Artist launches Durham Miners’ Gala app

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AFTER more than 140 years the traditional Durham Big Meet is going digital.

A new app, inspired by the Durham Miners’ Gala, is going live.

Drawing on the memories of older generations and personal testimony, Sunderland contemporary artist Tim Brennan, is using geo-tagging technology to form imaginative reflections on an event that attracts tens of thousands annually.

The artist’s unique way of working involves engaging people in guided walks through the art of conversation. Three distinct journeys explore the key routes used by the marching bands during the Gala.

A conventional walk involves the guides leading a group along a route and providing factual, information regarding the history, theme or function of a place.

But, in his critically acclaimed ‘manoeuvres’ app, Tim replaces much of this with ideas he associates with each stopping point. Each walk is built out of quotations from diverse sources.

During the last two decades, he has developed more than 40 manoeuvres across the UK and Europe, which have been placed in rural and urban settings, as well as interior spaces from the British Museum to stately homes and retail interiors.

Tim, an Associate Dean in the University of Sunderland’s Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, said: “Apps are becoming common elements of everyday life and travelling will not go away, so a combination of the two was inevitable.

“What interests me is the potential for imaginative works to be made available to many people in this way.”

Gala Manoeuvres was produced by Durham City Arts, in partnership with Mimosa Wireless and supported by Arts Council England and Durham County Council.

The free iPhone app Gala Manoeuvres is available from the Apple app store.

Twitter: @SunEchoSchools