Sunderland University wins £10,000 to celebrate illustrator Thomas Bewick

Thomas Bewick

Thomas Bewick

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SUNDERLAND’S University has landed almost £10,000 in lottery funding to run a series of walks and exhibitions of one of Europe’s most influential illustrators

The life of Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) is to be celebrated in a series of exhibitions, a 45-mile series of guided walks, a public lecture and new art inspired by the experiences of Bewick’s beloved landscapes.

Thomas Bewick is famous for the small-scale wood engravings he and members of his workshop produced, often published as illustrations in books.

The guided walks are being led by artist and University of Sunderland lecturer Marcia Ley and natural historian Keith Bowey.

Alongside students from the University’s Faculty of Art of Design they are creating an exhibition of responses to the walk.

The £9,700 Sharing Heritage Grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, ‘To Bewick and Back – from Cherryburn into History’ will then also see two large-scale public exhibitions take place. The first, of facsimiles of Bewick’s wildlife wood engravings will be shown at Gateshead Civic Centre from Wednesday, October 15, until Tuesday, November 21.

The second exhibition will begin in January and will feature work in response to the experience of walking the route between Thomas Bewick’s home in Gateshead and his birthplace at Cherryburn.

Dr Mike Collier, Reader in Fine Art at the University of Sunderland, said: “This award is wonderful news. It allows us to do some really interesting and exciting things around the theme of walking in a landscape, in order to get people involved in better understanding Thomas Bewick’s heritage.

“We should never forget that because of the illustrative genius of this farmer’s son, who walked the banks of the Tyne and strode into history, our modern world is better able to appreciate and value its rich natural heritage.”