An ‘Art Hunt’ begins today as the final event of the ‘Summer in the City’ arts festival, which is organised by Durham University and Durham County Council.
17 works of art have been hidden around the Riverwalk complex, including the winner of Durham University’s inaugural Student Art Prize, Hands of Acceptance by Alice Stubbings.
The artworks are reproductions of pieces from Durham University’s art collection, including a 19th century miniature painting and Meiji period Japanese lantern slide from the University’s Oriental Museum, and a placard from the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5, as well as artworks from local artists and students from Durham Sixth Form Centre.
Alix Collingwood-Swinburn, Curator of Western Art at Durham University, said: “The Art Hunt is a great example of how organisations in Durham are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic with imagination and energy.
“It will allow people to view art safely while many galleries and museums still cannot open. It’s also a fun way for us to share our art collection with the public.”
The Summer in the City festival, which celebrates Durham City’s theatre, music and art, moved online this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Charlie Marsden, Destination Marketing Manager at Tandem Property, which manages the Riverwalk and has supported the Art Hunt, explained how the pandemic lead to many of the Riverwalk’s summer events being cancelled, but reassured visitors that he did not want them to “miss out on great family entertainment”.
“We wanted to offer something everyone can take part in at any time of the day and feel safe. Collaborating with Durham University and Summer in the City was a great opportunity for us, we’re proud to support local artists and students’ achievements.”
Councillor Joy Allen, Cabinet Member for Transformation, Culture and Tourism at Durham County Council, expressed a similar positive message about the Art Hunt.
She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to explore Durham and experience a range of art works in the process. Durham is very much open for business and it has so much to offer to visitors of all ages.”
Liz Waller, Director of Library and Collections at Durham University, said: “Durham University has an incredible collection of manuscripts, books, archaeological treasures, artworks and sculptures, from across the globe, from pre-history to the modern day.
“It’s thrilling to be able to bring a small selection from our art collection to The Riverwalk in such a fun and accessible way alongside the fantastic pieces from local artists and Durham Sixth Form Centre.
“We really hope that through this exhibition we will pique the interest of the Riverwalk visitors who will then go on to explore our rich collections through our website, and in future by visiting our museums and galleries.”
It is free to take part in the Art Hunt, which will be available until October.
Image: Durham University