Help create map to celebrate heritage of North Shields

Pop into the Old Low Light Heritage Centre and help local artist Gaynor Devaney to create ‘a cappricio’ map, celebrating the heritage of North Shields.

This will be a paper-based collage highlighting significant landmarks and areas of the town and fish quay.

It is inspired by the changes that are currently happening in North Shields, to revitalise the town centre and fish quay and restore Northumberland Square and Howard Street to their former glory.

People attending the drop-in session can be involved in different ways. They are welcome just to come along to see what is happening with the collage or they can make or attach images, or they can leave messages about their experience of the town’s heritage that can be included. All materials will be provided.

Gaynor said: “This won’t be an accurate spatial representation of North Shields. It is more about focusing on features and areas that people want to talk to us about. We will be asking them to contribute by sharing their stories and memories of North Shields and their wishes for the future.”

She added: “People are welcome to bring in a photograph of North Shields that might help evoke memories and stories for the map.”

The collage will be in three bands: the fish quay; transport links, shops, cultural venues like the Exchange and the Globe Gallery; Northumberland Square with the library, green area and renovated Georgian houses.

The project follows a course, Make it Happen, held by Helix Arts, attended by Veronica Illsley, Peter Curran and Emily Toth. The aim was to train people in participatory arts projects.

After attending the course, they decided to commission Gaynor, to lead a series of workings in different venues to create a cappricio map, allowing for artistic interpretation of the town’s heritage.

Veronica, who is involved with a local stitching group, Sew Ne29, said: “There is much happening currently to revitalise the town and people’s views have been sought about these changes. This collage is a creative way of eliciting people’s ideas linked to the spirit of a changing North Shields.”

Gaynor has worked in the community for many years as an artist and teacher, including for organisations such as the Tyne and Wear Museums Service, the National Trust as well as hospitals and schools.

She is also a founder member of SEW NE29, a community group for people who like to stitch, which meets at Christ Church Parish Hall.

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