Northern Lights is two!
I first visited what is now Northern Light is March 2016 with Mark and Chris from Baltic Creative as a potential site for the Asian Street Food start-up Pao. Back then it was a cold, drippy storage facility for cars, vans, boats and various miscellany – what can only be described as a lake, was a prominent feature where Hinterlands’ performance venue is now and there was a menagerie of less salubrious wildlife nesting here.
That was almost three years ago and since then, not just this building but the whole of Cain’s Brewery Village, has completely transformed at lightning speed.
Northern Lights officially launched on the 26th January 2017, it was the first thing I worked on with my brilliant colleagues Mark, Chris and Alison at Baltic Creative. And since then so much has happened: Xiringuito popped up and then left for the Big Smoke, Threshold spent a freezing cold festival here, Sound City had a roasting hot festival, Sort Rehearsals was built and opened, we’ve had leaks and floods, we’ve hosted two Light Nights, tenants have come and gone, we are much warmer, lighter and cosier, we lost a café and gained Tusk, Hinterlands was built and opened, we organised and hosted an international poster exhibition, The Royal Standard have had 10 exhibitions, Jeff has joined the Baltic team and transformed our lives, and so much more!
For our first birthday last year, we celebrated the completion of Jason Hollis’ incredible mural at the front of our building. This year we are very proud to launch the Northern Lights website designed by the wonderful Wordscapes team. Both projects have been developed on site with Northern Lights tenants, and it is the aspect of my role at Northern Lights that I enjoy the most – the interaction with artists and creatives – in producing some exceptional events and unique resources for the creative community here.
Most of 2017 was spent on making the building bend to our will, but 2018 saw some brilliant commissions and collaborations with the creative community here at Northern Lights, as well as partners from around the city. But this is a toast to everyone here at Northern Lights who make it so much more that the sum of its parts, and whose ingenuity, skill and kindness make mine the best job anyone ever had.