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Tuesday, 13 September 2016 13:24

David Gibbon Wildlife Photography Exhibition

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Just wow! The new exhibition in the Gallery at The Witham reveals the true meaning of the word awesome...

David Gibbon’s work really brings the expression ‘fly on the wall documentary’ to life in his still images of wildlife shot in their natural surroundings. David’s images are sensitive and serene, and his subjects are sublimely at one with their natural surroundings. Quite simply, David Gibbon’s wildlife photography is stunning.

Based in County Durham, David and his partner Louise Gibbon take inspiration from the beauty on their doorstep whilst also traveling extensively in their quest to capture the natural world and secure the perfect shot of specific animals within it. David remarked,
"Louise and I only photograph truly wild animals. A few years ago we made a vow never to capture anything that is captive, it just doesn't feel right.”

(above is a photograph of a Brown Bear taken by David Gibbon in the Boreal Forest, Finland)

Having always been interested in photography the couple’s interest peaked in 2009 when the RSPB opened a flagship £7 million nature reserve, Saltholme on Teesside, shortly after which they switched off the ‘auto’ setting on their cameras and began taking photos by setting the ISO, aperture and shutter speed themselves.

David and Louise Gibbon are now widely published, the duo have won many accolades for their work, and their work is now represented by image agency Robert Harding and press agency Rex Features. Visit the Gallery at The Witham to see David's Puffin image, which he captured on the Farne Islands in Northumberland. This fun and incredible image picked up an award at the prestigious CEPIC Stock Photography Awards in Croatia in June this year.

Visit the new exhibition space, the Insight Gallery at The Witham, to see examples of David’s work in various publications, to listen to an interview with him on local radio, and to get a glimpse of the process behind his carefully choreographed photographic adventures. For the duration of David’s exhibition visitors will find a pop-up hide, a mosquito suit, scrim, and thermal layers of clothing in addition to photos from behind the lens revealing David laid in thick snow photographing a Mountain Hare around the mountains of Findhorn Valley (Britain’s Arctic Tundra) in the Scottish Highlands amongst others.

This widely celebrated photographer, whose work is collected and coveted by many, is a kind, gentle and patient man (prerequisite traits for achieving such images, I suppose). His passion for wildlife photography knows no bounds and his generous spirit will see him, and Louise, in the Gallery at The Witham on Saturdays throughout the exhibition sharing their knowledge and demonstrating their photographic equipment.

Click this link to learn more about David and Louise Gibbon and hear them discuss their work and their exhibition at the Gallery at The Witham in an interview on Bishop FM.

David Gibbon Wildlife Photography Exhibition continues in the Gallery at The Witham until Saturday 1 October. Admission is free and the gallery is open daily from 10 am - 4 pm except on Sundays and Mondays.

Prepare for your toes to tingle and for the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end!

By Sarah Mayhew Craddock
Visual Arts Coordinator at The Witham

Saturday, 03 September 2016 11:30

My Week of Matilda Madness

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This summer, as part of Summer of Stories, The Witham offered a week long musical theatre summer school, starting on Monday 8th August. On Saturday 13th, we produced an all singing, all dancing, 20 minute version of the West End show, Matilda. Speaking as one of the 14 young people (aged 8-12) lucky enough to have participated, I can say that the week was enormously tiring but probably one of the best experiences of my life.

Having been given a copy of the script and songs, Monday was spent getting to know each other. Auditions were held on Tuesday morning and by lunchtime we knew our roles. Wednesday and Thursday were spent running through the play as well as learning choreography for the chorus numbers. The tech and dress rehearsals brought much excitement on Friday, and before we knew it, Saturday was upon us. To get us into spirit we did some busking on the streets, singing songs from the show. At 2pm, in costume and having calmed any last minute nerves, we were ready to begin. The performance went very quickly, but was so much fun. When it was time to say goodbye, a few tears were shed after such a wonderful week.


On behalf of the whole cast, I’d like to say a massive thank you to the team behind it: Sarah, Maddy, Lotte, Laura, Grace, Katy and Tom. Without you it couldn’t have happened. When I spoke to the cast afterwards, they all said they would definitely come again next year – I know I will!

By Evie Brenkley


Thursday, 25 August 2016 00:00

Planning ahead with Visual Arts at The Witham

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As it’s a grey day today I don’t feel too bad telling you that I’m planning ahead with the Visual Arts programme at The Witham and looking to Christmas.

I’ve spent the last few weeks drafting a Visual Arts Strategy for The Witham, and a big part of that is aiming to develop the economy and ecology of art in Barnard Castle and the surrounding area. 

With the help of the team here at The Witham I hope to achieve that by supporting, facilitating, and promoting the work of emerging and mid-career artists, designers and makers from County Durham, Yorkshire, Cumbria, and the north east of England. In doing so helping to retain artistic talent in the region, and drive cultural tourism to the region.

The first step on this ladder is the birth of the Teesdale Christmas Art Fair, which will take place at The Witham from Thursday 8 December to Tuesday 20 December. The event will present an exciting opportunity for visitors to buy unique works of art created by some of the most exciting, regional fine artists just in time for Christmas.

The inaugural Teesdale Christmas Art Fair will show a variety of work, from painting to sculpture, by artists working in or inspired by County Durham, Cumbria and Yorkshire and the north east of England.

In order to keep quality high, and the balance of work on display right, involvement in the Teesdale Art Fair is by selection. Artists wishing to express interest in exhibiting in the Teesdale Art Fair should send an artist statement and images of, or a link to, their work to

Please help me on the first rung of the ladder by spreading the word about the Teesdale Christmas Art Fair amongst regional artists, friends of The Witham, and visitors alike.

Exciting times!

Many thanks, and look forward to hearing from artists out there,


Sarah Mayhew Craddock

Visual Arts Co-Ordinator


'Whitfield's acrylic paintings are nothing short of joyous!'

Our new team member...Sarah describes herself as artistic, energetic, analytical and resilient! Find out more....

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