BBC PASSION

Bruised not Broken

Patrick was commissioned along with 11 other artists including singer Graeme Danby, composer Will Todd, photographers Julian Germain and Garry Hunter to create works inspired by the stations of the cross. The commissions were broadcast as a live event on BBC One, the programme was called the Great North Passion.

Each artist worked with one of twelve communities located across the north east of England. Patrick was commissioned by the organisation Bait to work with members of the Ashington community in response to the themes of loss and resilience in relation to Station 10 of Christ’s Easter passion.

At the centre of the commission was a long 24ft table, it represented the Ashington community and the idea of working and living together. The marks and stories written on the table were produced by the community, the shapes and shadows also mark where plates, cutlery and cups once had sat, but these had been removed, indicating the loss of the mining industry, 2014 was the 30th anniversary of the miners strike and the work looked at the impact this had on families and domestic lives. The surface of the table was stripped back and bare leaving overlapping layers of stories and memories, of both contemporary and past situations. The legs of the table are made from warehouse steel wracking, again echoing an existence once built on industry and past experiences of loss employment, dignity and poverty.

The mirrors reflect the table many times turning the single table into a vast factory floor or community dining room. The mirrors also reflect the viewers image within the installation making everyone who looks at the table part of the piece.

Information

Title: BBC Great North Passion
Date: 2014
Activity: Commission/Workshops/Exhibition/Broadcast

Press

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The Journal
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First stages of the project. Delivery of the shipping container.

Meeting with miners who worked in and around Ashington at the time of the Miners Strike. Listen to an audio recording of them talking about their experiences above.

Starting to work with the Ashington community in a series of workshops.

Images of the Table, from being cut with a CNC machine to coming together in a finished piece.

Live Broadcast

A key ingredient in the live broadcast was the translation of the themes of the artwork into a ‘live’ performance. Patrick worked with theatre maker Annie Rigby and a group from Ashington Church of England Academy to create a positive chant; you can see the chant graphically presented large on the gallery walls.

Patrick wanted to illustrate lost tradition and industry by recreating a pounding rhythm created by clogs echoing the noise of industry. In the performance the beat stops but is replaced by the voices of the community. Clog dancer Brenda Walker and her group provided the rhythm on top of oil drums decorated by young people at Ashington YMCA with graffiti artist Andy Morley.

Exhibition at Woodhorn Museum. Home of the Pitman Painters Collection.

Other work in the exhibition references the idea of a picket line. Placards and braziers feature within the gallery space,but instead of messages about the miners strike we have messages written by today’s community that illustrate a passion for family, community, resilience and not giving up, often in times exhaustion and despair.

Scattered on the table and floor are Tally’s produced by the community. Tally’s were used by miners when clocking in and out of the pits, a form of identification. They often carried the miners number or name, here the messages are about hope, family and the Ashington community. All placards and tallys were produced at Ashington Childrens Centre by members of the community.

Shining through the exhibition is a neon artwork called ‘Hope’ this occupies a central role within the group of work pointing to a brighter future, where even in the darkest situations there is always a hope that things are getting better, and positive change is always around the corner.