Journeymen is a touring exhibition, taking place across the North East from September 2019 – February 2020.
Commissioned by Museum Northumberland bait, the exhibition is a collection of work from five groups of men, and young boys, who have come together, to share their own unique journeys in South East Northumberland.
The exhibition is a collection of the stories of real men (and boys!), living real lives - explored through sounds, words and pictures.
Meet the groups
Brothers In Art
The Brothers In Art experiment with ways to encourage male involvement in community arts within South East Northumberland. Initially, they began as a focus group who have since gone on to create thought provoking and inspiring work. Their aim is to make community arts more accessible to those who would otherwise have little interest, or opportunity to get involved in creative projects.
They have been working with North East based visual and sound artist Tommy Anderson to create ‘Portal’. It is a walk through time, exploring what it is like to grow up in the North East of England. It helps us remember our rich cultural and industrial heritage as we look forward towards the horizon.
The Brothers In Arts are funded by Museums Northumberland through the bait project.
Men Behind The Lens
A photography group, Men Behind the Lens, initially came together in 2017 to talk about and advance their photographic practice. Since then, they have created a 2019 Calendar and portfolio books.
Always on the lookout for new members to join them, they welcome enthusiasts with any level of photographic knowledge - whether as beginners or experienced. They enjoy exchanging knowledge and ideas, and just having conversations about photography.
At the Journeymen exhibition, you will experience a journey across Northumberland landmarks, both public and personal. Taking members interests, mainly landscape and photojournalism as starting points, their journey involved discussing technical and aesthetic issues in order to improve their body of work.
Gateshead based magazine, portrait and event photographer, Phyllis Christopher, has worked with the group to help them produce their journey across Northumberland.
Northumberland Recovery Partnership (NRP)
NRP is a dedicated service in Northumberland, for adults who are experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol. They are there to help, believing recovery from addiction and substance misuse is possible for everyone.
Working with artist Ruth Johnson, a group of men from NRP have shared their journey of recovery. The men in the group wanted to create a “recovery map” showing the pitfalls of early recovery, as well as the amazing new opportunities on offer for someone becoming abstinent from their drug of choice.
Over the course of eight weeks a detailed map was formed, and Ruth made a leaflet - which folded out into the recovery map. This then developed into idea of narrating the map, in the style of someone from ‘Trip Advisor’. The powerful result is a 17- minute audio recording, featuring the ideas and voices of the men involved. It tells the story of recovery in stages delivered in an extremely poignant and authentic way.
NRP is a partnership between Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Changing Lives and Turning Point.
Real Deal graffiti work
Real Deal is a charity based at the old Police Station in Ashington, who deliver a community support programme, providing much needed help and support to the residents of Ashington. This includes running a youth project which provides a safe place for young people aged 10-16 to ‘drop in’ and chat and take part in projects and activities. It was this group of young people, who worked with artist Jamie Evans, originally from Ashington, over a series of two months exploring the use of aerosols to make new art works.
They were encouraged to experiment and to try new ways of working with spray cans in combination with brushes, taking it far beyond the conventional stereotypes and labels that are attached to working with such mediums. They produced small and large-scale pieces, even using 3D items, such as tables and chairs and making designs onto canvas.
Refugee Photography & Graffiti Group
Since 2016, Northumberland County Council (NCC) has agreed to resettle refugees who have been displaced by the Syrian, Kurdish, Iraqi and Sudanese conflicts which has destroyed parts of their homeland and much of their livelihoods. From 2016 to 2020, NCC has agreed to take 48 families within the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and there are currently 39 families resettled in Northumberland.
The Refugee Photography and graffiti group is made up of around 10 men and 8 boys who have all been displaced from Syria, Kurdistan, Iraq or Sudan and have recently been resettled into Northumberland.
All were keen to explore creative mediums together in order to share their understandings of their new home and bring some of their own culture into the frame.
Photographer and filmmaker Jason Thompson, worked with the men using photography to document different elements of their new hometowns, capturing everyday life in Northumberland. Theirs is a journey across continents – culminating in a video, combining portraiture, street photography and landscapes from Blyth, Warkworth and Amble, as well as images from their home region in Syria.
The boys from the group took part in graffiti sessions, working alongside artist Jamie Evans, they showcased their traditional Arabic writing and discovered how to incorporate graffiti techniques to make their own unique designs and pieces.
Some of the boys from the graffiti group expressed how they enjoyed trying something quite contemporary as graffiti was a completely new concept for them.
Also featured in this exhibition is poetry created with the support of writer Danielle Burn.
From the blog
Find out about digital filmmaker, photographer, director, producer and editor, Jason Thompson.
Read about artist Jamie Evans, who worked with the young group of male refugees and encouraged them to combine traditional with the new.