New Grace Darling film installation opens at Bamburgh museum

A brand-new film installation has been created about Grace Darling and her historic rescue from a shipwreck off the Northumberland coast.
A still from multi-screen visual installation, Grace, by artist Sophie Dixon.A still from multi-screen visual installation, Grace, by artist Sophie Dixon.
A still from multi-screen visual installation, Grace, by artist Sophie Dixon.

The multi-screen visual installation by artist Sophie Dixon opened at the RNLI Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh on September 7 – the 183rd anniversary of the rescue of nine stranded survivors from the SS Forfarshire.

Titled, ‘Grace’, the new installation explores the story of Grace Darling from her childhood, right through to her death in 1842.

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It forms part of the Arts Council England-funded Meeting Point programme, led by contemporary arts agency Arts&Heritage.

Sophie said: “Grace Darling’s role in the rescue of crew and passengers on board the paddle steamer Forfarshire is known all over the world, but for many people, that’s all they know about her.

“Inspired by various, often conflicting accounts, ‘Grace’ is a poetic exploration of Grace Darling’s life and the impact of her fame.”

The installation has been developed using archival documents and digitised objects from the museum’s collection, as well as letters, factual records and reference photos from the Northumberland and Trinity House Archives.

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Visitors will be transported to Grace’s home on Longstone Island where digital reconstructions of items from the museum’s collections will bring her story to life.

An original score by musician Kathy Alberici weaves together sounds of the Farne Islands and North East voices.

Marleen Vincenten, heritage development manager at the RNLI Grace Darling Museum, said: “Sophie’s film will bring a new perspective to the story of Grace Darling and help visitors to our charity’s museum learn more about her as a person.

“A lot of people know about her role in the rescue but they are often less aware of her life before and after that, and the impact that event had on her. It will really help those who know the story well to experience it differently.”

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Steph Allen, executive director at Arts&Heritage said: “Working with artists can help museums present their collections in an entirely new way. ’Grace’ uses digital technology to tell a story many of us have grown up with, but from the perspective of Grace Darling herself.

“It opens up parts of Grace’s life we don’t know about and helps us better understand a story that’s nearly 200 years old.”

‘Grace’ runs until Friday, October 1.

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