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“Send Three and Fourpence…”

November 6, 2013

Memories of The Rink Ballroom, a former dance venue in Hartlepool, were the inspiration behind Northern artist Neil Armstrong’s multimedia installation at Toffee Factory this November. This once bustling venue, opened in 1910, known locally as “the Rink” provided the chance to escape the pressures of everyday life to a magical glamorous place where couples could fall in love and glide across the legendary dance floor.

Armstrong is fascinated by the stories and glamour of The Rink Ballroom, which spanned two generations. An early pioneer of video art, Neil has used the project as a jumping off point to produce a nostalgic experience that considers how the past is forever being re-invented.

Neil Armstrong said:

“This personal project has been a journey back to the place where my father was brought up; a place that until now had only existed in my imagination. Ultimately it’s really concerned with what constitutes documentary truth…or not.

I travelled hopefully…ended up meeting a man with healing hands, making a doll, writing a song for a big band and hanging out with 60s superstars Manfred Mann…amongst other interesting folk.

The installation premièred in Hartlepool and I am really happy that its first ‘out of town’ exposure is to be at the Toffee Factory, in my adopted city of Newcastle.”

Marion Keene doll

Look out for the 1:12 scale doll of 50s singer Marion Keene, appearances from members of the 60s pop band Manfred Mann and the only known song to be written in 40s swing style about Hartlepool, composed and recorded by Armstrong for a Hartlepool based Big Band.

Lisa Tolan, Creative Space Management said:

“Send three and fourpence is one of the many cultural events programmed at Toffee Factory opening up our wonderful building to a wide range of audiences and communities across the City and the wider region.”

The exhibition runs 7th – 9th November, 10am – 5pm 

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