The 2014 AV Festival begins today across the north east of England with one of the main venues being Sunderland’s Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art.
This year’s theme is Extraction with the AV Festival describing it as art and video, which explores the raw materials that create our experience of the world from their origins deep in the ground, to their extraction, transformation and global exploitation.
Luisa Brown of the AV Festival said: “AV Festival 14 is thematically curated to engage audiences with current ideas across contemporary artistic practice and wider society. This year’s theme of ‘Extraction’ is of particular interest to the North East in accordance with its rich mining history.”
The festival has become more and more popular across the region with visitors to the venues increasing every year.
“We have seen festival-on-festival growth in visitor figures from 6,395 in 2003 to 94,096 in 2012.”
Sunderland features in this year’s festival with two new exhibitions entitled ‘Stone’ and ‘Cathedral’ at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art located on the top floor of the City Library and Arts Centre.
Alistair Robinson of NGCA spoke about the exhibitions taking place in the local area.
He said: “On each occasion we’ve worked with artists from around the world, both as-yet-undiscovered and intentionally renowned. This edition is concerned with the basic processes of transforming matter – the things that we rely upon and take for granted but seldom think about.
“The AV Festival is ordinarily associated with high-tech artists working in new media – this time, they’ve done something unexpected and asked how artists are looking at both the most novel technologies and the most fundamental bases of ‘civilisation’ – of humans extracting matter from the earth to build, to create, to make tools, to make technologies.”
The AV Festival begins with a preview of ‘Stone’ on Friday 28 February from 4-6pm at NGCA. The exhibitions run from 1 March to 17 May 2014 at NGCA with the AV Festival taking place from 1 March to 31 March 2014 at various locations across the North-East region.