Image: Stuart Langley’s Neon And That
It’s nice to feel like a tourist in your own region sometimes, and the Discover Middlesbrough festival once again offers an opportunity to discover hidden gems within the town. It all kicks off with Nightfall on Friday 14th October, an enchanting art commission which encourages audiences to discover the magic of the night. The Stars Come Out At Night will be the focal point at Centre Square, an large rotating sculpture with constellations and stars cut into its metal walls, creating a 3D star map that visitors can walk through; plus there’s a work from Navigator North, artist Stuart Langley, puppet performance from Frolicked and a dance performance produced by a collaboration between dancer Lorraine Smith, sculptor Annie O’Donnell and sound artist Peter Hestleton.
Another intriguing night-time experience takes place on Wednesday 2nd November, with a coach ride through the Wilton International chemical complex; the industrial skyline was an inspiration for Blade Runner director Ridley Scott.
Among the many arty highlights of the programme is the very first Middlesbrough exhibition from Richard Piers Rayner at Python Gallery from Saturday 29th October. Rayner was artist in residence at Middlesbrough football club for 16 years, as well as illustrator for Dr Who magazine and the artist behind Oscar-winning film Road To Perdition. More arty fun comes in the form of award-winning Durham Lumiere artist Stuart Langley, who opens his new exhibition of experimental neon, entitled Neon And That, at House of Blah Blah from Thursday 20th October.
Add to all this, historic building tours, sports events, walks, talks, exhibitions and educational events, and it’s not a bad time to head to ‘Boro.