INTERVIEW: BREEZE CREATIVES | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Exhibition by the students at FAD (Foundation Art and Design), with Northumberland College, in Bamburgh House image by Michael McGuire

Breeze Creatives provide an outlook that is based on connectivity, with vibrant events and artistic spaces harnessing artistic skill and expression. Bamburgh House in Newcastle is the physical manifestation of these aims, acting as an all-encompassing space which houses 86 separate artists and project spaces including (among many others) Abject Gallery, games developer Nosebleed Interactive, Greyscale Theatre, filmmakers Docyoumentary, performance artist Stu Herring, visual artist Jade Currie and new multi-cultural venue ¡Vamos! Social, with whom they collaborate to create a diverse calendar of events which include everything from yoga and art classes to club nights and live music.

Whilst all these factions are working as independent creative expressions, there is a real sense of unified effort to form a creative hub in the heart of Newcastle, contributing to both local and wider cultural and social dialogue, as Alex Breeze tells us, who runs the company alongside Zoe Anderson and Daniel Gibson. “It is our essential aim to provide a link and a platform between artists practicing within a wider role of the arts, Bamburgh House building members range from game designers, to traditional painters, tailors and coders, and it is amongst this creative jumble that Breeze Creatives are able to provide a cross-collaborative environment, encouraging collaboration and the development of new practices and communities, allowing the arts to progress, not stagnate.”

as artists our ingenuity and creative approach to the world should allow us to thrive no matter the circumstances

It’s important for Breeze Creatives to be able to stand on their own two feet; in these days of uncertain futures for artistic businesses, flexibility has been a key factor. “Growing up in the North East it is strange to try and remember a time when the climate hasn’t been tough, but as artists our ingenuity and creative approach to the world should allow us to thrive no matter the circumstances, accepting that what ‘thriving’ looks like will change with the times. As an organisation we are unfunded, swapping out business models and focusing on the need to stabilise by becoming self-sufficient. It is this freedom that allows us to be responsive to the world and environment around us, we have the ability to jump on opportunities as they arise and not be hemmed into predicting what will happen for the following year.”

With collaboration such a buzzword for the collective, it’s clear that their survival depends on not just working alongside fellow artists, but with developers, councils and national organisations. There are plans afoot for residencies in rural Devon with a Manchester-based organisation; a proposed collaborative networking programme due to be rolled out soon for Bamburgh House members; plus their philanthropic work with London-based charity Arts Emergency, which helps disadvantaged people gain access to arts education through a mentorship program; they’re also continuing to work alongside Northumberland College, delivering their foundation course in Art and Design.

Perhaps the organisation can best be defined by their attitude to the region’s artistic scene: “The culmination of the three directors’ past experience allows us to see the project within a greater context and strive to establish a North East-based organisation that looked out as opposed to in.”

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