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Bus Stop

  • 12 January - 9 March
  • Tickets: Free
  • Gallery One
Publicity Pic

Monday - Saturday (10am - 12pm | 1 - 4pm)

Julie Livsey is an artist based in Northumberland with a practice that spans over fifty years. Her practice is predominately sculptural with concerns centred on the natural world and with water in particular.

Bus Stop is an art project by Julie Livsey in which a series of small sculptures are taken on a bus ride between Carlisle and Newcastle.

Initially, the project was inspired by a wildfire that devastated large areas of gorse at the Newburn
Willows in the hot summer of 2022. This was the spark that created a flame of interest.

Contorted, blackened remains of gorse were gathered and sculptural possibilities were explored.
From this, a number of small works emerged in the studio. The aim was to develop a series of
responses that were visually versatile, had no right way up, and were capable of engaging with a
wide variety of positions, whether in cities, towns or countryside.

A plan arose. There would be sixteen bus journeys over a period of 12 months.
The bus rides were determined by the stops highlighted in the timetable of the Stagecoach 685 bus
service. Each stop was a starting point for a 3 hour exploration of unknown surroundings.
The experience gained during these walks influenced the development of the sculptures in
unforeseen ways. Eventually all sixteen bus stops were visited. The end result is a collection of
work that links West to East.

All the sculptures and a film of the work in situ will be exhibited.

With special thanks to Haltwhistle Film Project for their meticulous and thorough editing. Their contribution is very much appreciated.



"I worked at Kingsdown, a horseracing yard in Lambourn for many years. It was my Head Lad at the yard, who suggested I apply to art school. Perhaps he was tired of catching me drawing the horses when I should have been cleaning my tack or sweeping the yard. 

After an exciting year of combining both working at the yard and attending Swindon College I moved to Bower Ashton in Bristol to complete a 3 year BA Fine Art course. During my second year at college the racing yard where I still worked in the holidays, sent me Portland Bill, a racehorse who needed a rest from racing. I often rode him over the Clifton Suspension Bridge to gallop him up on the downs. From Bristol I went up to the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne for MFA and PhD study.

Numerous Artist Residences in many different countries have enriched my practice over the years, from sand-filled linen strands demonstrating the changing pattern of the tides at Coogee Bay in Australia to a collaboration with the Rebecca Wong Contemporary Dance company in Iceland.  

One of my most demanding projects was attempting to recreate the journey of Mary Leighton who, during the Great Flood of 1771, survived the night in her wooden cradle having been washed into the river at Bywell whilst her parents were saving the horses by standing them on the pews of St Peters Church! During my re-creation of the journey my Mary died over and over again. It is miraculous that the real Mary survived when every bridge bar Corbridge was destroyed.

Whilst my work has inevitably evolved and changed over the last fifty years, my concerns have remained centred on the natural world and with water in particular."

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