Darlington and Arts Centre are not words that easily go together in ones mind, or atleast not in my mind. Darlington, before I got to know the place bought to mind exactly the sort of place The Jams were on about in “It’s Grim Up North”. The words arts centre bought to mind cosmopolitan cities. The two didn’t go together. But I am discovering that Darlington has and is an arts centre.
Physically The Arts Centre is a building about 5 minutes from the city centre which hosts plays, films, comedy and such like aswell as having two galleries within it. Beyond that Darlington has appointed the first “Twitterer in Residence”. As with the Baltic, and I think practically all the galleries and exhibitions up here enterance is free. You just pay to go and see performances, or frequent the coffee shop.
Yesterday I had occassion to be in the town with a few minutes to kill and a desire to avoid the snow which is getting annoying now. So I popped into the Arts Centre for a look around the galleries and happened upon Randy Klein’s Coney Island Angels exhibition in the Myles Meehan Gallery. This is a lively and colourful exhibition which evokes memories of summers when you were young, being based around a fun fair; just what you need in this weather. There is some digital print stuff but most of it is quirky and quite intricate sculpture. My favourite piece was “Roller Coaster 2003-9”; four roller coaster sculptures made mainly from steel and copper.
Oh and incase my reference to The Jams “It’s Grim Up North” has got anybody searching about in their memory banks no need to search anymore. Remember You Tube is as much your friend as Google these days.