Former Sunderland city centre pub to become pop up art gallery

A former pub has gone from pulling pints to becoming a pop up art gallery.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 7th November 2016, 12:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:02 pm
One of Dylan Shields cardboard sculptures
One of Dylan Shields cardboard sculptures

The old Pilgrim Pub in Fawcett Street will host a tribute to Wearside-born lightbulb inventor Joseph Swan, as well as an exhibition of cardboard sculptures as part of a series of events.

Titled Athenaeum Nights, a trio of arts project have been created by North East-based arts organisation, Breeze Creatives, supported by Sunderland Business Improvement District with a view to potentially transforming the former watering hole into a permanent exhibition space.

More of Dylan's work

The initiative is part of the 10 x 10 project, which saw ten local businesses team up with regional arts organisation to create art works.

The first Athenaeum Nights kicks off on Thursday, November 10 with a three-day exhibition by contemporary, London-based artist Dylan Shields, who studied at Northumbria University and is renowned for creating sculptures made entirely of cardboard and sticky tape.

The following Thursday, coinciding with the city’s Christmas light switch-on, the former pub will host a unique tribute to mark the contribution made by Wearside-born chemist and physicist Joseph Swan to the world of photography.

The event is being delivered by North East Photographic Network, as part of the Barlow series of lectures run by Breeze Creatives, looking at the contribution Joseph Swan made to photographic practices.

More of Dylan's work

Finally, on November 24, the venue will play host to Babble, a performance bringing together poets, technologists and dancers.

Laura Hartland-Adams, events and operations manager at Sunderland BID has worked with Breeze Creatives to bring the project together.

“We are looking forward to giving people the chance to see and enjoy some new and inventive art while breathing new life into an old building,” she said.

“Since Joseph Swan was born here in Sunderland, we thought it would be a great idea to acknowledge him on the same night as the big Christmas switch-on. It’s always a very popular event on our calendar, but we want to also use it to raise awareness of what we are doing with the 10 x 10 project.

“I am hoping lots of people from across the city will visit all of these very different events this November. Breeze Creatives has done a fantastic job and I’d like people to come out and show their support.”

All the events are free to attend with the exhibitions open from 7.30pm to 10pm and the performance of Babble starting at 7.30pm. Places to see Babble are limited to 150 and will be offered on a first come/first served basis.