Participatory BRILLIANT Installation

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Verity Quinn & Bethan Maddocks (UK)

Richard Dawson (Soundscape)

With thanks to Ferryhill town band, Durham Mining Museum, Durham Banner Group, Durham NUM and all those present at Durham Miners’ Gala 2011.

Six Luminous artworks inspired by Durham’s mining heritage.

Artists Verity Quinn and Bethan Maddocks created six luminous artworks that hung above the streets. Inspired by Durham’s mining history and the banners held aloft during the Miners’ Gala, fibre optic threads traced designs inspired by workshops with the Ferryhill Town Band and Durham Mining Communities Banner Groups Association. These workshops explored the memories and identity of the local area and its people, and focused on the groups’ visions and hopes. The designs took the imagery and symbolism of traditional mining banners and reinterpreted them to hold messages for the future.

An accompanying soundscape was created by Richard Dawson, using recordings from the 2011 Miners’ Gala and at the Ferryhill Town Band’s weekly rehearsals.

Ad Astra Per Aspera (7x) of four installations commissioned as part of the Lumiere Durham 2011 BRILLIANT competition for anyone based in or originally from the North East with a bright idea for an installation.

Verity is a theatre designer and maker based in London. She has a background in visual theatre and puppetry, installation and site specific performance. She has designed extensively on theatre for young audiences. Verity founded and co-ran the design-led theatre company, Left Luggage Theatre from 2007 – 2011 and she currently co-runs the visual theatre company Club Adelphi who are Associate Artists at ARC, Stockton. Verity was nominated for Best Set Design in the Off West End Theatre Awards for her work on ‘Alpha Beta’.  

Bethan Maddocks is a visual artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, who creates site-specific, kinetic installations. Her work explores the internal movements and interior landscapes of the body. Using a variety of materials, she makes ephemeral installations with the aim to involve the audience with the work. Bethan’s practice is underpinned by drawing, sewing, paper cuts and structure making. Education and facilitation work is a key part of her practice, helping to develop ideas and commissions for new works.


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