Calligraphy exhibition moves into historic church

The Inspired by Lindisfarne exhibition is on the move.

After a successful five-week run at The Customs House in South Shields, the artwork created by my weekly calligraphy groups is now on display at 17Nineteen in Sunderland.

The former Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland is an ideal venue for the exhibition, not least because of its religious significance as the first parish church of Old Sunderland.

It’s flooded with natural light and there are beautiful examples of lettering throughout the building, including a heart-wrenching note written by 13-year-old orphan William Elliott on August 11, 1897, asking not to be forgotten as he prepared for a life at sea.

One of the artists we worked with, Yvette Ja, also has work permanently on display in the library at the venue, in Church Street East, Hendon.

And National Lottery players will have an extra incentive to visit, as both the venue and Creative Calligraphy say thanks to the players for making it possible.

Lily Daniels from 17Nineteen and Angela Reed from Creative Calligraphy
Lily Daniels, participation and engagement officer at 17Nineteen, and Angela Reed, from Creative Calligraphy.

National Lottery Open Week 2023

The Inspired by Lindisfarne project was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

A £2,664 Project Grant enabled the groups to work with Yvette and artist Carrie Dennison, on bookbinding and Celtic knotwork respectively.

It also funded entry to the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery in September last year, which inspired the project itself.

As part of the National Lottery Open Week 2023, anyone visiting the exhibition on Saturday, March 18, will receive a complementary cuppa when they show a National Lottery ticket, Instant Win Game or scratchcard (physical or digital).

Calligraphy complements historic building

17Nineteen is an arts and events space based in the old Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland’s East End, which was restored thanks to a £5.1m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

It takes its name from the year the church was opened for the newly-formed Parish of Sunderland.

It was forced to close on June 26, 1988, due to a dwindling congregation and ownership transferred to the Churches Conservation Trust.

Lily Daniels, participation and engagement officer at 17Nineteen, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Inspired by Lindisfarne exhibition to the venue.

“The timing has given us a wonderful opportunity to take part in the National Lottery Open Week 2023 and say #ThanksToYou to the National Lottery players for supporting good causes such as ours.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to appreciate the hard work that has gone into such an impressive display of calligraphy, bookbinding, Celtic knotwork and illuminated lettering.”

The exhibition will run at 17Nineteen from Monday, March 6, until Sunday, March 19, during its usual opening hours (10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Friday and 7pm to 11pm on Saturday, plus 10am to 4pm on Saturday, March 18.)

It will then transfer to South Shields Museum and Art Gallery after Easter.

The calligraphy groups will also be swapping their usual meeting place for 17Nineteen on Thursday, March 9, and Friday, March 10, between 10am to noon, to chat to visitors.

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