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Michele Allen ‘Designated Sites of Tranquillity’

Exhibition dates: 13 January - 25 February 2006 

Michele Allen's new series of landscape photographs capture some of the most picturesque places in North East England in a new light. Allen has spent the last year working with a research team in the
Centre for Environmental and Spatial Analysis at the University of Northumbria, who have created an alternative map of the region. Based on discussions with visitors to the countryside, the team, led by Dr Robert Macfarlane, has mapped the "relative tranquillity" of Northumberland National park and West Durham Coalfield. The criteria underpinning the maps revolve around three themes — the presence of people, landscape qualities and the impact of various noises. The resulting maps classify subjective and emotional responses towards the land into a scientific profile.

Allen's nine new photographs picture some of the sites designated highest in tranquillity, although often find that our preconceptions about the countryside and 'tranquillity' can be misplaced.


From 'Designated Sites of Tranquillity' 2004-5