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The Theme and Artists 2016

A Midwinter Night's Tale

Whilst cleaning out an attic in Saltwell Towers earlier this year, a metal trunk full of manuscripts was discovered. Amongst them was a dusty leather-bound anonymous diary from the year 1616. The last entry, dated 22 April, describes a hacking cough and persistent cold and attached to this the beginnings of a letter…

Dear John - at last the work is almost complete and will be ready for publication by Mid-Summer’s Day and, to my surprise, it contains many references to my plays of yore. I have, for the amusement of my good wife Anne, also written a brief synopsis designed to be read aloud around a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night.

The letter ends there and there is no sign of the synopsis let alone the complete work. Although the book is anonymous, experts have identified it as written in the hand of William Shakespeare.

It’s 400 years later and a strange kind of magic has taken over the park – could the long lost work be coming to life?

Venture through the park’s woodlands in this after-dark arts adventure for all the family.

Enchanted Parks map

Download the Enchanted Parks route map (PDF)

The artists

a. A Forgotten Treasure
Roma Yagnik and Chris Lavelle

A Forgotten Treasure sets the scene for your enchanted Midwinter journey through Saltwell Park, starting with the discovery of Shakespeare’s diary, uncovering the existence of a long-lost work.

Roma is a Newcastle based composer of music for film, animation, television and theatre. She has a diverse client list including BBC, Sky, EMI, Universal, Unicef, Open Clasp and Tate Britain and has had music performed, recorded and broadcast internationally. Roma is part of 2016's BAFTA crew.

Chris is a multiple award winning motion artist and graphic designer from ‘up north’. His portfolio includes music videos, Animations, Abstract video art and Large scale projection mapping. His clients include Disney, Adobe, and his brother (who isn’t as famous as the other two but just as important).

b. Ignis Fatuus – Faery Magic

Listen carefully and you will hear whispering… and giggling in the dark. Look closely and you may spot mischievous faeries darting between the trees. You’ve found their magical world.

ArtAV are digital artists, producing complex multidisciplinary works involving interactive video, lighting and sound. They specialise in the fields of 3D projection mapping and pixel mapped video. ArtAV are often commissioned by other leading video artists to realise the technology and interaction aspects of their work.

c. Forever and a Day
Impossible Arts

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Now is your chance to bring to life the Bard’s most famous words.

Yorkshire based Impossible create intriguing digital arts works that capture the imagination.

Mixing visual spectacle with interactive and participatory elements to engage people from all backgrounds. Working in domestic, neighbourhood, community, civic, education, retail and work environments; creating extraordinary experiences in everyday locations.

d. The Eternal Debate of the Unconcious Mind
Alise Stopina – University of Sunderland

“The course of true love never did run smooth”. Follow your heart to Saltwell Towers.

Alise Stopina graduated from Rigas Design and Art vocational school in Latvia with a Glass designer diploma. Wanting to continue her studies she went on to work as a stained glass restaurateur in Luxembourg. Now she is a 2nd year student at the University of Sunderland, the Glass and Ceramics department.

e. Enchanted Talking Posts
Shared Space and Light

The lampposts in the park are behaving in a strange manor, enchanted by some of Shakespeare’s characters. Join in the jolly discourse and banter.

Shared Space and Light uses the power of video mapping to reveal the hidden stories of buildings and the communities who use them. Working with different communities is central to what we do. We find and work with a diverse cross-section of people on large scale, ambitious projects, resulting in spectacular outdoor projections.

f. The Song of Time
Natsumi Jones, Sunderland University

Colourful nightingales dance in the undergrowth, representing a forbidden love that is beautiful, but unattainable.

Natsumi Jones is a BA Glass and Ceramics student in University of Sunderland. Her work captures and regenerates the subtle moment or a scene in daily life that is unnoticeable or forgotten.

g. Enchanted Echoes
Stuff and Things

An immersive sound scape at the top of the Dene draws audiences in, creating a sense of mystery and intrigue, magic and uncertainty.

Nick Warburton from Stuff and Things works as an artist in a wide variety of disciplines – performance, sculpture, sound; and as a mechanical engineer, electronic engineer, inventor and blacksmith. Nick’s work often bridges many of these disciplines, and it is normally garnished with a tussock of comedy that seeks to underpin a truth.

h. Rough Magic
Studio Vertigo

Drawing you down into the dene, flashes of lightning, create the beginnings of a storm that the audience will venture through.

Studio Vertigo manipulate materials to create objects that contradict and obscure our sense of what is real. We like to think that moments of questioning open up a space of possibility. A space that has the potential to be transformative; connecting objects, viewers and space together in that moment.

i. Storm
Output Arts

Now is the winter of our discontent. Be brave. Venture into the storm, but remember it will pass and your journey will continue.

Output Arts is a collaboration between artists Andy D’Cruz, Jonathan Hogg and Hilary Sleiman who create artworks that are powerful, emotional and memorable.  They work primarily, but not exclusively, with sound and light. The resulting projects respond to the respective community and settings. Based in London, Output Arts have been creating artworks for a variety of locations across the UK and Europe for the past seven years.

j. These Words Take Wing
Richard Dawson

Magical manuscripts and Shakespearean characters bring the long-lost work to life.

An artist based in the North of England and working in various mediums especially three dimensional and sculptural pieces often with kinetic elements and created from recycled materials. His work includes public art, exhibitions and creative engagement with focus current being on themes of environment and mankind’s place in nature.

k. A Rose By Any Other Name
Cristina Ottonello

Larger than life, beautiful roses line the Cherry Tree Walk, a memory of the bloody battles of the War of the Roses.

Cristina Ottonello is a designer, educator and public artist, specialising in the construction of large scale and temporary installations for public spaces and events. Her humorous style aims to entertain and surprise. Oversized picnics, gigantic illuminated teapots, flower-patterned hummingbirds or dancing fabric pillars, her fantastical sets stimulate the imagination and create inspiring, wonderful and whimsical worlds.

l. Love, Rivalry and Magic!
Daniel Rollitt – University of Sunderland

Stumble upon a scene from one of Shakespeare’s most popular works, where love, rivalry and magic meet in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Daniel’s work explores the creation of depth and multiple perspectives, often incorporating partially hidden elements to add further interest to the viewer. Daniel uses dichroic glass, to scatter light, creating subtle hints of colour that change with visual perspective.

m. The Book of Shadows
Bethan Maddocks

Hiding in the bandstand sits a giant, magical book, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be read. Its large pages are delicate paper-cuts of scenes frozen in time - Could this be the novel work? 

Bethan Maddocks is a Visual Artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne who creates site-specific, kinetic installations. Her work is often embedded with stories from the local community and she uses light, paper-cutting and sculpture to transform these stories into engaging and immersive artworks.

n. Exit, pursued by a bear
Jonny Michie, University of Sunderland

Take your leave as directed by Shakespeare himself, pursued by a bear – a giant, glass bear.

Jonathan Michie is an artist currently studying Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland. He specialises in architectural glasswork and stained glass. His work focuses on creating modern, digitally inspired artwork through traditional craft methods.

Gijs van Bon

Letter after letter the glowing text pours slowly out of the machine. Nyx will make its way around the park leaving trails of Shakespearian text for audiences to read.

The multidisciplinary objects and installations of Van Bon always move between theatrical and autonomous tension.

Gijs Van Bon combines and eliminates the boundaries between them in order to create vital and powerful objects, which have often a poetic and delicate content or effect.

Other Websites

Enchanted Parks is a member of Light up the North, a network of seven light festivals taking place in seven cities across the North of England.

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