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Open Libraries and Reading Group at Tarset Village Hall

At Tarset Village Hall in Lanehead, Northumberland – Map

Open Library dates:

Friday 17th June

10:00 – 13:30

Reading Group 11:00-12:30

Friday 15th July

10:00 – 13.30

Reading Group 11:00-12:30

Thursday 4th August

Village Hall Coffee morning, from 10:00

Reading Group 11:00-12:30

During the library’s residence with Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC) from May – August 2022 we are running a programme of Open Library events at Tarset Village Hall in June, July and August. Each Open Library is an opportunity to browse the collection, learn more about the project or simply have a cup of tea with us.

On each Open Library day there will be a Reading Group 11:00 – 12:30 for anyone that wishes to come together and explore more of the collection. Each Reading Group will focus on texts by two artists and/or writers in the library collection that explores a connection to art and craft, living rurally, or responding to landscape.

All texts will be made available in advance through our website (below). No prior knowledge is needed as printed copies will be available on the day and we will read the texts together.

We hope to meet local networks and creative practitioners in Tarset and invite anyone interested in the library or with a creative connection to Northumberland to join us.

These events take place during the library’s residency with Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC) from May – August 2022. In addition to Open Library days we are using this time to research VARC’s history and find out more about underrepresented legacies of women artists connected to rural Northumberland.

See you in the Village Hall.

4th August Texts:

For this month’s reading group, we will be reading from a collaborative text ‘The Hundreds’ by artists Kate Liston and Tess Denman-Cleaver, and ‘Seventeen of Sixty Eight’ by Ingrid Pollard.

Available to download below

The Hundreds by Kate Liston and Tess Denman-Cleaver

Extract: PART TWO

The Hundreds (2021) by Kate Liston and Tess Denman-Cleaver was produced to accompany the exhibition, Town Hall Meeting of the Air at BALTIC39 in 2021.

The Hundreds narrates how new inhabitants ‘The Hundreds’, create and establish themselves on a unpopulated island. Conceived during the lockdowns of 2020-21, the poetic texts invite us to reimagine how we gather together, inhabit space, create community and think about utopia.

Town Hall Meeting of the Air was developed ‘…looks at how architecture shapes public gathering and language. A focus on the sensory and material experience of gathering eulogises the silences, stutterings and physical proximity lost in digitally-mediated togetherness.

Town Hall Meeting of the Air draws on research into ancient assembly sites, abandoned parliaments, radio broadcast history, utopian literature and the experimental and politicised writings of novelist and poet, Gertrude Stein.’ – BALTIC website /

Seventeen of Sixty Eight by Ingrid Pollard

Extract: Hidden in a Public Place

Seventeen of Sixty Eight (2019) by Ingrid Pollard, presents Pollard’s research alongside essays by Lubaina Himid and Susan Trangmar, informing the exhibition Seventeen of Sixty-Eight presented at BALTIC Gallery part of Artists’ Award 2019.

Pollards exhibition of the same title was an installation of photographs, video and found objects collected over decades of research related to traditional British pub signs and architecture. The “Seventeen of Sixty Eight” relates to the 68 pubs in the UK that have “Black Boy” in their name and Pollard’s thesis ‘Hidden in a Public Place’ provides us with an insight into her research process, site visits and archival research, and how it informs her practice.

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Previous Reading Groups:

15th July Texts:

For this month’s reading group, we will be reading from artist Laura Harrington’s new publication Fieldworking: The Science and Art of Fieldwork at Moor House’ by ecologist Meredith Root-Bernstein. We will also read from artist Kelly Richardson’s publication The Last Frontier: the chapter ‘Out of the Darkness and into the Sublime’ by curator Holly E. Hughes.

Both are available to download below

Fieldworking by Laura Harrington

Extract: The Science and Art of Fieldwork at Moor House by Meredith Root-Bernstein

Fieldworking (2022) by Laura Harrington was produced to accompany the launch of the film Fieldworking by Laura Harrington.

Created in collaboration with Chris Bate, Ludwig Berger, Sarah Bouttell, Luce Choules, Simone Kenyon, Fiona MacDonald (Feral Practice), Lee Patterson and Meredith Root-Bernstein. 

Six artists, an ecologist and two filmmakers spend five days together in an off-grid location surrounded by moorland and blanket bog. Camping on the former site of an important scientific field station in Moor House, Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve, they collectively explore ways to comprehend, inhabit and work within the context of this remote and ‘wet’ location. 

Fieldworking meditatively interweaves footage and field recordings from this journey – the direct interactions and spontaneous encounters between the meeting of artists and land – to capture the multiple adaptations and shared moments that occurred.

The Last Frontier by Kelly Richardson

Extract: Out of the Darkness and into the Sublime by Holly E. Hughes

The Last Frontier collates work by the Canadian artist Kelly Richardson,

This first retrospective publication features an extensive look at the Canadian born artist’s audiovisual installation works of the last 15 years. Richardson’s works play with the idea of the hyper-real, a notion that due to our increased use of new media can no longer be distinguished from the real or the constructed. In particular she is fascinated by the way in which we connect with landscape, and within her deeply layered practice, she draws on devices from Hollywood science-fiction and horror, landscape painting and wildlife cinematography. The results are complex cinematic installations that present us with locations that appear real but have been subtly doctored with CGI, animation and sound to create an unsettling, otherworldly atmosphere. The lack of any physical human presence enhances the work; often making the scenarios feel like a post-apocalyptic future.

Kelly Richardson was based in Newcastle between 2003 and 2017 and now lives and works as a visitor on the traditional territory of the WSANEC peoples of the Coast Salish Nation on Vancouver Island, Canada.

17th June Texts:

At the first reading group on the 17th June, we will be reading extracts from ‘Lost Narratives: The work of Catherine Bertola’ and ‘The Knucklebone Floor’ poems by Linda France

Both are available to download below

LOST NARRATIVES – The Work of Catherine Bertola

Extract: ‘The Pattern of Work’ by Judith Flanders

LOST NARRATIVES – The Work of Catherine Bertola, brings together works made by Bertola between 1999 – 2005 with accompanying essays by Judith Flanders, (Author of The Victorian House, 2003), Trevor Keeble (Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth), and Rachael Thomas (Current chief curator at The Hayward Gallery)

LOST NARRATIVES is published by Cornerhouse Publications.

The Knucklebone Floor by Linda France

Extract: Chapter – The Greatest Interest In The Welfare

The Knucklebone Floor is a book of poetry, and partly a verse biography of Susan Davidson (1796–1877), who spent thirty years landscaping and developing the grounds of Allen Banks in Northumberland.