Duality at the Python Gallery

Duality is a collection of works by Katherine O’Connor and Emma Wolfindale. This exhibition looks at how the two artists live with Bi-polar disorder, where they suffer periods of severe depression and hyper mania. This leaves the sufferer with an altered state of reality; their experiences with this condition are expressed in this collection of pieces. The two artists hope that their work and the stories behind them will help raise awareness.

The Python Gallery: Duality exhibition 2nd March- 20th April 

Having never really been to an art gallery before, I was amazed by the work displayed and felt the emotion and meaning behind every piece.

Katherine O’Connor’s work was especially intriguing as she often used different compositions of birds to express her different emotions. One piece of her work included a number of birds trapped inside a glass jar. There were two pieces of her work which were called “Isolation” and “Isolation2”. I assume this is how sufferers of Bi-polar, including Katherine may feel at times, like they are trapped, alone and are unable to get away from their problems.

Emma Wolfindale’s work however focused more on shapes, such as circles, and lighting; the majority of her work was created using bright colours, like reds. One piece of her work, called “Don’t doubt in the dark what is clear in the light” was painted during a recovery after a depression. This piece stood out from the others as it had a warmer feel to it, it expressed feelings such as hope and life rather than the feeling of being trapped or hurt.

Emma Wolfindale also created a scale on how she was feeling each day, from 10(being big Ben) and 1(being almost gone). She said she wanted to be at least 5 each day, 5 alive. This along with the art increases the awareness of Bi-polar disorder, showing how it can affect your state of mind in more detail.

Both sets of work and artists were extremely inspiring, and I thought the exhibition taught me a lot more about Bi-polar disorder and how people suffering from it can feel at times; I am very pleased I got a chance to visit the exhibition.

Guest post by Tracy Pickering


Editor – Arc Stockton Wed 28 March 2012

Claire Morgan

Quite simply one of the most outstanding one person dramas I have ever witnessed. Claire Morgan’s Editor was so moving and yet ultimately life affirming and really uplifting.

This was a real life drama with a starting point a year ago following the theft of a diary and private journal. At a point in her life where she was trying to come to terms with so many serious personal issues this was a massive kick in the teeth. Claire’s diary was her record and release from life, love, sex and surgery all placing huge and taxing demands on her at this time. The robbery was almost the last straw, a small act but its affects were deeply traumatic. It felt like a violation.

Yet when the dust had settled, and her anger and frustration had calmed to just above the surface, Claire embarked on a personal journey. She had lost all those words recording her inner most thoughts, she might not physically be able to find them again but through looking inside herself she found her voice.

In Editor we live through all the bolts from the blue and life challenging obstacles that Claire is dodging like bullets. She recalls them all from her stage beside the rubbish heap that could be threatening to devour her life. We are also reviewing events with her within that dump, where the diary has probably been discarded as worthless to the robber.

I should explain that the Studio Theatre was arranged with audience seated on random chairs discarded in a rubbish dump. Claire actually first appeared from within stacks of bin bags, searching for her lost words, sifting through her life and seeking a way forward.

The spoken word was set to a sound scape excellently sculpted by local singer songwriter Tom Hollingworth and Teesside artist Michael Hann. Tom actually performed a warm up act for us down in Arc’s bar which was a lovely way to start the evening’s entertainment.

Claire sings, blows off steam, pours her heart out and endures every possible emotion with us. She is funny, she is angry, she is vulnerable, she is scarred, she is scared. She is just so human. Long before the end of the hour you are willing her to rise up and succeed. It was utterly convincing, totally compelling.

Claire Morgan has found her voice. She’s unstoppable now.


The Lake Poets/By Toutatis

The Lake PoetsTheLakePoets/By Toutatis – The Olde Young Teahouse,Middlesbrough – Sun 4th March 2012

The Lake Poets at the Olde Young Tea House seems like a marriage made in heaven.

A bit like the mouth-watering cup cakes and bottles of old fashioned pop that line the counter of Teesside’s most intimate venue. Add a duo drawn from Teesside’s quality alt folksters By Toutatis and you have a very special Sunday night indeed.

You could have heard a pin drop as Dan from By Toutatis regaled us with tales of Felons, Hanging Trees and the Deadmen’s Cues of the Knights of St Columba Social Club. His trusty fiddler Robbie weaved away as Dan crooned for Queen and country.

TheLakePoetssold out the Sage for their debut EP launch. We get up close and personal at the Middlesbrough Tea House in a gig without any amplification whatsoever. As Martin sings songs about family and his homeland, the City by the Sea we are all ears. Stories of his grandfather and grandmother are so obviously delivered from the heart. Steve’s harmonica adds atmosphere and depth. There is no room behind the counter for any further LakePoets but the duo cast their spell over everyone present.

Utterly charming and so very memorable.

words Robert Nichols – photos by Tracy Hyman



Rob Hello my name is Robert Nichols and I have been tasked with filling this space each week to promote all that is going on in and going down in Middlesbroughand the surrounding area. Not a bad job, I’m sure you will agree.

I live and work in Middlesbrough, the town (city at heart) of my birth. I am passionate about the place, if I wasn’t I wouldn’t stick around.

I have spent a good few years trying to promote to the eyeballs everything that is good about living in our post-Ironopolis. For my sins I edit Fly Me To The Moon fanzine and write a live music column for the Evening Gazette. I do a little archaeology and run around Albert Park each Saturday together with 350 other folk on the weekly parkrun.

I hope I can deliver a little bit of my passion and pride for all things Middlesbrough in this Blog and hopefully a little will rub off on all who venture in this journey. My Gazette photographer Tracy Hyman has agreed to provide us with some inspirational photos and I imagine if we twist her arm, not too severely she might even come up with a few words as well.

My intentions are to bring you some little edited highlights in word form of live music, drama, comedy, art, football – of course – and anything that is exciting, thought provoking or deserving of praise and publicity. And most of all happening right here in Middlesbrough and Teesside.

Hopefully, the week after you will want to go to that same gig venue, or be encouraged to seek out the artist or comedian for yourself. Hey! And here’s a thought you might just fancy getting in touch and writing your own review.

I hope you enjoy the following pages

Up The Boro

Robert Nichols