Our favourite part of crafting our Art Runs is developing a story around a place. We were both born in Teesside and have a massive affection for the area and its people, and so were so pleased to hook up with The Middlesbrough Museum of Modern Art (mima) to celebrate their ‘Localism’ exhibition.
On the national stage, Teesside’s story recently has not been the most positive, but we wanted to paint it in a new light (literally!) – a vibrant place with a rich cultural heritage and incredible people. It was a true honour to craft that narrative with you all, and it must have struck a chord – it has been incredible how much people have sat up and listened. Tees Pride!
On the day itself, our runners registered and made the most of the opportunity to see the exhibitions at mima. Even the weather cooperated, stopping raining 15 minutes before we were due to start, and clearing to gorgeous blue skies for the run itself.
We began with a warm up in the gallery followed by a 5 minute silent disco to shake the bones out. Ordinary visitors were quite surprised to see what looked like a stretching and dancing flashmob, decked out in runners neons! We think we may incorporate dance parties into our warm ups more often in the future…
The run took us round famous and not so famous pieces of art in the area, from Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen’s Bottle of Notes, to the Tunnel Gallery, to Anish Kapoor’s 100m Temenos.
We were not content to just passively see art, though! Not this avid bunch of art runners. At Middlesbrough’s House of Blah Blah gallery, we split into groups for speed life drawing classes with charcoals and easels, while the others took part in circuits outside.
As we ran through the Tunnel Gallery at Middlesbrough’s train station, we couldn’t resist leaving our mark (on paper specifically designed for the purpose, we hasten to add!!)
Our run culminated in a one-in-a-lifetime colour party on the iconic Transporter Bridge. The team who look after the bridge were kind enough to allow us sole use of the bridge, and let us leave a massive mess behind too! When we first started talking about doing an Art Run in Middlesbrough, I honestly thought that this element was the most pie-in-the-sky never-going-to-happen dream. I put the idea on the table and couldn’t believe it when we were actually allowed to! We were beside ourselves watching that dream come to life – the culmination of many people’s hard work for months.
Massive thanks to everyone at Mima who worked so hard on the event, and to Judy Hume from Teesside University for all these fantastic photos. Thank you so much to all of our runners, who took a little mystery all in their stride! This was our most ambitious Art Run yet, and it has been great to hear the feedback from you all.
There are more photos from the event on our Facebook page – head over there to tag yourselves and to see more of what we did on the day.
Teesside is a fantastic place to live, and we really hope to be able to run more events like this in the future to show it in its best light.