The impact of Sunderland’s Nissan plant on the whole North East is examined in a new exhibition beginning this week.
Nissan: 30 years on, which starts at Durham University’s Oriental Museum on Friday, celebrates the Japanese car giant’s 30th anniversary in the North East, by exploring the impact the Japanese motor giant has had on the lives of people in the region.
The long history of collaboration between Japan and the North East in manufacturing and commerce has led directly to the rich collections of historic Japanese art held in museums and galleries across the region.Oriental Museum curator Craig Barclay
This year marks three decades since the Sunderland factory was completed.
The new exhibition mixes photography, the written word, audio and film to capture portraits of the people who work for the firm, as well as members of the wider community who have played a part in the Nissan story in the North East.
The show is the work of photographer James Sebright and writer/audio artist Rachel Cochrane.
James Sebright is a fine art/documentary photographer, whose work is created in places far afield such as China, Japan, Syria and Morocco, as well as closer to home in the North East, while Rachel Cochrane has been a writer for 14 years, and started using digital technology five years ago to record her own and other writers’ work.
The pair worked together to explore the effect the company has had on the lives of people in the region and create a present-day snapshot of the effect of 30 years of Nissan in the North East.
They visited the plant to see the production line in action and talk to workers and also met with a range of people in the wider community, who have associations past and present with the Nissan factory.
Oriental Museum curator Craig Barclay said: “The long history of collaboration between Japan and the North East in manufacturing and commerce has led directly to the rich collections of historic Japanese art held in museums and galleries across the region.
“This exhibition brings a new twist to this tradition of collaboration between business and the arts and celebrates the close ties between Japan and the North East.”
Nissan: 30 years on, opens to the public on Friday and runs until October 18.
It has been supported by the Arts Council for England and the North East Chamber of Commerce.
The Oriental Museum is open Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm and Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays, 12pm-5pm.
Entry to the museum is £1.50 for adults, 75p for children (five-16) and over 60s, and free for children under five and students.
For more details visit the museum website: www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum/