L-INK

L-INK are a group of young people who work with the Hatton Gallery and Laing Art Gallery to organise events, work with artists and create artworks.

In the past, L-INK have worked on facilitated projects with gallery staff, and have had the opportunity to meet artists, curators and different gallery teams; they have created artworks and events and made & delivered creative interpretations of works from Hatton & Laing Collections.

L-INK 2021

Are you 16-24 years old? Are you interested in art, working with artists and meeting new people?

L-INK are looking for YOU!

L-INK are L-INK are a group of young people who work with the Hatton Gallery and Laing Art Gallery to organise events, work with artists and create artworks.

In the past, L-INK have worked on facilitated projects with gallery staff, and have had the opportunity to meet artists, curators and different gallery teams; they have created artworks and events and made & delivered creative interpretations of works from Hatton & Laing Collections.

Check out the 2019-20 project here

The next L-INK project will run from January – July 2021.

L-INK 2021 Project

Recent events have thrown into sharp focus universal changes that need to happen within in our society. The role of artists, curators and galleries is fundamental to making a positive difference in the way we understand our own personal, cultural and national identities, and the ways in which we acknowledge our responsibility and grow.

The L-INK 2021 project aims to examine the role of galleries, collections, artists and curators and the roles and responsibilities they have in the cultural landscape.

The Laing Art Gallery recently acquired a trio of paintings by contemporary artist Mike Silva; Silva has spoken of his own experience:  

'I’ve always grown up being aware of otherness. The mixed-race experience is a very strange one, I almost feeling like I’m floating between identities […] of feeling simultaneously very British but also not British at all.'

The L-INK 2021 project will use Silva’s work as the catalyst and lens through which to explore our own personal & national identities and how we fit into an evolving society.


Image: Mike Silva, Kitchen Window, 2020, courtesy of the artist and The Approach Gallery.

Image: Mike Silva, Jason in Hyde Park, 2020, Oil on linen 76 x 101 cm courtesy of the artist and The Approach Gallery

The project will pose questions such as: who decides what artworks should go into a collection? What is ‘ownership’ and is ownership the same as possession? Do we trust our galleries to be impartial? Are there different ways to display artworks so that they tell different stories? What is the role of an artist or a curator?

The project will also explore exhibitions and displays at the Hatton and Laing Art Galleries, including works by Linder Sterling in the Hatton’s exhibition Linderism.

Image: Linder Untitled 1977 (c) - Linder Sterling Courtesy the Artist

A new, dedicated space will be created for L-INK to use as gallery & exhibition space, to navigate, explore and become familiar with as they consider curatorial questions.

The group will work with the galleries’ Art Team, contemporary artists and mentors to explore current political issues through creative discussion and action. They will visit exhibitions and collection displays as well as having the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at the Hatton & Laing Art Galleries, learning how artworks are conserved, handled and hung. The group will also connect with galleries further afield as long as it is safe to do so under government guidelines. They will undertake a series of practical artist-led workshops and curatorial exercises, with the ultimate aim of presenting new narratives within their own curated exhibition using works from the Laing & Hatton Collections.

There is an opportunity to complete Gold Arts Award with this project. For further details, contact learning@laingartgallery.org.uk

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Session dates 2021*

Saturday 16 January – Project Launch

Saturday 13 February

Saturday 13 March

Saturday 10 April

Saturday 15 May

Saturday 22 May (Late Event – exhibition opening)

Saturday 12 June

Saturday 10 July

Overnight trip to London – Dates TBC

*dates are subject to change. Advance notice will be given

Apply for L-INK 2021

To apply for L-INK 2021, please fill out our application form here.

Deadline for applications: 5pm, Monday 14 December 2020

If you have any questions or queries, please email learning@laingartgallery.org.uk.

About the galleries

The Laing Art Gallery

The Laing Art Gallery was founded in 1901, funded by Alexander Laing, a Newcastle businessman who had made his money from his wine and spirit shop and beer bottling business. Alexander Laing didn’t leave any paintings or other art to the Gallery. He said that he was confident “…that by the liberality of the inhabitants [of Newcastle] it would soon be supplied with pictures and statuary for the encouragement and development of British Art”. The gallery today is home to an internationally important collection of art, focusing on British oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver and glassware.

The Hatton Gallery & the Merz Barn Wall 

The Hatton Gallery is part of Newcastle University’s Fine Art Department, but just like the Laing, is managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM). The Hatton’s roots are based in Fine Art teaching, but over the past hundred years (or so), its role has gradually changed.

The Hatton is also home to Kurt Schwitter’s Merz Barn Wall. The Merz Barn Wall is part of a construction created by German artist Kurt Schwitters in a Lake District barn in 1947-8. The Elterwater Merz Barn was based on the idea of collage, in which found items are incorporated into an art work. Schwitters applied a rough layer of decorator's plaster and paint over these found objects, giving the three dimensional collage an abstract quality. Asked what it meant, he replied 'all it is, is form and colour, just form and colour'. The barn was designed as a permanent structure, somewhere Schwitters could exhibit existing work. When he died in January 1948 it was left unfinished. In 1965, after lengthy discussions about the barn's future, the Wall was given to Newcastle University who undertook its removal, restoration and preservation.