by Rachel Pearson
Ninety-Nine Northumbriana – a new mural for the Heritage Centre, painted by local artist Rachel Pearson.
This wonderful new mural was commissioned by the Heritage Centre earlier this year. The mural is approximately 2.5 square metres in size, and features 99 images related to Northumberland life. The mural has been painted on two large access doors which had been previously been painted a dull brown colour.
During the course of the painting of the mural, visitors to the Heritage Centre – and to the Centre’s website – were invited to suggest images to be included. The names of those who did have been put into a draw and a winner, chosen at random, received a limited edition print of a watercolour by Rachel Pearson of Hesleyside Woods in Spring (a local scene). Rachel says: “I had decided on the majority of the images before I started the work but I thought it would be interesting to solicit some from the public including web-viewers from far-off places. I am delighted that I had this new audience for my work. I was happy to explain to visitors what I was doing and why I chose the images I did. When it was suggested that I do live webcasts I went along with the idea: it was both exciting and terrifying!” Rachel stole time from her other roles as secretary of Bellingham Show, councillor, administrator, actor, fiddler etc to complete the work. Funding for the work was received from VARC (Visual Arts in Rural Communities) based in Highgreen, Tarset, Northumberland.
At the prize draw held to mark the unveiling of the Ninety-Nine Northumbriana mural on Tuesday 14 December at the Heritage Centre at Bellingham, the lucky winner of a framed limited edition print of a painting of Hesleyside Woods in Spring, by the mural artist Rachel Pearson, was Mrs Deborah Iden from Kielder. Mrs Iden is a regular visitor to the Heritage Centre with her two young children who love the place. See more.
The mural was sponsored by VARC (Visual Arts in Rural Communities). The webcasts were sponsored by Northumberland National Park, MGH Consultants (who designed the Centre’s website) and the Heritage Centre.
Terry Bragg, who is chairman of the Heritage Centre, had this to say about the initiative: “We are extremely grateful to VARC, to our web designers MGH Consultants, and to Northumberland National Park for their generous support for this new Heritage Centre initiative, and for previous ones. It is a terrific encouragement to all of us volunteers at this small but hugely interesting museum. The Heritage Centre is drawing more visitors to the area year on year, and the feedback from them is highly complimentary. The mural and the webcasts will draw even more people to this beautiful part of Northumberland”.