Festival of the North East- There's a Lot Going on Up Here!

Gospel Themed Weekend of Events on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne Brings Festival of the North East to a Close

An art installation of 30,000 glass jars filled with water coloured with ink, creating a vibrant carpet of colour in the grounds of Lindisfarne Priory, will be just one of the events taking place over the weekend of 28 to 30 June on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, bringing the month long Festival of the North East to a close. The Gospel themed finale weekend will also celebrate the official launch of the Lindisfarne Gospels Festival programme, which sees the ancient manuscript return to the region on loan to Durham University’s Palace Green Library, in partnership with the British Library, from 1 July to 30 September 2013.

The Gospels on the Grass land art entitled ‘Carpet’ by environmental artist Steve Messam will be a 100 sq metre visual spectacle in the English Heritage managed Priory grounds from 28 June – 7 July (open 10am to 6pm daily). The piece recalls the importance of colour in 7th Century Britain, replicating an Anglo-Saxon style ‘carpet’ pattern as well as the colour and design featured in the island’s famous manuscript. The intensity of the colour will transform the lower end of the Priory and will become particularly magical in sunlight.

Internationally recognised English concertina player Alistair Anderson and his band will perform a new work ‘A Lindisfarne Gospel’ in a double concert (2pm and 4pm) on Saturday, 29 June at St. Mary’s Church, Holy Island, celebrating the Lindisfarne Gospels and the corner of the north that nurtured them. The interweaving knotwork of the ‘carpet pages’ of the Gospels is reflected in the intertwining musical textures of the piece, featuring fiddles, harp, concertina, cello and Northumbrian pipes.

Other informal and acoustic sessions will be performed in a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces around the island throughout the weekend by young folk musicians, carrying forward the vibrant tradition of North East folk music that has existed since the times of the Gospels. This youth project entitled ‘The Tradition in their Hands’ is being run by Sage Gateshead’s Folkworks organisation which showcases traditional music, song and dance.

The Dear Angel ‘drop-in’ art workshop will be another highlight of the weekend where visitors to the island will be able to pop into the Dear Angel retro caravan to create their own unique letter to the Angel of the North, as part of artist Stevie Ronnie’s interactive artwork that aims to capture how people feel and think about the North East of England. Participants will be invited by on-site artists Susannah Pickering and Marek Gabrysch to handwrite, type, record, make and illustrate a letter around the central theme of home, as the Lindisfarne Gospels also complete their journey home.

The newly refurbished Lookout Tower on Lindisfarne and the crypt of St. Aidan’s church in Bamburgh (visible from the Lookout Tower on a clear day), will be the two locations for a duel site poetry installation entitled ‘Antiphonal’. The voices of five poets responding to the Lindisfarne Gospels and the haunting landscape within which it is associated, are layered digitally and interwoven with sounds of the island by digital artist Tom Schofield.

An open air dance performance Unfolding Sky: Turner in the North - a collaboration between Artistic Director and choreographer Dora Frankel and innovative composer Peter Coyte - will take place at Lindisfarne Priory as a vibrant re-imaging of the extraordinary depictions of the Northumberland countryside, captured on canvas by the great English landscape painter JMW Turner. This contemporary dance piece is the final performance in a month long tour of open air concerts as part of Festival of the North East.

Commenting on this finale weekend Festival manager Mo Lovatt said:

“It's fitting that our month long journey around the region comes to a close in a reflective moment of celebration on Holy Island. The finale will allow us a moment to think about all we've achieved as a region and what is yet to come.”

For further details about this programme of events on Lindisfarne or other events across the region on this final weekend visit www.festivalne.com.