'Hartlepool is where my heart is': Follow people's personal journeys with Waterfront Festival art project

Different generations’ stories of living in Hartlepool are brought to life in a new arts project created for this weekend’s Waterfront Festival.

By Mark Payne
Saturday, 20 July, 2019, 06:00

The Wayfinder project has been specially produced by artists from London-based organisation Output Arts and Hartlepool’s Northern School of Art.

Art students interviewed people of all ages and backgrounds to give a unique insight into their personal journeys and about what Hartlepool means to them.

The Wayfinder project works by visitors following a trail in Hartlepool Marina and listening to interviewees’ recordings which play automatically through a compass at certain spots.

Jonathan Hogg from Output Arts holding a boxed compass that is used to locate a "wayfinder" listening point. Picture by Frank Reid

Costume students even made nautical hats for participants to wear.

Artist Jonathan Hogg, of Output Arts, explained: “It’s a development of a similar piece we did a few years ago called Lost and Sound which used a metal detector on a beach.

“We wanted to make something along those lines, but on a bigger scale where you are taken on a journey which is where the idea for the compass came from.”

A boxed compass in The Historic Quay at a "wayfinder" listening point. Picture by Frank Reid

The Hartlepool Mail was given a special preview of the project and were led around the route by Output Arts’ Andy D’Cruz.

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Participants follow the needle on the compass which includes geo-tagging technology.

The compass’s blinking green light turns blue whenever we reach a place where new recording kicks in.

Outside the Jackson’s Wharf pub an elderly lady talks about how she met her husband and raised a family.

A slipway into the Hartlepool Marina that is one of the"wayfinder" listening points. Picture by Frank Reid

Inside the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the voice of a historian who taught children about HMS Trincomalee is heard.

Further round a musician talks about his travels around the world before coming back to Hartlepool.

The trail begins and ends at the waterfront (former Jackson’s Landing) site and ends with a short boat trip across the dock.

Wayfinder runs throughout today and tomorrow.

HMS Trincomalee a "wayfinder" listening point. Picture by Frank Reid