Pop up gallery hits the road after Sunderland success

04 May 2015

AN ARTS project which has given Sunderland people the opportunity to share their thoughts and memories is rolling out of the city – having been the most successful event to date.

The Caravan Gallery launched its one month Pride of Place scheme in Sunderland in April, giving local people a venue to showcase their views of their home.

Set up in an empty shop in Fawcett Street by Caravan Gallery artists Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale, residents were invited to submit their perspective of the city through everything from poetry to photography.

The project has been run in a number of cities around the UK, but Jan said that the Sunderland event has been the “most ambitious so far” and that “thousands of people had taken part.”

“Even as we were trying to close the exhibition people were still coming in and wanting to get involved,” said Jan,

“It has been an incredible success.”

The artists also set up a People’s Map where visitors were encouraged to add comments about various areas of the city, with messages ranging from the amusing to the poignant.

“We had one that pointed to an area and said ‘fell in love here, 2008. Unrequited,’;” said Jan.

“We have some fantastic responses and some fantastic people who have taken part.”

Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, said he was delighted that so many people had got involved.

“Sunderland has proud history and as we move forward it’s great to see so many people remembering that and sharing their memories,” he said.

“And we’re delighted that the Caravan Gallery is also going to use some of the material from their time in Sunderland in a book and that they will be coming back to share that with us later in the year.”