God's Bridge art project concludes with exhibition at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

Darlington and Stockton Times: Sculptor Tania Kovats (right) talks to Ewan Allinson (left) alongside his artwork Vinotonus' Shrine. Sculptor Tania Kovats (right) talks to Ewan Allinson (left) alongside his artwork Vinotonus' Shrine.

A YEAR-long art project which attracted international interest is concluding with an exhibition at a leading North-East museum.

Ten artists were recruited to produce a piece of work inspired by the God's Bridge limestone feature on the river Greta, near Bowes, County Durham.

Internationally-renowned artist Tania Kovats was asked to mentor those taking part and she visited The Bowes Museum, at Barnard Castle, to view the finished work, which now forms an exhibition.

“What is being presented is how that landscape affected this group of artists,” she said.

“There is a real range of work. There is not really any which you would say is a representation of God's Bridge, they are all interprative.”

Devon-based Ms Kovats said the project could lead to more people heading to the Greta.

“God's Bridge is a remarkable limestone feature but it is not particularly well known and I am sure the exhibition will generate people trying to find it,” she said.

The project was organised by Artworks in Teesdale and when it was first unveiled, almost 90 artists from as far as France and Singapore applied for a place.

In the end, four from Teesdale and six from further afield were chosen.

Sculptor Ewan Allinson, from Middleton-in-Teesdale, said he had enjoyed being part of the group.

“The stereotype is of artists working in isolation, but I love collective working,” he said.

His piece for the project, entitled Vinotonus' Shrine, is situated in the fountain in front of The Bowes Museum.

“I had a rough idea of what I would do, but that shifted quite radically. The form and the story that goes with this piece emerged as I was making it,” he said.

Artworks co-manager Judy Caplin said the exhibition was the culmination of a sucessful project that had fulfilled its aims.

“We wanted to give local artists access to someone of Tania Kovats' calibre and bring professional artists into Teesdale to discover this amazing landscape.

“We wanted to record how artists create work and how they are inspired by the landscape.”

Ms Kovats added: “This project is a really good model of collective working that people might want to do in other places.

“Artists often work in isolation and this was an opportunity to encourage an exchange between artists.”

The God's Bridge exhibition continues at The Bowes Museum until July 6.

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