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Lucker Hall

Northumberland, England

Fun for Lucker guests as the North goes on show

Posted by Jonathan Broom on May 17, 2018
Fun for Lucker guests as the North goes on show

Half art, half tech, and a whole lot of fun: that’s what awaits visitors to the Great Exhibition of the North, taking place this summer in Newcastle and Gateshead, an easy drive from Lucker Hall.

Kicking off with a spectacular opening ceremony on 22nd June with live music and dance from a host of performers (including local heroes Maxïmo Park and the Royal Northern Sinfonia) and a fantastic water sculpture on the River Tyne (pictured above), and running until 9th September (when the Great North Run brings the curtain down – click here  for earlier blog), the Great Exhibition of the North will showcase the best of northern innovation and creativity.

Stephenson's Rocket comes home

The north of England has long been associated with forward-thinking. Cat’s eyes owe their existence to Yorkshire’s Percy Shaw. Goalkeepers around the world have Liverpudlian John Alexander Brodie to thank for the football net. Experiments by Leeds scientist Joseph Priestley in 1772 led to the invention of soda water. George Stephenson’s Rocket was built in Newcastle – and makes a welcome return to the city to go on display at the central Discovery Museum.

Robotics: the future in our hands...

More recently, the University of Manchester discovered miracle material Graphene, a million times thinner than a human hair yet stronger than steel. The region is a leader in the development of robotics, too – but is happy to welcome guests from overseas. Like Japan’s garrulous Kodomoroid android, part of Robots – Then and Now at the Life Science Centre.

...or theirs? Japan's eerily lifelike Kodomoroid

Arts-wise, it’s a mix of performance and static display. BBC Radio 6Music’s Lauren Laverne, Sunderland-born, is curating the Great North Soundtrack, a week-long feast of northern music; and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art hosts new exhibitions by Newcastle-born and Turner Prize-nominated Michael Dean, and recent Turner winner Preston-based Lubaina Hamid. Meanwhile Baltic Square will feature ‘an enormous charm bracelet’ created by conceptual artist Ryan Gander.

The stunning BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Elsewhere art and technology combine. The Story of the Lightbulb will be told at Newcastle’s Lit and Phil Library – where it was first demonstrated by Swan; and model-maker Steve Mayes’s Timeline of Northern Innovation at the Mining Institute will use Lego as its medium.

The Great Exhibition of the North is built around three walking trails: the Art Trail, the Innovation Trail, and the Design Trail. Each will take visitors on a tour of Newcastle and Gateshead. The trails intersect at various points – so if, say, you’ve had enough of art and fancy some science (or vice versa), simply change your route!

Meanwhile exhibitions will be mounted and events staged at the three hubs, or trail starting points – the Great North Museum, Sage Gateshead and the BALTIC Centre.

“As well as being a showcase for some of the best creative and inspiring talent from the north of England, our diverse programme tells a pioneering story and one that will help change the way the world views the North,” says Great Exhibition chairman Sir Gary Verity. “Whether you have a love of arts and design, cutting-edge culture, history and innovation, inspired technology or vibrant street performance, there is something in this programme to intrigue and excite those of all ages and from all backgrounds.”

Entry to most of the Great Exhibition of the North’s venues and events is free of charge. Details of exactly what’s on and where can be found on the Great Exhibition of the North website, which you can access by clicking here.

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Jonathan Broom
Author: Jonathan Broom

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