Tall Ships Races veteran plans an exhibition on Wearside

Naomi Austin.
Naomi Austin.

One of the biggest ever fans of The Tall Ships Races has revealed plans to stage an exhibition on Wearside.

Naomi Austin, who has been involved in the races for 25 years, has lined up a display of her own photographs of the spectacular international festival and the date of it has now been announced.

Sunset at sea, captured by Naomi Austin.

Sunset at sea, captured by Naomi Austin.

It is call The Call Of The Sea and it will go on show at the Arts Centre Washington from Friday, August 3, to Saturday, September 1 this year.

It will show stunning photographs of Naomi’s experiences on the seas, and also be the launchpad for her new book.

The exhibition will feature Naomi’s own digital work on three different areas Sunderland’s shipbuilding past, as the history of the races and the experiences of past and present sail trainees.

Drawings from local schoolchildren will also be a part of the exhibition.

The book coming along slowly but surely. The deadline for it to go to print is April so I’m working every spare hour

Naomi Austin

Naomi is a senior lecturer in Fashion Product and Promotion at the University of Sunderland, and first got involved in the races when she was a sail trainee for the 1993 race in Newcastle.

Since then, she’s been a ship liaison officer in Newcastle 2005, Hartlepool 2010 and Blyth 2016.

She previously told the Sunderland Echo: “I’m creating a glossy coffee table-style book full of illustrations and interesting facts which will retail for around £35-£40.

“I’ve applied for funding through the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Funding, and though it seems positive in order to get that funding I have to generate around £4,000 to match funding - anyone who pledges £40 or over will get a copy of Call of the Sea signed by me, and for £15 you’ll receive a print from the book.

Naomi takes the wheel.

Naomi takes the wheel.

“I want this to work so much, and with your help I know it will.”

To make a pledge to the Call of the Sea project go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-call-of-the-sea-book-history/x/17363354.

Naomi is certainly playing a full part in the Sunderland tall ships build-up.

As well as her exhibition and book, she will be sharing her own experiences of the event with Sunderland’s current group of sail trainees later this week.