Speaking with the editor of the Hexham Courant arts section yesterday, I was keen to let her know how ambitious the Whistle Art Stop project is – not confined to the industrial unit that we have chosen as our base but about going out into the town, to the people, and asking them to allow us to be part of their community. Like most people I speak to, the editor was excited that there is something positive and forward thinking happening in Haltwhistle that she can report on. I warned her to be ready for a lot of activity!

We now have permission from the landlords of the Hadrian Enterprise Park to use the front railings as a public art space and are pleased to announce the first of many TWAS Art in the Community projects.

mock up of the railings with art work

Project 1: Hadrian Railings.

About the Project: The Hadrian Paintworks is steeped in history and in the past has contributed to the local community of Haltwhistle, providing commerce and jobs. After the closure of Plenmeller colliery in 1931, the Hadrian Paint Works created new jobs in a rapidly declining community. Producing paint for the naval ships preparing for war, it was followed by Kilfrost during the Second World War by the remote location needed for its sensitive work.

The Hadrian Enterprise Park, as it is now known, is home to several small businesses including the Whistle Art Stop – a new community arts project that has an exciting and ambitious programme to provide the community with a place to make and enjoy art.

In this first project by the Whistle Art Stop, the railings on the Hadrian Enterprise Park will be used as a public art space for 15 boards painted by a group from the local community. Delivered by a series of 10 workshops and 5 painting sessions run by three artists, the group will learn to research their subject matter and collaborate with others before each producing a large scale painting which will be hung on the railings. Already a busy venue with walkers and visitors to Splatz children’s area, the project will draw more visitors to the area and the group will be encouraged to take ownership of their exhibition space.

Aims and Objectives: to contribute to a real sense of geographical identity and community, drawing people towards a place of history and creating a feeling of civic pride.

The group will learn to research and document the history of the Hadrian Enterprise Park and use that research to develop ideas that reflect how they see the past against the future of the park. They will work one on one with a professional artist and learn the skills of creating mock ups that can be transferred to large scale. Participants will be encouraged to use different art methods exploring medium and styles of the past and creating their own sense of identity reflecting a future.

This project is open to everyone over 16 yrs old. You DO NOT need to have any artistic experience or be able to draw. In fact, we prefer to hear from those who claim not to have any creative skills. This project aims to unlock hidden talents. Priority is given to unemployed and you must be willing to commit to weekly workshops (held at weekends).

Email stop@twhistle.co.uk for full details of the project and an application form.

All artists working with Twhistle CIC t/a Whistle Art Stop have enhanced CRB checks and all have Public Liability insurance.