Emerging artists showcase eye-catching work at historic Mackie's Corner in Sunderland
A talented trio of artists are helping to breathe new life into a historic corner of Sunderland.
Pop Up Collective North East are the latest artists to make use of display space at Mackie’s Corner, at the junction of Bridge Street and High Street West in the city centre.
The landmark building – built in 1845 on the site of a large house owned by Dr William Clanny, inventor of the miners' safety lamp – is undergoing a major chapter of change with plans in place to turn it into a business hub.
As plans take shape, Sunderland Culture teamed up with Sunderland property developer Henry Kirtley, who recently took over the building with brewery, food and office spaces among ideas for future uses, to use the windows once used by hatter Robert Mackie to display art works.
Sunderland University graduates Jessica Browne, 23, Jason Lund, 26, and Poppy Middlemas, 23, – aka Pop Up Collective North East – have set up a pop-up exhibition CHAOS in the workshop space.
Poppy, who along with Jessica and Jason graduated in Fine Art in 2017, said: “We formed the collective a few weeks ago after Jess came up with the idea that we should stage an exhibition together.”
Jessica said: “This is our introductory show as a collective but we have plans in the future to use unusual spaces. It’s the first time we’ve actually done a show since graduating, as there isn’t many outlets. So the collective is also about helping other graduates.”
Jason said: “As an artist, when you graduate, there can be a big question mark about what you’re going to do with your career. It’s very difficult to be a professional artist and it can be a shock to the system, so we want to help guide graduates.”
Jessica said: “Moving forward, we don’t need traditional space to exhibit our work, we’re looking at utilising parks and possibly a graveyard at Halloween.”
*CHAOS is open at Mackie’s Workshop on August 16 11am-2pm; Monday 19th 11am-2pm; Tuesday 20th 11am-2pm; Wednesday 21st 11am-2pm; Thursday 22nd 11am-2pm and Friday 23rd 11am-1pm.
*Anyone who has any space that could be used by the Collective can contact them on email: firstname.lastname@example.org