Kate Slater Exhibition - 29 June to 31 October

Kate had lots of help from volunteers at Sudbury © Kate Slater

Kate had lots of help from volunteers at Sudbury

Over the next few months, visitors to one of Northumberland’s best loved attractions will have an opportunity to see a brand new art installation and exhibition by the book illustrator Kate Slater.

The Farne Islands will host their very first exhibition, to be staged in the beautiful 14th-century St Cuthbert’s Chapel.

The exhibition opens on the 29th June on Inner Farne. We've commissioned Kate to produce a huge flock of birds to be suspended in the roof space of the chapel. The exhibition aims to recreate the lively bird experience outside on the islands, inside, in the tranquillity of the picturesque chapel.

Kate is an illustrator working primarily on children’s books. Her first book Magpie Treasure was published in 2010 followed by ABC London in 2012. Her next book The Little Red Hen will be published by Barefoot Books later this year.

Kate creates her illustrations using collage, making beautiful images by cutting up old magazines and other found paper. The results are remarkable.

The idea was a collaboration between our Northumberland Coast team and the artist. After an initial meeting last autumn on Inner Farne, the idea was born and Kate has been producing birds ever since.

Claire Ashby, Visitor Experience Manager for the Northumberland Coast says:

“We really admire Kate’s work. You wouldn’t expect the Farne Islands to lend themselves to staging an exhibition but the idea of a three dimensional flock of birds being created in the space of St Cuthbert’s chapel seemed like an amazing proposition and one we had to give a go. Kate has an amazing talent that we wanted to take from the pages of a book and see if we could create something far larger.”

Kate Slater says:

“I have been working on the Farnes flock for some months now. In total we think there will be about 450 birds reflecting all the species that breed on the Farnes including a few Puffins. The Farne Islands are a very special and unique place - the sheer number and variety of birds is incredible, I’ve loved researching them for the show and hope my flock reflects the wonderful diversity of the islands. I think it will appeal to visitors of all ages.

“It’s been a huge task. The flock includes 120 original collaged birds along with hundreds more which have been printed onto plastic foamex board and every bird will be individually suspended from the chapel roof. Each bird has been cut out by hand and I have worked with volunteers in the last few weeks including a team from the National Trust’s Sudbury Hall, my local National Trust attraction, who have willingly given up their time to help produce the show. I’ve always wanted to create a giant illustration people could walk through and this has been the perfect opportunity to stretch my creative skills. I’ve loved the challenge of working on such a large scale. It’s very different from illustrating picture books!”

The exhibition will be opening on the 29th June and runs until 31st October . Normal admission times and charges apply.