Matt Stokes: Beyond the Field Exhibition

Overview

Overview

In Summer 2019, Museums Northumberland is thrilled to be sharing some of Northumberland’s most extraordinary and little-known stories with you. ‘Beyond the Field’ by artist Matt Stokes is an audio installation that Museums Northumberland commissioned for Berwick Museum and Art Gallery.

The artwork uses folk instruments to create the sounds produced by fauna present in the landscape of Berwick-upon-Tweed in the mid 1700s. This was during the Agricultural Revolution when the flower-rich meadowlands described by writers surveying the Tweed Valley were being drained and replaced with crops. The shift in farming practices altered local biodiversity, effecting the plants, insects, birds and mammals present in the area.

These changes were recorded by the Berwickshire Naturalists’ Club, which was founded in 1831 by local resident Dr George Johnston. ‘Beyond the Field’ draws on their early publications, which are held here at Berwick Museum and Art Gallery. As a forerunner of naturalist societies across Britain, the Club’s records provide vital information about the ecology, history and culture of Northumberland.

The instruments played in ‘Beyond the Field’ were also common in the 18th century. These include a unique regional musical instrument, the Northumberland small pipes, alongside the Half Long (or Border) Pipes, fiddle, hurdy gurdy, tabor, tabor pipe, shawm, Jew’s harp and a variety of bone whistles. Sometimes individual instruments can be clearly heard.

At other times the sounds of fauna were produced through layering many instruments, or by removing a component such as the reed or bellows from the small pipes. The insects, birds and mammals represented in ‘Beyond the Field’ are almost all now considered ‘at risk’ or ‘of concern’. Although the installation conjures a place and time specific to Berwick-upon-Tweed, it invites the audience to consider the ongoing impact of human activity across the natural world. The duration of ‘Beyond the Field’ is 12 minutes (looped) You can find out more about the Berwickshire Naturalists’ Club in our connected special display, featuring previously unseen objects from the collection. Younger visitors can enjoy ‘The Berwick But-they-no-longer-fly cabinet’; a facilitated art activity created by artist Bethan Maddocks.

This art activity runs daily from 11am-12.30pm at weekends and during the Northumberland school summer holidays.

Access information

Unfortunately due to the nature of the buildings, there is no wheelchair access to the upper floors. 

Road directions

Berwick Museum and Art Gallery is just over 0.5 mile from Berwick Upon Tweed train station.

Public transport

Berwick Museum and Art Gallery is just over 0.5 mile from Berwick Upon Tweed train station.

Matt Stokes: Beyond the Field Exhibition takes place at ...

Ticketing and entry prices for Matt Stokes: Beyond the Field Exhibition

Type Entry for Guide price
Single
(Adult)
£5.00
annual pass

Dates & times for Matt Stokes: Beyond the Field Exhibition, Berwick-upon-Tweed

From To
Saturday20/07/2019Sunday22/09/201911:00 - 16:00
Toilet Facilities at Matt Stokes: Beyond the Field Exhibition Exhibition Event Toilet facilities
Gift shop on site at Matt Stokes: Beyond the Field Exhibition Exhibition Event Gift shop on site
Indoors at Matt Stokes: Beyond the Field Exhibition Exhibition Event Indoors
https://images.visitnorthumberland.com/Matt-Stokes-Beyond-the-Field-Exhibition/vn-medium-beyond-the-field.jpghttps://images.visitnorthumberland.com/Matt-Stokes-Beyond-the-Field-Exhibition/vn-medium-beyond-the-field.jpgberwick@museumsnorthumberland.org.uk 2019-07-20T11-002019-09-22T16-00

Photo: https://images.visitnorthumberland.com/Matt-Stokes-Beyond-the-Field-Exhibition/vn-medium-beyond-the-field.jpg

URL: https://museumsnorthumberland.org.uk/berwick-museum-art-gallery/

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