Turn Back Tide

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The installation of a new landmark artwork in Stockton, by acclaimed artist Aikaterini Gegisian, is built on Tees Valley inspiration.

Following a period of research and engagement with local residents, Gegisian has created Turn Back Tide.

The work suggests the evolution of central Stockton-on-Tees from an industrial past towards its current status as a hub of trade and service provision.

Turn Back Tide acts as a bridge between the former sites of production surrounding central Stockton-on-Tees, the river as a historic route for the transportation of goods and natural resources, and Castlegate Shopping Centre as the present container of goods.

Gegisian took as her starting point a series of product catalogues from various former local factories, including South Durham Steel and Iron Co. and Head Wrightson.

She brought together diagrams of steel sections from these publications with copies of archival photographs of local factories, and contrasted these images with views of shopping centres, depictions of ancient temples and reproductions of decorative objects.

Aikaterini Gegisian was proposed, along with four other artists, by Miguel Amado, Senior Curator, and Giles Maffett, Assistant Curator, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, to produce a work for Castlegate ART.

They, along with the other commissioning organisations representatives, Jan Doherty, Arts Development Manager and Reuben Kench, Head of Culture & Leisure, Stockton Borough Council, and Karen Eve, General Manager, Castlegate Shopping Centre, came to the conclusion the most suited artist for this commission was Aikaterini Gegisian.

Senior Curator Miguel Amado commented: “Part of our vision is to take a leading role in addressing current issues within politics, economics and culture, and to contribute to change.

“Working with artists operating locally as well as showing relevant work within the wider community is part of this aim, so that art is accessible to everyone. Aikaterini Gegisian was commissioned for this project given her ongoing examination of themes of identity, history and memory, and her current research into the Tees Valley’s economic heritage.”

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