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Blog Volunteering with Great North Run Culture #2

After the #GNRC13 programme launch, I was next working at BALTIC 39 where I assisted with the installation of the exhibition of Melanie Manchot’s Tracer. This involved a complete alteration of the entire space, painting all surfaces, constructing a concrete wall for the projection, delivering monitors and installing electrics and sound.

There’s a whole team working in production for Great North Run Culture and BALTIC and it transpired that most of them are practicing artists themselves so it was really interesting to work alongside them. I’m not much of a handy man myself but with a hammer in hand and a pencil behind ear I gave it my best shot. At least I looked the part! But this is what I’ve enjoyed most about volunteering for GNRC; the opportunity to get involved and find yourself in all sorts of situations.

Since the installation I’ve been returning to BALTIC 39 to help out with stewarding (I made the mistake on my first shift of wearing a grey hoody and visitors were quick to congratulate me on my parkour abilities). But it’s been great getting the chance to chat to visitors and hearing their feedback. From what I heard, the success of the piece was not just its beauty but its accessibility. Visitors of all ages spoke of their appreciation for the piece and for the athletes involved and I was surprised at just how eager they were to try it out themselves. I think there’s something about the Great North Run itself that particularly resonates with the viewer and general feedback was proud and inspired. 


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