Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
By Rosemary Stubbs
Wednesday 08 Oct 2014 16:13:00
Browse all Art articles
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will see Middlesbrough town centre transformed for one night only – with outdoor film screenings, mysterious art installations and special events taking place in mima, Central Library, Cleveland Centre and across Centre Square itself. This free programme of creative happenings on Friday 24 October has been curated by Teesside based multidisciplinary artist Nicky Peacock as part of Discover Middlesbrough.

And it features a free outdoor screening of 20,000 Days On Earth, the brand new, much talked about and eagerly anticipated film about the mysterious and enigmatic, Nick Cave.

stained glass carsThroughout the evening, Centre Square will be illuminated by artworks Stained Glass Cars and VHS R.I.P from Middlesbrough based Twist Design. The Stained Glass Cars were premiered at the Lumiere Festival in Durham back in 2013, and were inspired by the stunning stained glass of Durham Cathedral.  The two Reliant Robins were rescued from the scrap heap, transformed into an engaging public spectacle which features stained glass inspired by the industrial heritage of the North East and the eccentricities of British Design. VHS R.I.P is a light installation which consists of thirteen illuminated crucifix structures which have been created entirely from discarded VHS video casettes and cases.

Listen out for disembodied whispers in the air as Don't Be Afraid of the Dark’s guest artist takes over Middlesbrough town centre’s world famous CCTV tannoy system for the night.

From 6pm there are a number of special events taking place in mima, and a special late night gallery opening, with exhibitions staying open until midnight.

Telling Tales will be a unique experience which combines old-fashioned storytelling, the childhood practice of making dens and an installation by artists Fin McMorran (Senior Lecturer in New Media at Teesside University) and Miki Z entitled Safe and Sound in mima’s Education Space. This installation features a structure which has been knitted together from recycled materials, and is accompanied by a soundscape of crackling logs and licking flames to envelop the senses of the viewer. It creates the atmosphere of a central hearth around which participants are invited to read passages from their favourite dark tales. Booking is highly recommended, as spaces are limited for this intimate event. Please contact to reserve a place.

Close Encounters in mima’s atrium space sees Middlesbrough based artist Alyson Agar exploring the hidden cartographies of the gallery, such as the permanent in-situ artworks previously commissioned by mima from artists such as the Turner Prize nominated Richard Wright. Close Encounters will feature a series of drawings which explore these compositions through repetitive mark-making. This event will also feature an informal talk by Alyson at 8.30pm. 

A free outdoor screening of 20,000 Days On Earth from 9.20pm is on the Big Screen in Centre Square. This film delves into the artistic processes of one of music’s most mysterious figures – Nick Cave. Directors Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth’s debut feature fuses drama and documentary to construct a narrative and cinematic reality that seamlessly blends performance and storytelling with emotional truths. This is a free event, but come early as seating will be limited. Please note this film is Certificate 15. Guests are welcome to bring their own seating to this event.    

Nick Cave film

Prior to the film screening there will be a showing of the official video for Antony and the Johnsons’ cover of the iconic Beyoncé song Crazy in Love. This was directed by native New Yorker Joie Iacono, who describes it as “imperfect and exists well away from other music videos”.

Across in Cleveland Centre from 6 – 11pm, multidisciplinary artist and curator of Don’t Be Afraid of the DarkNicky Peacock is presenting Carol Anne, Don’t Go into the Light. This is a new installation in one of the Cleveland Centre showcases, inspired by real life and fictitious accounts of hauntings, possessions and disappearances of young women as represented in popular culture. Nicky’s visual stories address a fascination with provincial surrealism and exploration into the supernatural and secret worlds of suburban girls. The installation is presented as a composite of museum exhibits, investigative documentation and an adolescent bedroom shrine – which is an established motif in Nicky’s work.

Across in Central Library’s Middlesbrough Reference Library will be the launch of Rebecca Hall’s new bookHaunted Teesside from 7pm – copies of the book will be available on the evening for a discounted price. This is a free event but booking is essential, call 01642 729001 to reserve a place. Please note that this event is suitable for over 12s.

For full programme details please visit

Running order:

Throughout the evening (6.00pm – 11.00pm):

Stained Glass Cars and VHS R.I.P by Twist Design – Centre Square

Guest Artist CCTV Tannoys Takeover – Centre Square

Close Encounters by Alyson Agar – mima

Carol Anne, Don’t Go into the Light by Nicky Peacock – Cleveland Centre Showcases

6.00pm - 7.00pm             Telling Tales (featuring Safe and Sound by Fin McMorran and Miki Z) – Education Space, mima

7.00pm - 8.30pm             Haunted Teesside Book Launch – Central Library

8.30pm - 9.10pm             Informal artist’s talk by Alyson Agar – mima

9.15pm - 9.20pm             Screening of the Official Video for Antony and the Johnsons, Crazy in Love – Big Screen, Centre Square

9.20pm - 11.00pm           Screening of 20,000 Days On Earth – Big Screen, Centre Square

11.00pm Finish

*Please note, all events are free but some do require booking as places are limited. 


For full programme details please visit

Discover Middlesbrough


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