Our first major commission from this £2m Creative People and Places initiative encouraged residents to look at the work of writers after whom the streets they live on were named, an idea proposed directly to Arts Council England some years before, without success, but eventually being embraced as the core concept in Cultural Spring’s partnership bid. The invitation of Brazilian group Pigment, launched reciprocal opportunities that saw Garry Hunter travel to Latin America twice in two years.
At early stage planning, a group of residents from the Biddick Hall estate, where Garry Hunter grew up in the 1970s, visited him at his studio on the Thames at Trinity Buoy Wharf in July 2013, making him the first artist to be commissioned by Cultural Spring. Garry led a tour of street art and classical galleries, while looking at a range of his work including Cardboard Tube an immersive experience where participants designed an imaginary route in Holland Park, carrying a cardboard sculpture of a 1960s London Underground carriage around pathways.Taking a cue from Container City next to his London studio, Hunter set up a photo booth in a shipping container, asking participants to select quotes from writers, to accompany portraits featuring items demonstrating their Hope and Faith – whether religious or not broadcast live by BBC1 on Good Friday.
Cultural Spring: The Great North Passion – Hope and Faith
Chuter Ede Community Centre, South Shields, Tyneside
Fabrica, São João da Boa Vista, São Paulo region, Brazil Teatro Municipal de São João da Boa Vista, São Paulo region, Brazil
Garry Hunter for Fitzrovia Noir
Emma Horsman for Cultural Spring
Gil Sibin for Global Space of Culture, Águas de Prata, Brazil
Pedro Bacelar Cerqueira for Procur.arte, Lisbon, Portugal
Heenan Bhatti and Aquil Ahmed for BBC Religion & Ethics
Tracy and Gordon Taylor for final container installation
The residents of Biddick Hall estate
Digital photography, donated ephermera, poetry, prose, wood, shipping container
July 2013 – July 2015
“I grew up on the edge of the estate where the streets were named after parts of Newcastle, not writers, so I’ve chosen (Paul) Heaton, one of my favourite lyricists, to go with a quote that reflects my career in accountancy, although I’ve not tried Audit Ale as suggested by Belloc (Avenue) ”
John Whitehead, South Shields resident and project participant