In the first public activity of the newly-approved project, over two weeks in June 2013, amateur artists from all over the Tyne Valley met in groups for outdoor sketching and painting sessions at the Arches. The place’s sense of remoteness,contrasting with its busy industrial past, inspired an exciting variety of artistic approaches. Groups followed this up with work in the studio. In all, 35 local artists, ranging from absolute beginners to ‘old hands’ took part. Some were from local art groups – Corbridge and Hexham Art Clubs, the North of England Art Club based in Newcastle, and tutor Linda Kent’s two groups – while others attended an open art day. The Dukesfield site proved to be a stimulating and rewarding place for artists to work, and gave rise to a very varied selection of work, from lively sketches of the general scene to historical reconstructions of the working mill. The pictures will themselves become historical documents, recording the mill site before our
consolidation, archaeological and interpretation work.