Between Then and Now

Final composition
Final composition
Monday, August 1, 2011
Northumberland County Council /Berwick Preservation Trust
Reid Jubb Brown

Project Description

A residency resulting in a drawing which is ready for use with a variety of potential uses  eg wall paper for empty shop unit, bill board, permanent etching on stone, glass, wood, laser cutting projection. 

In this day and age there are not many places that feel undiscovered and unexplored. Yet Berwick invites one to wander through its streets, around the walls and down to the water soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a sense of discovery that is hard to parallel in many other places.

It has the feel of a secret, a hidden gem that could reveal layers of history and interest. It has the feel of a place a little forgotten by time and untouched by unthoughtful and vacuous development. It is something precious to be cherished and cared for with thought and sensitivity. 

To be understood and responded to, and not to be ‘done unto’

Berwick’s unique atmosphere and other worldly feeling are easy to engage with and harder to understand. What are the qualities that create such an intriguing and engaging town? Having spent some time creating work in Berwick I have come to see that there are many diverse qualities woven together in Berwick that come together to create a rich and varied tapestry. During my time creatively responding to Berwick I have tried to identify and capture some of these qualities. 


Expanses — Vistas — Views — Exposed — Dramatic — The contrast and juxtaposition of a closed town next to open views and massive expanses

From Another Time

Echoes of the past — Resisted development — Intriguing — Enduring and endearing 
Historical references and suggestions at every turn — Traces — Suggestions 
Independent status — Independent trade — Preserved — Historical respect

Traces and Preservation

A tapestry of physical historical clues — Varied architectural eras quietly co-existing
Respect for these historical references/oddities — Some grand statements, some subtle

Architectural Relationships

Proximity and configuration of differing buildings — Narrow spaces, joined buildings
Skylines and rooflines — Dynamic relationships (spaces cutting through each other)
Topography — Human scale — Variety of styles — Personalisation

Entrances and Apertures

From light to dark and dark to light — Entrances — Arrivals — Leaving
Journeys — The framing of nature

Architectural Decoration

Grandeur — Pattern — Individuality — Historical references — Variety
Wide palette of textures — Forms and styles — Decoration
Gratuitous architectural frivolity — Wealth, grander

Public Space, Private space,

Huge open public areas and small hidden public areas - windows at peeping height-close proximity to neighbours-spaces to explore/discover- unclear where public and private starts -blurred boundaries  -secret areas, secret doors in walls, enclosed gardens etc.

Prevailing nature

 A quiet existence with nature- a respect of nature and allowance of nature to penetrate the entire town-no clear boundaries 


Huge civic pride-personalization of space-respect of natural environment-effort-blurring of public/private space


Lifeblood of the town-reflection-light-swans -connection to other people and other places