'We are delighted to celebrate the opening of The ConTemporary': Hartlepool art students showcase creations at gallery in former Church Street shop

A former shop has been turned into an art gallery showcasing the creative works of students from a Hartlepool art college campus.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 8:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 9:28 am
Creations on show in a Northern School of Art exhibition called Generation Dystopia Injustices of Society on display at 12-14 Church Street, Hartlepool.

Students from The Northern School of Art will celebrate a new gallery and creative space ‘The ConTemporary’ in historic Church Street, Hartlepool, with an exhibition of art entitled ‘Generation Dystopia’.

The exhibition is open this week from Thursday to Saturday from noon to 4pm and entry is free.

It will comprise of student’s work inspired by their response to a world where some things appear quite broken - a ‘Generation Dystopia’ where the injustices of society are explored in a range of media including sculpture, photography, paintings and drawings.

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Martina Mullaney, lecturer, BA (Hons) Fine Art degree programme at The Northern School of Art, said: “We are delighted to celebrate the opening of The ConTemporary with a brand new exhibition by our second year undergraduates ‘Generation Dystopia’.

“A public exhibition not only provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to showcase their work but also gain practical experience they need to exhibit and work after they graduate.”

Abigail Baxter, student, BA (Hons) Fine Art degree programme at The Northern School of Art, said: “This is the first time we will have exhibited as a group together; it is going to be really interesting how all the pieces will work together in the room - from large-scale sculpture to tiny pieces.

“I’m hoping to exhibit a series of prints and it’s already quite nerve-wracking - but it’s been a great experience learning about how to work together as a team to create a full-scale public exhibition.”

The exhibition will be guest curated by Bobby Benjamin, artist and co-director at Pineapple Black, and provides the first chance to view the new ‘The ConTemporary’, a gallery and events space set up by Empty Shop CIC and created in the shop and works that was once the home of well-known Hartlepool electrical suppliers ‘Edgar Phillips Ltd’.

Carlo Viglianisi, director at the Empty Shop project, said: “We’re really excited about the launch of ‘Generation Dystopia’, it’s fantastic that a group of young people will open up and revitalise this disused space - launching a new platform for encouraging creativity and regeneration in Hartlepool.”

“We would encourage everyone to come along and see the work of our talented young people and share their excitement in exhibiting their new work.”

Set up by cultural regeneration organisation Empty Shop CIC and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, The ConTemporary is a new creative space for Hartlepool which aims to bring together in one place everyone who is passionate about art and culture in Hartlepool.

Part of the Great Place Tees Valley project, the new initiative brings a vacant building back to life on a temporary basis following the £1.1m Townscape Heritage redevelopment of Church Street.

Visit www.emptyshop.org/project/hartlepool/ for more information about the exhibition and forthcoming events.