Newcastle ~September 2019 ~ Elmer edition

St.Oswalds Hospice in Newcastle cares for both adults, children and babies who have terminal illnesses.  It is a registered charitable trust, and whilst the NHS regulates it, it does not fund it. The childrens hospice has to raise over £7.5 million each year to keep its doors open and its service free to those who need it, and relies a fair bit on volunteers, (who’s equivalent salary comes to around £180 million a year, if they were paid minimum contract wages). It is well run and very well thought of by those who have been unfortunate enough to need its…

The Bowes Museum – May 2019

The Bowes Museum can be found in Teesdale, in the market town of Barnard Castle, and houses a phenominal herd of treasures and art works collected during the lifetime of John and Joséphine Bowes. Shall we do the History Bit? (Rhetorical question 🙂 ) John Bowes  (19 June 1811 – 9 October 1885) was born in London, to a commoner called Mary Millner. Mary went to work for the 10th Earl of Strathmore & Kinghorne,  (14 April 1769 – 3 July 1820) a Scottish nobleman and peer, at his stately homes in County Durham, and ended up having a long…

The Art of Newcastle_ Part 5 ~ The Laing

The Laing Art Gallery was founded in 1901 by a Newcastle Businessman, Alexander Laing, who’d made a fortune from his wine and spirit shop and beer bottling business. And that was that. He didn’t put any paintings or other artworks into it and said he was confident “…that by the liberality of the inhabitants {of Newcastle} it would soon be supplied with pictures and statuary for the encouragement and development of British Art”. And so it was. It is now home to an internationally important collection of art focusing on British oil painting watercolours, ceramics, silver, and glassware.  As well…

The Art of Newcastle ~Jan 2019 ~ part 4

After lunch in the Biscuit Factory, we went off to see the Laing Art Gallery. On the way, we came across a little church hall and as you can see from the sign on the right (which I completely missed in the photo!) had an art exhibition. Well, we came for art, so decided to do a detour and see what was going on. It turned out to be a one-woman exhibition by one of the church’s congregation. and this was the artist Her arty bits were interesting, with lots of cut and folded canvasses but I don’t think I’d have…

The Art of Newcastle ~ The Biscuit Factory ~ Part 2 ~ Jan 2019

Still looking around in the Biscuit Factory, these are the things that caught my eye and that I liked. I liked this chess table, though not sure how comfortable the spine~chairs would be!   Phil McLoughlin was a successful artist (as Phil Barker) in the 1970s, winning the prestigious Pernod Prize at the Royal Scottish Academy (1974) and two years later becoming a founder member of the Dundee Group (Artists), which included Jack Knox, Grant Clifford and Jack Morocco. In 1980 he began his doctoral studies and when commissioned to write his first book he decided to exchange art for a…

The Art of Newcastle ~ The Biscuit Factory ~ Jan 2019

The UK’s largest independent commercial art, craft & design gallery set in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter A commercial art gallery, café, and restaurant converted from a former biscuit factory which was operated by the Gibson family between 1860 and 1870. It has four floors, two of which were submerged when the street level was raised and these now serve as basement studios which are available for artists to rent. The gallery has everything, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glass, textiles, furniture, and jewelry!  So much to see. As you walk in the space is clean and airy and nicely set out…

The Art of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne – Jan 2019

Back in January Sophie and I decided to visit a couple of the art galleries in Newcastle, The Biscuit Factory –  the biggest commercial art, craft and design gallery in the UK, and The Laing, home to an internationally important collection of art, focusing on British oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver, and glassware. But before we get to the galleries, we must get off the metro at Central station and walk to Ouseburn, there’s plenty of photo ops along the way.  We get to the crossing over the central motorway, and before the crossing, we see The Oxford. The Oxford…

Wallington ~ October 2018 ~ part 3

Part 1 HERE.  Part 2. HERE    It was Halloween weekend at the time of our visit, and the staff in the cafe had made the most of it The first part you come to on entering the house is the spectacular central hall. The original open courtyard was roofed over in the 1850s and the Pre-Raphaelite artist William Bell Scott created eight large wall paintings capturing 2,000 years of local history.   one of the amazing wall panels by Scott There are some great works of art throughout Wallington, and one of my favourites is what I think of as an…

Seaham ~ May 2018 – Part 1

Last time out we went to Cheeseburn Sculpture Park in June, I must have been excited to get it done as I completely missed out a couple of other outings that Sophie and I went on in May, so I’m going to be chronologically challenged. No matter, it’s all time travel anyway. 🙂 SO, Seaham. It’s a coastal town, once named Seaham Harbour.   It’s been around a fair long while and has one of the 20 oldest surviving churches in England.   Back in the day (1815) it was a rural agricultural community,  but somehow a local landlords daughter,…