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Historic castle will host design exhibition

7th June 2022

A collaboration between English Heritage and Northumbria University’s School of Design has produced a new exhibition for an historic Northumberland castle.

Aydon Castle near Corbridge will play host a collection of objects inspired by the castle, its history and the setting, created by designers who are all Northumbria staff and alumni.

Caption: Northumbria University staff and alumni have prepared work for the exhibition at Aydon Castle. L-R: Rickard Whittingham, Josh South, Philip Luscombe, Anthony Forsyth, Mac Collins and Joe Franc. The pieces are household furniture and objects made from wood, metal, fabric and glass, which offer a contemporary interpretation of historic materials associated with the unique venue. They will displayed on the top floor of the castle for visitors to enjoy during the Reimagining Aydon exhibition.

Much of the original décor once found in the castle has been lost over the centuries and there are only limited records of the people who lived and worked there. This offered a blank canvas for the team of designers to reimagine new things that creatively respond to the site.

Anthony Forsyth, Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University’s School of Design, said: “We were conscious that Aydon Castle was a home and workplace for over 700 years but, beyond a few names, there is little record of the individuals who lived there. Creating objects for the space has felt like a privilege in giving a human element back to the building.

Caption: Objects made from wood and metal will help bring Aydon Castle to life for visitors.“At times, it has felt like a conversation with the people who might have lived there and whose lives we can only imagine. We hope that, by making new pieces to furnish the space, we can make the lives of the people who once lived there more relatable, that their needs and hopes were not so different to ours.”

Frances McIntosh, Curator at English Heritage, said: “Aydon is such a beautiful place and working on this installation and with such a talented group of designers has been hugely gratifying. We hope that visitors will be able to identify resonances and lessons for the things we create today, while offering new perspectives on historical practices, materials and typologies.”

Reimagining Aydon runs from 9th June to the end of October. For more information, search for English Heritage Aydon Castle.

Combining industry-run projects with academic learning, Northumbria offers 3D Design and Design for Industry undergraduate programmes which provide a wealth of opportunities to gain practical skills.

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