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Style & Stuff Editorial

skyarts19.jpg National identity debate...

There’s going to be another debate about national identity in February. Wait! Come back! This one will be great because it encompasses a free (FREE!) weekend of performance, music and art at BALTIC and Sage Gateshead.

It’s called The Art 50 Weekender and is part of a national project called Art 50, a scheme commissioned by Sky Arts working with Barbican, BALTIC, Sage Gateshead and Storyvault. The ground-breaking project has enabled 50 artistic commissions which examine the question of what it means to be British today, from the varied perspectives of people in cities, town and rural communities across the UK. There is absolutely oodles going on but I’d particularly look out for a series of new commissions at BALTIC from artists Barby Asante (whose work creates situations and spaces for conversation, collective thinking, ritual and re-enactment), Kuba Ryniewicz (whose photography challenges traditional portraiture) and Jasleen Kaur (pictured – who investigates cultural inheritance, the slipperiness of culture and forming of identities). Among the highlights at Sage Gateshead will be those acclaimed collaborators of live music, poetry and visual art, Lyrix Organix, presenting the premiere of a poetic conversation set to music by Chloe Florence and Laurie Ogden; a provocative and humorous play ‘And the Band Keeps Marching On’ by Edinburgh-based Northern Irish playwright Martha Barnett; and ‘Backbone of Our Land’ which explores the thoughts and ideas of people from and connected to the north and what it means to be northern. Needless to say we’re only scratching the surface of all the good stuff going on, but if you toddle off to the websites below then you can pick up the full story.

The Art 50 Weekender, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February, BALTIC and Sage Gateshead. All events are free but some require a ticket (see websites for details): baltic.art; sagegateshead.com