This is a short film commissioned by Great North Run Culture as part of their Great North Greats celebration. I spent two days filming the making of "Objects to See Further".
Objects to See Further is a film by artist and filmmaker Matt Stokes, developed as part of his residency with Great North Run Culture’s ‘Great North Greats’ programme: a year-long series of events, exhibitions, activities and exploration into the people of the north east and their extraordinary achievements.
Objects to See Further is set in the Victorian era, it’s the year 1871 and engineer Robert Stirling Newall, industrialist William Armstrong, rower James Renforth and songwriter Joe Wilson are pioneers in their fields. They are pushing the boundaries and the sensibilities of the age and will soon go on to be renowned for their contributions to Tyneside’s industrial, cultural and sporting heritage.
But in 1871, they are trailblazers - in a film that stretches from Tyneside to Athens via Cambridge and beyond, Stokes tells the unknown stories of these men and the almost invisible threads that tie them all together as a pioneering quartet who changed the world, if only for a moment.
Objects to See Further is a collection of stories, history and values, spanning astronomy, rowing and engineering, all of which have been expertly woven together by Stokes to create a narrative which celebrates true Great North Greats. By immersing himself in this period of history, he has created a compelling and inspiring film, which reveals much more about the pioneering personalities and their extraordinary achievements.