Quirky Sunderland art exhibition takes Pride of Place

PRIDE OF PLACE ... part of the display in Fawcett Street.
PRIDE OF PLACE ... part of the display in Fawcett Street.
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ARTISTS who have painted a quirky picture of Sunderland will cap their month-long residency with a closing celebration.

Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale took over a derelict furniture store in Fawcett Street four weeks ago and have been inviting Wearsiders to drop in with their own artworks as part of their Pride of Place Project.

COLOURFUL: Dave the Rave is one of the characters featured in the exhibition.

COLOURFUL: Dave the Rave is one of the characters featured in the exhibition.

The result is an eclectic mix of artwork, photographs, quotes, poems, sculptures, postcards and memories from the people of Sunderland.

Everyone is invited along to the hub on Friday to view the works which have been a platform for people to express how they feel about their home town.

Jan said: “The public response has been fantastic. There are so many talented and creative people in this city.

“We’re touched by the warmth and generosity of our visitors, many of whom wish the space could be a permanent fixture on Fawcett Street.”

The Pride of Place project ran in conjunction with an exhibition at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, in Fawcett Street, as well as a touring gallery based in a yellow caravan which visited spots around the city.

Jan added: “The NGCA is a nationally respected gallery and a wonderful asset to Sunderland and the North East.

“Thanks to our highly visible pop-up exhibition a couple of blocks away, more local people are now aware of its existence and know they are welcome to visit any time.”

As part of their residency, Jan and Chris have shared their own photographic impressions of the city and the many local people they’ve met along the way, including colourful characters such as Dave the Rave.

The closing celebration will be a chance to see what is now an extensive exhibition and social commentary about what it means to live in Sunderland now.

There will still be a chance to contribute to the hub’s activities throughout the event and also on Saturday, the final day of the project.

A commemorative publication featuring highlights of the project will be produced and The Caravan Gallery will return later this year for a book launch and reunion.

Sunderland was the first location on a national tour being undertaken by the artists.

• The Pride of Place Closing Celebration takes place at 18 Fawcett Street on Friday from 5pm to 9pm.

• Extra – Photographs of Britain by The Caravan Gallery can also be seen at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art until Friday.