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2 Essays

Documenting the City

Art and Society in Newport 

Exploring the changing locations of art and society in modern Newport:

Newport's Coming of Age as a City has been a long time in the making. In many people's minds the official bestowing of city status upon Newport in 2002 was a long overdue act, for the raw industrial town and port of Newport has always acted like a city on the move.

The burgeoning City of Newport has lost no time in forging ahead with a major city centre redevelopment scheme since achieving official city status. With large-scale redevelopment moving apace on the ground, Newport is today re-branding itself as a vibrant entrepreneurial city as the horizon of 2010 approaches when Newport will host the Ryder Cup and occupy a world stage. / 1 Newport's Coming of Age as a City

From the Citadel of Chartism of the 1830s to the Steel Town boom of the 1960s and beyond, Newport exemplifies the economic and political dynamic of industrialism and modernity, an energy often embodied in tensions between reality and aspiration in the face of constant social change. 

The challenge of modernity that continues with today's passage of transformation of Newport from the industrial to the post-industrial city. / 2 Modernity: Industrial to post-industrial city

A new social and cultural geography of Newport is in the making. The city centre and riverside corridor are transforming beyond recognition, as a new city-maritime landscape is coming to replace Newport's traditional industrial, maritime and commercial core. And Newport's current regeneration plans include new hopes for art education and culture as a part of the new river-side city that is in the making. 

Newport's strategy for urban regeneration and cultural development may be located within a wider landscape and pattern of post-industrial re-adjustments; a common global geography in which the new "post-industrial" city-region competes for status and investment. And in this process cultural projects may be promoted as an important catalyst for regeneration. / 3 Towards a new social and cultural geography of Newport

Curatorial reflection: John Wilson

In the eighteen month period spent producing the exhibition Documenting the City: Art and Society in Newport, our art historical journey into the making of modern Newport was conducted against a back-drop of dramatic city centre redevelopment. 

The following essays explore the changing locations of art and society in modern Newport's evolution from the industrial to the post-industrial city. / Curatorial reflection: John Wilson

Curatorial reflection: Roger Cucksey

As Keeper of Art it has been a privilege and a pleasure over a period of over thirty years to handle, conserve, and present the collections for public display at Newport Museum and Art Gallery. 

The pleasure of building such a collection is not often acknowledged, it is the stuff that private collectors often dream of. But the collector’s impulse does not come without responsibilities, to fulfil the educational purpose of a public museum and art gallery. / Curatorial reflection: Roger Cucksey