A trip to Middlesbrough

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The ‘Message in a Bottle’ sculpture – its curious surface is inspired by the handwriting of the explorer Captain James Cook. The script is lifted from the journals of his Pacific voyages. It stands outside the gallery of modern art, MIMA.

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Inside MIMA the work of a local artist. “Many people think he is the finest painter in Britain. Many people may be right. He’s called William Tillyer.” Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times.

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MIMA is only ten years old but is under threat because of cutbacks. The university has offered to keep it going.
Some parts of the town have faded dignity:
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But it is cheerful in the market cafe:
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A man in a wheelchair brings his owls and collects for the Hawk and Owl Trust.
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About Harry Nicholson

I'm an enameller who works with a kiln, fusing pictures in glass onto copper. I write a few poems and short stories. There is an eBook anthology of them, 'Green Linnet' on Amazon. Also a novel, 'Tom Fleck', set in the North of England of 1513 - the year of Flodden. A sequel to 'Tom Fleck' is 'The Black Caravel' published in 2016. My anthology of poems came out in 2015: 'Wandering About.' I've a blog of poems, stories and art at: https://1513fusion.wordpress.com/
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6 Responses to A trip to Middlesbrough

  1. restlessjo says:

    Hi Harry! Funnily enough I’m just watching Michael Portillo in Bilbao with the first Transporter Bridge in the world 🙂 I didn’t know MIMA was under threat! Must admit, I haven’t been very often.
    Enamelling sounds an interesting job. 🙂

  2. Some of your photos are absolutely stunning – may dispel some of my prejudice against modern art. Thank you.

    I’ve seen some great pictures of Middlesborough on my friend Jo’s blog: http://restlessjo.wordpress.com/about/

    • Thanks, Viv. I see your friend Jo in from Hartlepool (as I am – since 1573). The header on her blog shows the Town Wall and Sandwell Chare (gate) – my forbears lived in a huddle of fisherfolks cotts in and around the Chare for 350 years.
      I’ll leave Jo a message – she has great posts.
      I hope you are feeling well again, Viv.

  3. That ‘Message in a Bottle’ sculpture looks fascinating Harry 🙂

    • Yes, Chris. Here’s some info from mima:
      This year sees the 20th anniversary of Middlesbrough’s iconic sculpture Bottle of Notes.

      In 1993, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen were invited to make North East England the site for their first UK public sculpture. Middlesbrough was chosen as the location and the artists drew inspiration from the history of exploration in the area through the voyages of Captain Cook. This unique public work of art, installed in Centre Square outside mima, has now become an iconic part of the Middlesbrough landscape. The exhibition screens a new film showing people’s memories and messages about the sculpture, alongside a timeline celebrating the remarkable journey of the Bottle.

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