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‘Work Force’ is an exhibition that examines the theme of energy by drawing together historical representations of labour in the industry of glassmaking through films from the 1970s to the present day. Glassworks (1977), produced by Amber Films for its Tyne Documentaries series, (left) is a visual record of a handmade process in an industrial glass factory in Lemington on Tyneside,a site renowned for its glass production for over 200 years.
In John Smith’s Slow Glass (1988-91) (below) a nostalgic glazier relates his knowledge and theories in a very personal reflection on the changing attitudes to labour, industry and life in London’s East end in the late 1980s.
Complimenting these two films is a new commission by Newcastle-based film-maker, and member of Star & Shadow Cinema collective, Mat Fleming. Fleming’s film reveals the manufacture of a symbol of work force – the hammer and sickle - created in glass by him-self, a novice glass maker, subverting the expectation of such ‘industrial films’. The film is commissioned by
National Glass Centre for AV Festival 10: Energy.
AV Festival 10: Energy is a biennial international festival of electronic arts, featuring visual art, music and moving image. The festival takes place from 5-14 March 2010 across NewcastleGateshead, Middlesbrough, Sunderland. www.avfestival.co.uk
‘Work Force’ previews on Tuesday 9 March, 6-8pm as part of AV Late and Live: Sunderland. A free bus will be operating from 6-8pm between other AV festival venues in Sunderland including Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and Reg Vardy Gallery. A free AV bus departs from Newcastle to Sunderland at 5pm.
National Glass Centre is free and open daily. Look out for related events by visiting