Matterlurgy Geofictions – MIMA

The group Matterlurgy led workshops in which their members and participants collected artefacts – from stones to discarded plastic items – in South Gare, the site of the now-closed Teesside steelworks in Redcar. This exhibition features those objects, which are part of a future fossil record, and suggest a geological stratum in which nature and technology are combined

The Livingroom of Loss

This weekend was Middlesbrough Art Weekender, I got to see a lot of art and meet up with a few old friends.  The work that had the greatest impact on me was Adrian McGovern’s The Livingroom of Loss. McGovern has pasted a number of his paintings onto the walls of derelict and demolished former homes in the Gresham area of Middlesbrough.

My friend Peter Rowe described the work as street art left in the ruins of Mayor Mallon’s Middlesbrough. In 2005 Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon described the Gresham area as a cancer that needed to be cut out of the town.

My personal opinion is that McGovern’s work is a poignant, albeit temporary, memorial to the shameful and wanton destruction of a vibrant town centre community.

While Middlesbrough continues to expand outward and the pressure to build new homes is put on the green spaces that surround the town, a huge swath of town centre land has remained shamefully derelict for more than a decade.

The Iron Coast

Redcar in the fog sml

The Iron Coast feels different from anywhere else. There is a hard, quiet unhappiness about it, and the plain and seaboard tend to be avoided rather than explored. The young do their best to get away. Even a century ago Dickens, who was usually ready for anything and a good east-coast man, was too impatient here. he got out of the train at Redcar station with his carpet bag, looked quickly north and south, walked back to the platform and caught the next train on to Scarborough. Yet this small rag of the country has bred international heroes, saints, scientists and geniuses. It has twice raised armies that came within a thread of changing a dynasty and once ordered a clipping and reshaping of the powers of the monarchy that has survived nearly 800 years.

The Iron Coast.  Jane Gardam 1994

Think on..


The current government had an opportunity to save the blast furnace

Blast 1

they chose not to take it.

The blast

Unemployment across the Tees Valley is double the national average at 3.9%. The number of jobless youth is higher, at 5.2%, compared with the national average of 2.3%. And Middlesbrough has more deprived areas than any other local authority in the country, with almost half of its 42 neighbourhoods among the poorest 10% nationally. Source