Birds Want You To Listen To Their Songs by Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects setting up their installation in the museum

We’re excited to announce that Juneau Projects will be showcasing their exhibition inspired by Thomas Bewick and Cherryburn from 1 September - 29 October 2017.

Contemporary arts duo Juneau Projects, also known as Philip Duckworth and Ben Sadler, will exhibit Birds Want You To Listen To Their Songs from 1 September - 29 October. The exhibition features an interactive print kit, viewfinders, prints, sculptures, and print blocks.

This is the first contemporary arts opportunity at Cherryburn, the birthplace of Thomas Bewick – artist, wood engraver and naturalist. Juneau Projects' work is inspired by the natural environment, wildlife of Cherryburn, and legacy of Bewick, and has drawn out parallels between the impact Bewick's work had on society in his day and today. Juneau Projects were artist-in-residence at Cherryburn until August, and commented: “The residency has been a brilliant opportunity for us to further our understanding of Bewick's work and techniques".

" Being able to stay at Cherryburn has been really exciting, we couldn’t think of a better place to base ourselves to learn more about Bewick’s life and art."
- Juneau Projects

They continued: "We have met many people during the residency and gained much from their knowledge and interest in Bewick. It has been great to work with people in the local community too to find out more about their impressions of both Cherryburn and the surrounding area as it is now".

Speaking of their inspiration behind the exhibition, they noted: "We have spent a good portion of the residency looking more deeply into Bewick's Tail Pieces, the small scenes he made that often contain mysterious narratives. We have had an interest in these works since seeing them at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, and it has been wonderful  getting to see some of the actual blocks as well as the preparatory drawings Bewick made for them. Inspired by the Tail Pieces, we have worked with two local schools, encouraging the pupils to suggest a range of places, animals, character and objects they have encountered in the area surrounding Cherryburn. We have used these suggestions as the basis for producing a printing kit. The kit allows visitors to mix and match different places, animals, characters and objects to create their own narrative print inspired by the Tail Pieces.

"We have used the same process to make our own prints for the exhibition. Using a laser cutter we have created a series of print blocks, which has allowed us to produce detailed images utilising digital design processes such as repeated patterns to fill areas of the designs.

"Ultimately we have been inspired by Bewick’s pioneering spirit. We hope we have created a new series of art works that look towards the possibilities offered by marrying hand-crafted techniques with digital processes. To be able to then show these works in Bewick’s birthplace is a great honour for us. We really hope that visitors enjoy looking at the work we have created and that it adds a new dimension to Bewick’s story and legacy".

Much of Juneau Projects’ previous work has focused on the relationship between society, culture and the natural world. Throughout their career they’ve worked in a hands-on way with technology to achieve creative solutions for the production of artworks and projects. Alongside this, they are fascinated by the increasingly rapid obsolescence of technology and the impact of this phenomenon upon the objects that artists make.

They’ve exhibited at venues including Tate Britain and Somerset House in London,  Grizedale Arts in Cumbria, and further afield in the USA and Japan. Their work is currently in collections including the Zabludowicz Collection, KPN and New Art Gallery Walsall. 

The Thomas Bewick Artist Fellowship is delivered by National Trust through Trust New Art in partnership with Northern Print and supported using public funding by Arts Council England. 

Artist Serena Korda installs her ceramic mushroom artwork

Art and exhibitions in the North of England  

Discover new art across the North of England this year through Trust New Art, a programme of contemporary arts inspired by our places.