PREVIEW: Virtual Creative Summer Activities Showcasing 'Hidden Bishop Auckland'

Posted on July 20th 2020 by Whats on Northeast

In a partnership between Durham County Council’s community arts team and the Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone, these five projects come together to make ‘Hidden Bishop Auckland’ which will run online throughout the summer.

Each creative project has been made in conjunction with local and regional artists. Due to restrictions in place as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the projects have been redeveloped and will be delivered online through social media and digital platforms.

The free projects have been designed to engage with people of all ages and abilities. For each activity, people can send in their creative submissions for a chance to be featured in this year’s Bishop Auckland History and Heritage Festival, which will take place online in October, as well as displayed in an exhibition in 2022 in Bishop Auckland Town Hall. There will also be other activities as part of the festival to be announced soon.

‘Hidden Stories’, produced by artist Richard Bliss, will launch on 22 July. Participants can help Richard discover the history of the town hall and inspire the creation of a “workers shirt” in the style that would have been worn in the 1800s when the venue was built. People can join his virtual “town gatherings” via Zoom to hear a talk and share stories of the town hall, its more recent history, its origins and its links with music. Zoom places will be limited and can be booked via email to .  Richard will also be delivering short online workshop via social media on how to conserve your own heirlooms and artefacts and, for younger members of the family, how to make a puppet from old clothing.

‘Hidden Gems’, with photographer Lee Dobson, will launch on 1 August. Lee will be talking budding photographers through a series of engaging short tutorials online via social media, focusing on taking shots around Bishop Auckland’s Heritage Action Zone area. People can then send in their images of local landmarks, building features and structures based on a number of themes. Some images will be chosen to be included on one of 12 designs for digital postcards.

‘Hidden Places in Faces’, with artist Stu Langley, will launch on 20 July. For this project, Stu is asking people to take and submit some video footage of their favourite places in Bishop Auckland. Sending these in along with a photo of their head in profile, Stu will then animate a film which will celebrate places in faces. Stu will deliver a series of short social media tutorials using free to download apps which will help people digitally animate their own film.

‘Hidden Crafts’, by local arts organisation Daisy Arts, will launch online on 20 July. Daisy Arts will deliver a series of online short craft activity sessions created for both children and adults using different techniques and easily sourced materials and recycling. People can make a wildflower brooch, a pop-up structure, build a tower, try mosaic art and make a kite to fly.  There will also be a limited number of doorstep activity packs which can be delivered directly to homes and will include all the resources to make a Midsummer cushion. Activities will run in the summer holidays and during October half-term.

‘Hidden Words’ is already underway. In this project, Dr Lucie Brownlee is gathering recollections of community events, significant happenings, and of how the town’s buildings and landmarks were in the past. Working with the staff and residents of Sandringham Care Home, these stories will be published as podcasts and broadcast on Bishop FM during the history and heritage festival.

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