The Town Moor, a vast green space connecting neighbouring suburbs to central Newcastle, has a rich and varied history which cannot be gleaned from its broad, flat surfaces. Since the 12th Century it is has been the site of public executions, army encampments, coal mining and a hospital for the care of small pox victims. Since 1882, it has hosted to The Hoppings, one of Europe's largest travelling fun fairs. Believed to have inherited its name from 'hoppian', an Old English word for dance, the fair's roots lie in the temperance movement. 

When a legislation was passed in 1925 granting the public right of access across Newcastle’s Town Moor, it established itself as a vital thoroughfare for the inhabitants of the City.

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Image courtesy of Newcastle Libraries

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Hatton Gallery, September 2021 © Colin Davison

The largest central area, colloquially known simply as 'the moor', has no landmarks to break up its grass strewn vista - with the exception of a single tree. In a series of photographs made over the course of a year between 2020 and 2021, this lone tree became the focal point in an animated set of cyanotype prints depicting a quiet, unassuming space at variance with the frenetic pace of the city that encircles it. Mostly unpeopled, the images were sequenced chronologically, animated and projected alongside the original cyanotype prints at Newcastle's Hatton Gallery during the Creative Arts Practice MA Degree Show in 2021.