimistic, ready to continue the transformation of their lives and the place in which they live and work.

All we ask you to bring is a your imagination.

FREE (bring biscuits!) 10am – 1pm

More info on David Napthine:

Thursday 16 September - 9th December

ARC and Writers' Block present: ARC Performance Group

This autumn sees the start of a new performance group for adults at ARC, where participants will co-write, co-direct and perform a new show in twelve weeks.

The group will be led by James Harris and Laura Degnan, who between them have a wealth of experience in writing and directing for film, TV and the stage.

This emerging group will take ownership of this creative writing and performance project. It is a fantastic opportunity for the creative talent in Tees Valley to gather together and work towards a performance.

James and Laura will guide the group through the process, drawing on their past experience to help participants work towards a performance at the end of the Autumn Term.

FREE 7.30pm - 9.30pm

At ARC, Dovecot Street, Stockton

Monday 27th September


Workshop led by Laura and James

A new regular workshop for up to 10 participants. Bring along up to 10 pages of film or play script. We will provide actors to read excerpts and lead a discussion designed to strengthen your ideas and guide you towards the next draft. This will be a brilliant opportunity to exchange ideas with other writers, and meet the acting talent in the region who can bring your characters to life.

NOTE: Doors will open from 6 for you to come in, grab a beanbag and read or write before the session...

Numbers are strictly limited to 10 participants for this workshop, so pre-booking is essential.

£5 (incl. refreshments. Yes. Cake.) 7 – 9pm




Writers’ Block are working in association with New Writing North, Northern Stage and Middlesbrough to offer 3 playwrights the opportunity to have their work performed at Northern Stage when Richard Milward’s ‘Apples’ comes back up to Newcastle. Submit your 10 minute ‘Middlesbrough’ inspired play to before noon on Friday 27th August.


We have puppets hanging around the place and not enough reasons to pick up a camera and get them on to film again. Three-minute piece for our puppets anyone? This can be a script, a short story or poem, a song or a rap - basically, we’ll accept anything - and then add puppets in to the mix.

Puppets to choose from: Doctor Who, Amy Pond, Dalek, Freddie, Jason, Michael Myers and Sadako. Any or all of the above. And if you haven’t seen these characters in action yet, visit our You Tube channel at

Submit your entries to before noon on Wednesday 1st September.


Would you like your short story on our window for the whole of October? Send us your 50 WORD short stories on the theme of TRICK OR TREAT, and the winner gets immortalised in paint on glass... for 30 days.

Submit your stories to before noon on 30th September.


Want to submit a film? If you are a local filmmaker and would like to have your film showcased at Concept Film Night on Wednesday 8th September please submit your film on DVD, along with a synopsis and short biog to the following address:

Concept Film Night

The Institute of Digital Innovation

Phoenix Building

University of Teesside


TS1 3BA.

Please note that films must be no longer than 15 minutes in length, although show-reels or trailers of longer features will be considered. If your film is chosen for showing it is a requirement that you do attend on the evening to talk about your work with the audience and answer any questions posed. Submission deadline: 3pm on Friday 27th August 2010

And if you’ve made it this far, just to let you know that The Kumo Project are currently putting the finishing touches to the two winning films from our ‘Writing for Animation’ competition. The films will go off to Depict next week, to be considered for a screening at the Bristol ‘Brief Encounters’ festival. Huge congrats to our winners Tony Galuidi and David Stringer once again!

Hope to see you at the Writers’ Block soon!


Laura and James