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Images of Teesside

These images are of the River Tees and surrounding area, a place I grew up and a place I have a deep connection with.

Completed before the closure of the Steel Industry, they’re an exploration and discovery of the landscape with an emphasis on the spirit and feeling of the area.

South Gare looking towards Hartlepool Power Station
South Gare looking towards Hartlepool Power Station
Steelworks at Teesside
Steelworks at Teesside, Acrylic on Driftwood

Braving the elements

By creating the drawings outdoors, you get a sense of being part of the environment and it becomes more of a response than a record of what you see around you. It’s an observation and celebration of what is powerful and moving about the landscape.

Redcar Blastfurnace, Acrylic on Driftwood
Redcar Blastfurnace, Acrylic on Driftwood

I now live in Nottingham, only going back to visit family these days. It’s hard to say what impact the closures has had on the area without being melodramatic and I don’t want to come over as disingenuous but I don’t feel properly informed enough to make any comment of any worth.

South Gare, Teesside
Looking towards Redcar and down the coast to Saltburn
South Gare, Teesside
Lone figure amongst lobster pots in Paddy’s hole
South Gare, Teesside
Hartlepool in the distance over the mouth of the River Tees
South Gare, Teesside
Tees Dock and Hartlepool

One interesting outcome will be to see what happens to the deserted structures and whether the land will be regenerated or left to nature. What kind of landscape will emerge?

Whatever happens, the landscape will change once again and with it a new response from artists.

Photography

Recently I’ve recorded my time around Middlesbrough and Redcar with my iPhone and posted my results on Instagram.

There’s quite a contrast between the immediacy of whipping your phone out and taking a shot against absorbing yourself for days making something tactile with your hands where the outcome seems more honest and fresh.

Hockney

I’m painting landscapes in Yorkshire because you can’t photograph them. The camera can’t get the beauty of this, it just can’t get the space, the thrilling space I’m in. We’ve got to a point were we think the camera can photograph anything at all. Well it can’t. No, it can’t compete with painting at all.

David Hockney working in Yorkshire and discussing his visual recording process. Warning – the sound track is quite bad and distracting.

Update

The above video isn’t available anymore so here is another…

Colin Brewer

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