This exhibition runs from Thu 25 Apr (launch 6pm) to Sat 8 Jun.

Bus Stop Goths is a multidisciplinary arts project that celebrates goths and alternative youth from the Teesside, and the sacred outdoor spaces that they’ve claimed for themselves. We all know these spots as pillars in our towns, maybe it’s a bus stop, a park, a set of steps, a bench, a field, a fountain, even a particular table in a local Mcdonalds. The project’s outcomes have culminated as a theatre show and an exhibition, supported by community arts events held by alternative youth and adult goths and ex goths alike.

Whilst the show aims to invent a myth of these spaces – why they’re there, and why they feel so sacred. The exhibition aims to showcase the communities that reside there, with an aesthetic reframing of them as if these communities are more than just people. Ethereal beings, creatures, otherworldly entities. As if these folks are the subject of a gothic folktale of our region. This will aim to acknowledge the otherness presented towards these groups, whilst celebrating them for their differences, their expression, and their spirit.

The exhibition has been curated and art directed by ARC associate artist Audrey Cook, and features photograph portraits of the local goth community by Matthew Cooper, digitally edited hybrid images by Lucy Harding, and commissioned folk stories from Carmen Marcus and Kym Deyn, presented in written form and recorded form with underscoring by Joseph Browning.

The portraits have been taken by local goths and ex goths that attended our ‘goth social’ community events, as well as portraits of participants of the ‘Curious Arts Middlesbrough Youth Group’ – where they additionally participated in monthly workshops to explore using non human folklore to channel queer youth identity, and learning skills on how to make unregulated social spaces safe for young people.

This project was made possible by ARC Stockton, Arts Council England, Curious Arts, and Middlesbrough Town Hall.