NEWS: Mark Pinder @ NGCA | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Mark Pinder, ‘Mission Tyne and Wear’ pavilion at the 1990 Gateshead Garden Festival. Teams, Gateshead, June 1990

The North/South divide is real – and it sucks. It sucks even more to remember that the shiny ‘Levelling Up’ programme certain politicians love to spout off about will almost certainly never see the light of day up in our neck of the woods. Don’t believe me? Mark Pinder’s photographic retrospective, entitled Macromancy, at Sunderland’s NGCA chronicles the changing social and political landscape of the UK since the rise of Thatcher – and in particular the transformation of the North East across his 35 year career.

Ours was a region with an economy based on industry: coal, glass, iron, steel and shipbuilding all had strong roots here before they were dismantled and we dwindled in importance in the eyes of the bigwigs. The North East’s deprivation is rendered even more heartbreaking when viewed from the perspective of this photographer who, along with everyone else in this region, calls it home. Without genuine affection for the North East this is just a collection of photographs from bygone days, but locals – be they born and bred here or those who made it their own – may feel the tug of frustration for a land that may as well have been abandoned by the ones who were supposed to be supporting it. If you love where you live, then let Macromancy remind you of what the North East is worth – and that it’s worth fighting for.

Mark Pinder: Macromancy – Britain And The North East of England 1986-2022 is at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland from Saturday 4th February until Sunday 16th April.

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