During the 1970s, the train ride home from a day out in Redcar passed between the three blast furnaces and the coke ovens at South Bank. It was a hellish vision, fire, smoke and steam, sparks flying everywhere, the smell of sulphur and benzene with the occasional glimpse of men emerging from the murk. I loved it.
I took these photographs in the late 1980’s during the demolition of the blast furnaces.
Linear Obsessional is proud to release this compilation of pieces that almost accidently refer to the demise of the once great steel making tradition on Teesside, in the North East of England.
“The Black Path” was an exhibition held at the House of Blah Blah in Middlesbrough in January 2016. This CD is a recording of sounds, music and poetry from that exhibition.
The download includes a 24 page PDF booklet of notes, photographs from the exhibition, and an essay by Alistair Nixon.
released October 21, 2016
The Black Path is an ancient route. It has been many things: the northern boundary of an Anglian Kingdom, a medieval sailor’s trod, and a convenient path to work for the steelworkers of Middlesbrough.
The Black Path Project commenced in early 2015 as collaboration between Chris Whitehead and Gavin Parry, they soon realised that a number of other artists in the area had also created work based around the path. They then set about contacting artists and asking them if they would be willing to join the project with a goal of producing an exhibition. Once assembled, they approached the House of Blah Blah, who were very enthusiastic about the project and agreed to work with the group.
The goal of the project was to present a contemporary response to the Black Path, at the time no one could have predicted what events unfold over the following months in terms of the collapse of the steel industry. This project now has an added poignancy; it has accidentally captured the end of an era.
The exhibition and show features, field recordings, paintings, photographs, sculptures and music, all created as a response to the Black Path. The exhibition commences with a performance by two groups of musicians, Ammonites and Warped Freqs. both of who have written music especially for this occasion.
Teesside World Exposition of Art and Technology is an urgent reaction to the recent closure of Redcar’s steelworks and a bid to make a positive contribution to the future of industry in the North East region.
Capturing the industrial character of Teesside, the exhibition shows how it has formed, from the extraction of raw materials to production, as well as the import/export of goods.
The gallery features the activity of various regional companies alongside a makerspace, archival material drawn from Teesside Archives, the Central Library and the Dorman Museum, and works from artists such as Aikaterini Gegisian, Adrián Melis, David Mulholland, David Watson, Eva Fàbregas, Farid Rasulov, Goldin+Senneby, Hackney Flashers, Mikhail Karikis, MVRD, Norman Appleton, Philip Boville and Len Tabner.
Teesside has always been defined by its industry and has history of making. The eminent past and economic future of the area is explored through historical documents and artefacts, contrasted with a showcase of new industrial technology and works by artists who have portrayed Teesside’s steelworks.
The Exhibition runs until the 9th of October