A series of new artworks will go on show this autumn to mark the 85th anniversary of Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema.
Artists Adina Nelu, Sofia Barton and Colette Whittington and Tim Brunsden were given access to the cinema’s archive of photographs, programmes and correspondence and were invited to reveal hidden stories and voices from the history of Britain’s oldest surviving newsreel cinema still in operation.
Simon Drysdale, Interim Chief Executive of Tyneside Cinema, explained: “We have a really fascinating archive here at the cinema which includes everything from papers dating from the 1930s, when the cinema first opened, to photos from events across the years, like the Tyneside Gay Film Festival.
“Despite all this information, there are gaps in the story of Tyneside Cinema and the way it has been told over the decades, so we invited artists to help us reveal some of the hidden stories and voices from our past.”
Adina Nelu is a Manchester-based film composer, producer and creative sound designer. She has created three audio-visual works – called Marie’s Vision, Women of Tyneside and Transformation – which will be shown before film screenings and which celebrate the women who have played a role in the cinema’s history. Audiences will hear sounds and music recreated from the early cinema experience, from the 1930s onwards combined with noises recorded in the Tyneside Cinema in 2022, alongside graphics and images from the Tyneside Cinema archive.
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, artist Sofia Barton’s work uses bright colour palettes inspired by her Punjabi culture. 10 poster prints by Sofia will be on show around the Tyneside Cinema building, charting different moments in the cinema’s history, from a celebration of Tyneside Coffee Rooms as a safe space for Newcastle’s LGBTQI+ community, to screenings of Bollywood films during the 1980s.
Artists Colette Whittington and Tim Brunsden are both based in Liverpool. Colette Whittington specialises in working with underrepresented audiences while Tim Brunsden makes films with a focus on community and outsider culture. Together, the artists have created two installations, titled Lost and Found, which will be on show in the cinema’s stairwells. They reveal the range of voices that are part of the history of Tyneside Cinema – from young audience members who provided sometimes brutal feedback on screenings over the years, to members of film clubs and societies.
“More than 200,000 people watch a film at Tyneside Cinema every year and now these four artists will help us to share with everyone aspects of our story which most people will be unaware of,” said Simon Drysdale.
The new artworks will be on show at Tyneside Cinema on Pilgrim Street in Newcastle city centre from Saturday 1 October 2022. Tyneside Cinema Archive Commissions are supported with public funding by Arts Council England.
Find out more at www.tynesidecinema.co.uk.