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Art and Sport Come Together to Celebrate the People, Geography and Spirit of the Bupa Great North Run
Harriers Roderick Buchanan.

LONDON.- Now in its fifth year, the Bupa Great North Run Cultural Programme is announced; the cultural programme brings together artists from a range of disciplines to mark this extraordinary and inspiring sporting event.

Using everything at their disposal from archive footage of the last 28 years of the Bupa Great North Run to the gruelling training sessions in the lead up to the run to inspire them, the artists have created a series of commissions that explore the theme of running; what it is to be an athlete, the relationship between the runner and the city, and the stories of the people, be they fun runner or elite athlete, that take part in the run.

The results of this varied range of commissions are; an audio-visual collage work entitled Parade from Vicki Bennett: The Streets do Flow, a series of advertisements and an installation piece from Amy Feneck and Laura Mansfield, that reflect the relationship a small group of runners have with their training routes; Dry Run, 10 first time Bupa Great North Run runners as the subjects of a piece of work by Atau Tanaka and NAME combining technology and psychological study with art; and a newly commissioned theatre piece by playwright Mike Kenny called 13:1. The cultural programme will culminate in an ambitious and spectacular interactive social play event, linking the cities of Gateshead, Middlesbrough and Sunderland where projected light will be used to create athletics arenas in outdoor public spaces.

The Bupa Great North Run Cultural Programme:

Hit The Ground Hatton Art Gallery

10.00am – 6.00pm, Wednesday 16th September – Sunday 14th November 2009 Great North Run special opening: Sunday 20th September 2009 10.00am – 4.00pm, free entry

This group show presents work by internationally renowned artists on the theme of running and what running means to all kinds of people, from highly-trained athletes to enthusiastic amateurs to first-time participants. Hit The Ground examines running as a physical and mental experience, as a struggle and as an inspiration, as fun and as a regimen, requiring hard work and discipline.

Vicki Bennett’s playful new work Parade, made using 28 years of archive footage from the Bupa Great North Run, contrasts with Roderick Buchanan’s Harriers - intense video portraits of athletes in the moments immediately after a run. susan pui san lok has taken a different approach to archive material with footage from the Olympics forming the base of an ambitious five screen installation faster higher which explores the rigour, commitment and discipline of athletes, as well as the pomp and circumstance that surrounds major sporting events. The experience of running is further explored by two new pieces of work that have directly involved runners: Dry Run by NAME and Atau Tanaka of Culture Lab provides a high-tech interactive experience which tracks the physical and emotional journeys of ten people taking part in the Bupa Great North Run the first time; and The Streets Do Flow by Amy Feneck and Laura Mansfield, which offers a hand-made personal perspective on running, training and navigating a city.

Vicki Bennett Parade
The huge crowds of spectators and iconic vistas along the route of the Bupa Great North Run are given centre stage in Vicki Bennett’s new film Parade, an animated collage of archive footage from the last 28 years of the event. Creating a moving image montage of shirting perspectives and irregular angles the footage bursts out of the conventional TV format and reveals to the audience a unique panoramic view of the run. Referencing the Cubist and Futurist influence within the work, the film is accompanied by a playful recording of Erik Satie’s Parade by the Willem Breuker Kollektief, providing a reflection of the excitement that surrounds the run itself.

Dry Run is featured in the Hit The Ground exhibition at the Hatton Gallery.

Artist talk and book launch: Something Old, Something New

Vicki Bennett and susan pui san lok, Tyneside Cinema, free, advanced booking required 6.00pm, Wednesday 16 September

Artists Vicki Bennett and susan pui san lok have made creative use of archive footage in their films and both have their work featured in the Hit The Ground exhibition at the Hatton Gallery. The two artists discuss their latest works
and how they have used archives in their practices.

Amy Feneck and Laura Mansfield The Streets Do Flow

17 August – 27 September 2009

Billboard at St James Metro station
Monday 10 August – Sunday 27 September

Artists Amy Feneck and Laura Mansfield worked with a group of runners from Wallsend Harriers to make this new work. The personal recollections of individual runners form the basis of The Streets Do Flow and recreate the simple narrative of a journey through the city from a runner’s perspective. The artists have collated interviews and anecdotes from the runners, using this material to create a series of unique text and image based designs that appear as unexpected interventions in The Journal and on a billboard above St James Metro station. The work is also featured in the Hit The Ground exhibition at the Hatton Gallery, offering a personal yet abstracted perspective on the shared experience of running.

The Streets Do Flow is featured in the Hit The Ground exhibition at the Hatton Gallery.

NAME and Atau Tanaka Dry Run
15 August – 14 November 2009

Follow the emotional and psychological journeys of runners who are in training for their first Bupa Great North Run on this interactive website. Ten runners from across the country were equipped with 3G mobile phones that capture information on every training run including GPS co-ordinates, routes, images and sounds. This data, combined with a psychological profile of the runners after every run, has been reinterpreted by NAME and Atau Tanaka to create a beautifully abstracted visualisation of what it feels like to run.

The work can be explored as it develops at

Dry Run is also featured in the Hit The Ground exhibition at the Hatton Gallery.

13:1 by Mike Kenny Live Theatre, Newcastle

7.30pm, Wednesday 16th – Thursday 24th September 7.30pm (no performances Sunday 20th or Monday 21st) Saturday 19th September, 11.00am and 2.30pm, 6; 4 concession; family ticket 16

'Life is not a race'
'Yes it is'
'Are you calling me a loser?'

Alice and Diane are sisters. They're doing the Great North Run. Alice is fast - she loves running. Diane is slow - hates it. Basically Alice is a bit of a hare whereas Diane is more of a tortoise. See who wins this time, assuming they reach the finishing line without throttling each other. They're doing the run to raise money for charity in memory of their Mam but she’s not the only thing they remember.

Thousands of people run the Great North Run and they all have their stories. This specially commissioned play celebrates them all. Suitable for all the family.

KMA Great City Games

4.30pm - late, Thursday 29 October – Sunday 1 November

Taking part in Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough residents from across the North East are asked to take part in the world-first of this massive, participatory, high-tech athletics tournament.

Artists KMA use projected light and thermal imaging technology to create jaw dropping interactive playing areas. A series of simple running based games will take place simultaneously in ‘digital playgrounds’ in Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. Anyone can join in as each area is pitted against each other in friendly competition.

Baltic Square, Gateshead
Centre Square, Middlesbrough
Burdon Road (by the war memorial), Sunderland

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