Black Path Secret Gallery (Teesdale Way, Various Artists, 2019-2022)

Some of the artists of the Black Path Secret Gallery (photo via Saabat Gallery)

The most interesting sights are often hidden on the edge of town. These edgeland spaces are a fertile breeding ground for unique projects such as the Black Path Secret Gallery. Adorning the panels of an old railway bridge, the project brought together 23 local artists to create a work ripe to be stumbled-upon.

The Black Path, as shown on Teesside Archives’s informative article

The Black Path is a somewhat notorious local landmark; a forbidding industrial byway perhaps named for its grimy cinder walkways (Teesside Archives – as ever – have an informative post about it on their blog, and the equally excellent The Smell of Water blog posits that the path’s history extends far back into the mists of time).

The Secret Gallery was created over two phases, the first over the 24th and 25th September 2019 and the second on 7th and 8th September 2022. The work was supported by Groundwork NE & Cumbria, funded via River Tees Rediscovered, and managed by Azad Karim Mohammed, Director of the Saabat Gallery in South Bank, in collaboration with Pat and Peter McCarthy from “The Art of Steel” group. It celebrates the history of the Black Path and its surroundings, weaving a tale of the site’s heritage and history.

Many of the paintings hark back to the industry that permeated the site in the past, whereas others focus on the natural surroundings of the area (which are perhaps creeping back). There’s even an appearance by the late local folk legend Vin Garbutt.

As a child, the Black Path was a place of infamy and danger, warned of in playgrounds. Now it’s become a place of community and history; somewhere to seek out rather than avoid.

The artists at work in 2022

Thank you to the artists and all involved, including Project Assistant Nathaniel McGovern for his informative email which forms part of this article.

One thought on “Black Path Secret Gallery (Teesdale Way, Various Artists, 2019-2022)

  1. Sheila Nesbitt November 14, 2022 / 4:06 pm

    I cant wait to walk the Black Path of old and see this magnificent venture, featuring many local artists.
    From the Wealth of Talent, developed from hardship, backbreaking work of previous generations and always soaring optimism , of the minds and hearts, born or bred in our lovely old(and new) Slaggy Island, we will survive for another exciting Century
    I reall believe this xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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