Exhibition on 50 years of Washington’s history

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THE PEOPLE and places of Washington have inspired a new exhibition to mark a milestone in the town’s history.

Members of the public got snap happy to create photographs of the townscape which have gone on display at Arts Centre Washington.

Matthew Blyth of Washington Arts Centre, Washington, with some of the photographs that form an exhibtion celebrating rthe 50 years of Washington.

Matthew Blyth of Washington Arts Centre, Washington, with some of the photographs that form an exhibtion celebrating rthe 50 years of Washington.

More than 300 entries were submitted, of which 50 were professionally printed for the exhibition.

Meanwhile, the remaining images are displayed on a screen within the gallery.

Although based around a historic centre, the villages that make up Washington formed one of a wave of new towns from 1961 to 1964, which helped to accommodate a rise in population following the Second World War.

The town was a 1960s vision of new living, particularly new town architecture, which features prominently in Washington 50 – A Snapshot of your New Town.

Susannah Aynsley, curator of the exhibition, said: “We have been hoping to get the community involved in a gallery exhibition for some time and loved the idea of people taking their own images of the anniversary of the new town using everyday equipment such as phone cameras, iPads etc.

“The exhibition is a celebration of 50 years of new town architecture, people and places from the perspective of the local residents. We received some beautiful and vibrant images as well as some more earthy and familiar shots of the new town architecture at 50 years of age.

“The functional concrete walkways and brutalist architecture of the new town are a large part of the framework of Washington and although deemed ugly by some it is clearly loved by many more.”

Alongside the photographic images, the arts centre will be working with students and staff from Biddick Academy to create artwork for a floor-based collage which will create a centre piece in the gallery.

The collage will evolve and grow during the duration of the exhibition.

The exhibition was made possible through funding from the Washington Area Strategic Initiatives Budget, as part of the Washington 50 community programme.

l Washington 50 – A Snapshot of your New Town runs until December 23.