Meeting Point: Kirkleatham Museum

Kirkleatham Museum ©

Kirkleatham Museum ©

Grennan and Sperandio created seven new sculptures which reinterpreted objects from the Kirkleatham collection and connect the Museum to its locality, exploring the culture of Kirkleatham and the surrounding area.

Watch a video of In and Out of Town

  • Facts

    Title In Town and Out
    Historical Sites Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar
    Lead Artists Simon Grennan and Christopher Sperandio
    Artwork Installation and Sculpture
    Partners / Stakeholders Kirkleatham Museum, Arts&Heritage and Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund
    Budget £8000.00
    Development 7 months
    Dates 1 September 2016 - 29 September 2016 at Kirkleatham Museum, 17 and 18 September 2015 as part of The Festival Of Thrift, Tees Valley
  • Description


    Mr and Mrs Williams © Grennan and Sperandio

    Mr and Mrs Williams © Grennan and Sperandio


    The project is part of the Meeting Point project led by Arts&Heritage, which saw nine new contemporary art installations at four museums in the North East and five museums in Yorkshire during 2016. Meeting Point is funded by Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund.

    Kirkleatham Museum in Redcar worked with artists Grennan and Sperandio and local Redcar businesses to create a series of new sculptures for the museum. The works combined items from the museum’s collection, including a taxidermy sea turtle and a 19th century civil war helmet, with modern objects made by local companies.

    Joanne Hodgson from Kirkleatham Museum, explained: “They’ve carefully linked objects from the museum collection with modern items manufactured in Redcar today, giving a fresh look at both our past and present day Redcar.”

    Artist Simon Grennan said: “As well as surprising and entertaining people with these sculptures, we wanted people to take a different look at the town. We’ve worked with seven local businesses, from engineering firms to design companies, and they’ve helped us to present the museum’s collection in a new way, through these sculptural works.”

    Joanne Hodgson added: “There are more than 25,000 artefacts in the museum’s collection so this is a fantastic way of displaying some of the items which people may not have seen for a long time. The artists have taken our collection and really added something to it by working with people who live and work here in Redcar.”


    A Gap in Granville Terrace © Grennan and Sperandio

    A Gap in Granville Terrace © Grennan and Sperandio


    • To reimagine and present the Kirkleatham collection in a new and creative way
    • To connect Kirkleatham Museum to its locality, including Kirkleatham, Recar, Yearby, Wilton and New Marske


    Arts&Heritage supported the nine participating museums throughout the process, sharing knowledge of presenting contemporary art projects and commissions in non-traditional art spaces.

    A networking event between the participating museums and 40 artists from across the UK took place at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and visits to artists’ studios were arranged. Museum teams also met with peers at other properties to learn how they successfully delivered contemporary art projects at their museums and heritage sites.

    All museums developed their own Artist’s Brief. Following the networking event artists were invited to send in an expression of interest to museums that interested therm.

    Three artists were shortlisted by each museum to draw up a more detailed proposal and were paid £500 each.


    Information to follow


    £8,000 to include all materials, travel and installation costs

    £500 paid to each of 3 artists shortlisted

  • Audience Engagement


    • The commission was used to raise the profile of Kirkleatham Museum to the local audience and to attract new audiences
    • To build relationships between heritage sites in the Tees Valley and The Festival Of Thrift
    • To attract contemporary visual artists to reinterpret the Kirkleatham museum site
    • To develop and build a regional and national audience for the Meeting Point project commissions

    A marketing campaign for the Meeting Point project was led and delivered by Emma Pybus and David Brookbanks.

    The Meeting Point project was documented by Jonathan Turner and Peter Spence


    Information to follow

  • Artist Information


    Simon Grennan and Christopher Sperandio


    Grennan & Sperandio reposition the stories of people’s lives in the public domain, to present an accessible but critical brand of audience-centred artwork. Well-known as early pioneers of ‘relational aesthetics’, in comic book form and more recently through television and community action projects, for the past twenty-five years Grennan & Sperandio have transformed and presented the stories of friends’, relatives’ and strangers’ lives into oddly familiar objects and events. Frequently art-directed by participants, the artists often use entertainment to decipher what motivates others and in the process cross a variety of social boundaries.

    Since 1995, they have developed comic book, animation and community projects in conjunction with museums in the US and Europe, with broadcast and web companies and with Fantagraphics Books, the “best comic company in the world” according to Dan Graham. The pair make temporary works for print, broadcast and the web, and permanent works in collaboration with fabricators and craftspeople.

    Current projects include: a third outing of the ground-breaking mobile artists’ residency and publishing programme ‘Cargo Space’, travelling internationally for the first time – to Mexico in autumn 2016; a special edition of a range of printed domestic fabrics designed with past employees of Standfast and Barracks, Lancaster and a major intervention of over 500 dray horses in the city of Leuven, Belgium, in collaboration with the ‘Men of 1973’.