Arts and Culture

Appreciating the Northumberland Arts and Culture

One can never talk about Northumberland without mentioning art and culture. Many artists have been inspired by its rugged coast and rolling hills—making them a prominent feature in many a work of fine art for generations. Art events and various award-winning exhibitions have been celebrated here as well and part of appreciating what Northumberland has to offer is to focus on its rich culture and art.

Inspiring Artists

It is hardly a surprise why so many artists from different generations have been inspired by Northumberland. Replete with natural wonders, its gorgeous coastlines and equally remarkable man-made wonders have seduced artists particularly to its thriving wildlife and clear skies—often being featured in many of the artwork displayed in the county’s art shops and galleries. Places selling and displaying artwork by contemporary artists are much sought-after.

Industrial Past

A remarkable number of artworks that Northumberland has contributed to the rest of the world was inspired by its industrial past. The Pitmen painters who were coal miners that decided to study art appreciation back in 1934 have produced paintings that have kept visitors coming to the county even to this day. Many of their work effectively captured the various aspects of life in a mining community especially the dirty and dangerous world that they face on a daily basis. Today, 80 of the group’s best paintings are exhibited at the Woodhorn Museum— making it a great stop for any art connoisseur. 

Locally-Produced Art

If you’re hoping to get a hold of some locally-produced contemporary art to remind you of your visit to Northumberland, a good location to head to is the Allendale Forge Studios Art and Craft Centre. With 12 working galleries calling it home, it also features a shop featuring Northumberland contemporary art, and a café. It also serves as a host for exhibitions, workshops. Musical evenings, open studio events and craft fairs.

Magnificent Estates

A visit to Northumberland will never be complete without taking a look at the numerous magnificent estates that pepper the landscape. Wallington Hall is a must-visit— full of fascinating tales and stories from the 10 generations of Trevelyans and Blacketts that have called it their home. The Central Hall is certainly the highlight of the structure with its eight walls of painting that perfectly capture local history for 2000 years. The Parlour, the exquisite doll houses, and the various fascinating objects on display from porcelain to artwork make it a truly worthwhile destination.

Eadfrith of Lindisfarne

The Bishop of Lindisfarne, in his time, he single handedly created the Lindisfarne Gospels— one of the greatest religious and artistic treasures of the world. The book recounts the teachings and life of Jesus Christ from the gospels of John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew— a clear testament to the Christian belief’s tenacity during one of British history’s most turbulent times. In creating the gospels, mineral, vegetable, and animal pigments were employed by Eadfrith to showcase a wide variety of colours. Unfortunately, the work has remained unfinished but its contribution to Northumberland art and culture could not be discounted. A replica of the manuscript can be seen at Holy Island’s Lindisfarne Centre for those that want to see what it looked like and want to know more.