Idea of North

The Jungle, 1980 © Isabela Jedrzejczyk

Women by Women is a major photography presentation curated by Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen (founder of Amber Collective) at Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art. It is part of the Idea of North exhibition and runs from 11 May – 30 September 2018. This intimate collection explores the representation of women and girls in the North East by women photographers, moving back and forward through time, between the 1970s and the present.

I am currently researching and writing a response to a series of portraits taken in 1981 by Isabela Jedrzejczyk at the Northumberland Arms on North Shields fish quay, also known as The Jungle.

This commission is supported by New Writing North and Baltic.


The Humber Star


A new collaborative work between Adelle Stripe & Halldór Smárason was performed at John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay programme as part of Hull City of Culture 2017.

The Humber Star is a love story spoken in the distant voice of my great great great grandmother, Mary Mudd, and is the second part of Beyond the Silver Pit. The poem explores the bitter reality of working-class life for women in 19th century Hessle Road and reveals a culture of superstition, craft and resilience that followed the great winter storm of 1894. Set at Spurn Point, it is a work of longing and loss that reflects the power and devastation of the North Sea.

The poem was read by Hull poet Vicky Foster and adapted for performance by Icelandic composer Halldór Smárason. It was performed by an ensemble, Sinfonia UK Collective, at Jubilee Church, and is now available to watch on Vimeo.

The Humber Star project was commissioned by Curated Place and supported through the Artists’ International Development Fund, a jointly funded programme between the British Council and Arts Council England, and Grants for the Arts.


Carnival Happy

I'm Carnival Happy Exhibition

An exhibition of photographs from I’m Carnival Happy was a citywide portrait project, by Leeds Inspired and Leeds West Indian Carnival. This specially commissioned project celebrated Leeds West Indian Carnival’s 50th anniversary, its creativity and generous spirit. I interviewed a series of carnival artists and photographers for a specially commissioned newspaper, which was distributed across the city in the summer of 2017.

This project was supported by Leeds City Council.


Secret Cities

Andrew Brooks

I was writer-in-residence during the winter months of 2017 as part of Secret Cities in Aberdeen. Alongside photographer Andrew Brooks I traversed the dark corners of Granite City as part of Spectra Festival. We created a newspaper and light box exhibition at Marischal College.

Part of the residency involved a visit to an archaeological dig at St.Nicholas Kirk, where bones formed part of the old church’s foundations. We documented the witches’ ring, a scold’s bridle in Tolbooth, a whale’s eardrum, Houdini’s vanishing site, William Wallace’s dismembered arm and the glorious Society of Advocates Library.

The full archive of Secret Cities images are available on Andrew’s website.

This project was supported by Aberdeen City Council.


Beyond the Silver Pit


This narrative poem tells the story of Matthew Mudd and his battle against the tempestuous nature and savage beauty of the North Sea. Drawing on local folklore and superstitions, oral histories, hydrographic maps and archive material from Hull History Centre, Beyond the Silver Pit captures the atmosphere of Hessle Road in the nineteenth century and formed part of an installation at Manchester Central Library.

As part of the project I travelled to Iceland to speak to local fishermen about the historic links between Hull and Reykjavik, and the waters which were fished by Hull crews up until the Cod Wars of the 1970s.  The poem was recorded as a spoken word piece by the Hull author Russ Litten, and the visual elements were designed by Factory Records’ typographer Trevor Johnson and lighting designer Nick Malbon.

You can listen to the poem on Soundcloud.

This project was supported using public funding by Arts Council England and the British Council.