Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Locals Leave Their Mark as Part of New DNA Sculpture; Sunderland-Based Artist Zoe Garner Is Creating a Large Sculpture Which Will Include Glass Rods Containing DNA at Sunderland's Hylton Castle, Reports TONY HENDERSON

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Locals Leave Their Mark as Part of New DNA Sculpture; Sunderland-Based Artist Zoe Garner Is Creating a Large Sculpture Which Will Include Glass Rods Containing DNA at Sunderland's Hylton Castle, Reports TONY HENDERSON

Article excerpt

Byline: TONY HENDERSON

SUNDERLAND'S landmark castle has long been part of the lives of thousands of people who live nearby.

And now the lives of locals can in turn become part of the building when its restoration is complete.

They will be able to leave strands of their DNA, encased in glass, in Hylton Castle in Sunderland.

Sunderland-based artist Zoe Garner is creating a large glass sculpture for permanent installation in the castle, which will include glass rods that people are being invited to add their DNA to with strands of hair, or even the ashes of a departed loved one.

Joining Zoe on Sunday was Alyson Tate and her family who all grew up in Castletown - in the shadow of the grade-I listed Hylton Castle.

To help commemorate and celebrate their close personal association with the castle, the family included traces of their own DNA along with some of the ashes their late father, Alan Hall, into fire-blown glass droplets for the sculpture.

Alyson said: "Our dad left us with some great stories about his time in and around Hylton Castle and Dene, and adding our DNA to a sculpture that will be displayed there, will help recognise our and other local family's parts in its history and it's a great way to remember him.

"It was emotional but gave us the chance to come together and do something long lasting and special in his memory."

The sculpture is part of a programme to include people's shared memories of the castle through exhibitions and displays, as part of the project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sunderland City Council, to restore the 14th Century castle and place it at the centre of community life.

Some of the pieces of glass are being created during flame glass workshops which Zoe is holding at the National Glass Centre in the coming week.

They will be added to the sculpture which has been inspired by the action of centuries of rain eroding the stones of the castle, with the DNA material encased in small glass droplets to be positioned inside glass tubes. …

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