A Traveller and a Shepherd
20th July – 21st September 2019
‘A Traveller and a Shepherd’ is a new film by artist Matt Stokes and local comedy writer, Steve Blakeney.
The artwork was inspired by a scrapbook of humorous piping jokes and articles taken from newspapers and journals. These cuttings were gathered by William Alfred Cocks whose personal collection forms the basis of the displays in the museum. Stokes discovered the scrapbook whilst researching the museum collection, and it is presented to the public for the first time this summer.
‘A Traveller and a Shepherd’ (aka ‘Geordie and the Pipes’) tells the comical and fantastical tale of a time-travelling Northumbrian. ‘Geordie’s’ patter invites the audience to discover the history of the pipes, their variations and to meet key figures in piping lore.
Contents of the scrapbook also reference the advent of radio during the 1920s, and its role in disseminating pipe music. These technological advances similarly heralded a new wave in British comedy. This is acknowledged in the film, with the script delivered in the style of a 1950’s radio sketch, which we see in the process of being broadcast. The comedian is accompanied by a piper playing the small pipes in response to ‘Geordie’s’ gags, placing them at the heart of, and witness to their own story.’
‘A Traveller and a Shepherd’ has been supported through generous public funding from Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council.
‘Geordie’ Chris Connel
Piper Chris Ormston
Radio Engineer John Spratt
Director of Photography James McAleer
Sound Recordist Aris Anastassopoulos
Lighting Kev Todd
Hair and Make-up Laura Tallentire
Post Production Fantomeline
Sound Mixing Jordan Miller
Set Location Cobalt Studios, Newcastle
Explore our other Northumberland museums this summer to experience more work by Matt Stokes:
Beyond the Field: Encounter a lost rural soundscape inspired by the 18th century borderland at Berwick Museum and Art Gallery.
Felons: Explore contemporary prisoner experiences through the connected symbolism of raptors at Hexham Old Gaol.
Soundmirror: Discover the incredible story of the orchid grown and named for local footballing legend Jackie Milburn at Woodhorn Museum.