Matt Jones

Grim North

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Up here in the grim north, it’s fair to say that us creative types are starved of things to inspire and lift us. So what have we got? Well, there’s the Angel of North and the new Millennium Bridge, but we’re pretty over saturated with large and interesting metal objects dominating the skyline as it is. What’s missing is any kind of new media art/design community, a sense of things happening and moving forward. For the time being, I’m determined not to succumb to the appeal of the big city, the money, the lights, the fumes and try – in some small way – to change a few attitudes up here. Newcastle is a weird but unique place – it’s a city cut off from the urban sprawl of Manchester and Leeds, and the cultural marvels of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Instead, it is surrounded by moorland and coastline and not much else other than Sunderland (which – apart from having some exceedingly bad architecture from 60s urban renewal – tends to have some pretty cool stuff happening). Things are changing though, and I think I’m going to be here for a little while longer before the lure of the capital (and the opportunities within it) wins me over.