After weeks of roving the hills and dales of the South Tyne and Allen Valleys, artist Stevie Ronnie, from Humshaugh, has
produced a newly commissioned contemporary art exhibition: northerngame. The installation explores the popular traditional local sport of quoits - a game that brings local communities in South West Northumberland and Cumbria together to compete in league fixtures, have a drink and engage in friendly banter.
Most of the games are played outside pubs and clubs in the area. Quoits has a strong history in this area, with links back to Roman occupation.
The bespoke steel discs and pins, the clay pitches, the 15 rules that date back to at least 1881, the siting of the games, the vocabulary, the intense yet friendly competition, are influential in Stevie’s new interpretation of the spirit of this ancient sport. Summer evenings in Haltwhistle, Warden, Carts Bog, Featherstone, Knarsdale, Allendale and many other towns and villages across the area clank with the sounds of steel on steel, thuds into clay and the hum of warm chatter; part of the environment. Stevie got his hands dirty, met local league stalwarts, learned the game’s language, and talked to local players.
northerngame is the product of Stevie’s travels – saturated in players’ tales, dampened clay, heavy metal and beautiful places. The exhibition brings the sport of quoits into a contemporary art gallery sited on an ex-builder’s yard in a strangely contrasting juxtaposition. We hope it will start many new conversations.
northerngame is curated by Stephen Pritchard and takes place at The Shed at the Whistle Art Stop.
The SHED is part of the Whistle Art Stop in Haltwhistle and is an exhibition and project space dedicated to showcasing the work of new and emerging artists from across the North East of England.
Find us in the centre of Haltwhistle, Northumberland NE49 0AX opposite Barclays Bank where we have free parking available. Click here for map.
Twhistle CIC t/a Whistle Art Stop- a community interest company registered in England no. 07769196.