I visited the late shows with Harley and it was so great to see into the working studios of artists, musicians, sculptors and so on. Most of the studios we visited were in former industrial spaces, so you can imagine the character of these buildings both inside and out. Like Harley, I enjoyed how art is expressed on a ‘multitude of different levels and alternate methods’. The Late Shows takes place in a series of venues across the Ouseburn – there was even a small shuttle bus (free of charge?!) to get people across the site.
I agree with Harley also, about how the Ouseburn is the perfect setting for such a cultural event. The area is rich in industrial heritage, which has informed the redevelopment of the site. However, one thing I noticed when I was there was that there is still a great deal of industry in the area. There are still scrap yards, metalworks and so on. This shows that the Ouseburn is in a state of flux. It is not fully post-industrial, and is still a bit rough around the edges – which I like. I find quite often that redevelopment of large industrial quarters become quite sanitised, where the industrial heritage is only referenced through architectural features but where the true essence of its past has been lost.
I would definitely recommend visiting The Late Shows next year. It’s a great opportunity to see into the lives of artists in the area, as well as seeing the awesome character of the Ouseburn itself.