Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (NGCA) celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015 and we have invited CIRCA Projects to explore the history of the institution. The gallery began as Ceolfrith Gallery & Press and Sunderland Arts Centre and was originally titled 'The Bookshop' in 1969. In line with the original motivations of the initiator of the 'The Bookshop', CIRCA will open a new bookshop at the NGCA:
"Stocking a wide range of 20th century culture... ...many aspects of contemporary culture could be seen, experienced and enjoyed by the community and presented by artists with national and international reputations... the encouragement of artists living and working in the borough and the introduction of these artists to the community through readings, publications, exhibitions and lectures."
- Chris Carrell, 'A Report on the Past Events, Future Programme, Aims and Aspirations of the Ceolfrith Arts Centre (formerly known as the The Bookshop and Bookshop Gallery), 27 Frederick Street, Co. Durham.'
'The Bookshop' project at NGCA revives Ceolfrith's ethos. It will host a series of live events including performances, readings, screenings and workshops to activate the space. Updating Carrell's original aims, a curated selection of merchandise, artists' books and periodicals about twenty-first century culture will be available to buy, alongside a selection of Ceolfrith's own archival material. Inspired by the University of Sunderland tutor Robin Crozier's 'networked' approach to art production, CIRCA will work with four young artists to initiate a new network to reflect The Bookshop's ethos and the radical ideas that came out of the 1970s art scene in Sunderland. The artists are Danni Harper, Kathryn Barnett, Mohsen Mousavi and Stacey Davidson, whose work is similarly forward thinking.