Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM) has announced further details of the highly anticipated return of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the north east this year.
Tickets are now on sale for the landmark exhibition at Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle, which celebrates the most spectacular surviving manuscript from early medieval Britain.
As well as showcasing the venerated book across three gallery spaces, the exhibition will feature new work by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, who is also acting as an artistic advisor for the show.
The Lindisfarne Gospels, on loan from The British Library, will be on display in Newcastle for the first time since 2000, between September 17 and December 3.
The exhibition will investigate the meaning of the Lindisfarne Gospels in the world today and explore its relationship with themes of personal, regional, and national identity.
Gospels celebrated across three galleries
The Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition will begin with an immersive digital experience, where visitors will journey back to Lindisfarne during the 8th century.
The second gallery will showcase the Gospels themselves, as well as early medieval treasures brought together from across Britain. Over 20 remarkable objects will be on display, each reflecting the meaning people attached to books, objects and art.
Key loans include grave goods from some of the earliest converts to Christianity, and material from the Staffordshire Hoard.
The Gospels will be shown alongside other illuminated manuscripts, including another significant loan from the British Library – the St Cuthbert Gospel, the oldest intact European book.
With their painstakingly elaborate decoration and symbolism, these masterpieces of craftsmanship were a tremendous show of devotion.
In the third gallery, visitors will see how art and spirituality have developed in the centuries since the Lindisfarne Gospels were created.
Julie Milne, chief curator of art galleries for TWAM, said: “It is exhilarating that the exhibition is starting to take shape and we can talk in more detail about what people will be able to see and experience.
“The Lindisfarne Gospels are such an important part of our region’s history and heritage that it’s a privilege to be able to exhibit them and build an exhibition around them.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Jeremy Deller and having his artistic input to help shape the exhibition experience.”
The exhibition is sponsored by Ad Gefrin Visitor Experience and Distillery, which will open in Wooler in autumn 2022 and brings to life the hidden history of the 7th Century Anglo Saxon royal summer palace of the Northumbrian Kings and Queens discovered at Yeavering only four miles away – one of the 20th century’s most remarkable archaeological finds.
It is also supported by The North of Tyne Combined Authority, The Headley Trust, Fergusons and Tyne and Wear Metro.
For more information and tickets, visit www.laingartgallery.org.uk.
A programme of events inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels is taking place throughout 2022, in towns and cities across the region.
To find out more, visit www.lindisfarnegospels2022.com.
You can also read my programme highlights here.