Sense of Place 3

Featuring fused-glass artwork and poems by students from King Edward VI School, Morpeth and St Thomas More Catholic High School, North Shields

Students walking to Sycamore Gap
Student holding a book from Special Collections

About the Project

This project was inspired by the beautiful landscape of Northumberland National Park and material in Newcastle University’s Special Collections, including the archive of artist and designer Leonard Evetts, engravings by Thomas Bewick, and contemporary poetry from the Bloodaxe Books Archive.

Over the course of three days, Year 9 students from King Edward VI School in Morpeth and St Thomas More Catholic High School in North Shields took part in a variety of activities and produced creative work for a public exhibition.

Students listening to a talk about the Northumberland National Park, at the Sill

Day 1: Northumberland National Park

The project began with a visit to the Sill - The National Landscape Discovery Centre, in Northumberland National Park. Here the students explored artwork and poetry inspired by the natural landscape of the local area.

They then went on Ranger-led walk to Sycamore Gap where they stopped to immerse themselves in their surroundings and to do some writing and sketching in their nature journals.

“Absolutely amazing. I loved Sycamore Gap”.


“I found it really inspirational to connect with nature.”


“Very interesting introduction. Got my poetic juices flowing.”


Students sketching and writing at Sycamore Gap

Day 2: Archives and Poetry

The second day of the project saw the students visit Newcastle University Library where they explored material from artists and poets in the University’s Special Collections. This included material from the artist and designer, Leonard Evetts, (who is perhaps best known as a master designer of stained-glass windows), engraver Thomas Bewick, and nature-inspired poetry published by Bloodaxe Books.

The students also experienced a lecture on poetry and Sense of Place, and took part in a poetry workshop led by poet John Challis.

A table display of items from Special Collections.

“I enjoyed looking at the Special Collections.”


“John the poet, really inspired me to think deeper into poetry”.




“The students loved meeting a poet and gaining insight into both University life and writing poetry”.


Students attending poetry workshop

Students creating fused-glass

Day 3: Art and Fused-Glass

On the final day of the project the students returned to Newcastle University where they took part in an artist-led nature walk around the University campus and visited the Hatton Gallery. They also participated in a fused-glass workshop in which they created a piece of glass artwork inspired by nature.

“The nature walk was very calming”.


“They really loved this [the fused- glass] activity”.


“Loved learning how to make stained-glass”.


Students resting from their nature walk on campus



Image of Sycamore Tree, on Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall


The land is grassy and wild

The weather is clear and mild

The quiet leaves chatter in trees

The clouds swim in overhead seas


The wall creeps along turning,


Running wild along with the hills

And protects us from the seasonal chills


Behind us cars move along the motorway

But the leaves are speaking and they say;

Hello to the hikers,

They speak of local mysteries,

Ancient castles blowing in the breeze

The winter thaw and freeze.



image inscribed listen

Hush and Listen



The water speaks for me

I am a jellyfish

So let me be


Maybe if I’m this way

And not a washed up old stray

You won’t categorise my worth

Just by looking at me


Me and my sisters all have pretty colours

That’s all you see

You gaze with admiration

But you’re ‘good’

So you’ll let it be


Maybe our sisterhood

Can be content as this

Not feeling like an entertainer

Judged as we swim


So hush now

The water speaks with me

I am a woman

Listen to me



Sycamore Tree on Hadrian's Wall

Lonely Tree

Gazing upon the sycamore tree,

Tall,large,mighty it must be,

But ever wonder behind it all,

How lonely it must be.


Isolated,no sound

Just solitude,

No rustling of leaves,

How sad it must be.


With bright heather all around,


Even piles of stones and rocks,

And yet there is just a single tree.


Every year watching the season go by,

The saffron leaves fall down,

Watching groups of cows even walk by,

In winter as the snowflakes fall down.


As this cycle returns again,

I wonder how Lonely it must be




Image of a fawn

The Mortality of Fawns


too close to the road

silver blade that cleaves the fields

         tail bobbing

               dead dusk

                         yellowing eyes in headlights




       legs shaking,

               legs trembling


Burst from brush

offer yourself up for dead.


Your mother barks for you

she knows every joint in your frozen legs

       if this petrol beast

          if this death you look in the eye

             is to claim you –

Then, she will know nothing.



too close to the road

       heart flutters

                glowing like glass

                             this light eats you whole


A sound from a rolled window

unfamiliar cries of joy

and most terrible awe

       are you this precious?

             as the reapers think so?

                  as your mother thinks so?


    skittish, now.



They cannot take you

as much as you need them to.

     home is where the heart is

               and your heart belongs to the wild

               i am sorry

my dear,

my deer.




Image of a small pet

A Remote Funeral


A fond pet,

Lay alone in the woods,

In the soil free of litter,


His nose comforted by the smell of wild garlic leaves,

His eyes widened by the sight of tall trees,

As he rests peacefully upon the green grass,

I mourn freely for the pet who has passed.



Image of an animal in a wood

A Special Encounter


Leaves rustle,

I look, nothing there.

I sit and wait.

I hear it again- a different sound.


I look and he is there.


Black and white, face striped,

A vacuum nose to the ground.


He looks at me,

I look at him.

Watching me,

Watching him.


Man-made sounds disappear,

Escaping human senses in a connection with nature.

No advanced emotions, no complex communications.


Breathe in



Breathe out


And know without doubt.


We locked eyes, we locked thoughts.

He scurries into his secret garden;

His secret emerald palace.


I am left in the man-made world.



A photo of the full glass piece produced by Josie can be viewed in the Gallery.

Image of an Dandelion



Your wispy parachute seeds,

They carry the dreams of young children who wish for a bright future,

Filled with happiness and blessing.



Your grounded roots,

They remind me of reality.

I cannot be taken away by unrealistic expectations and beliefs.



Your stable stalk,

It encourages me to stay strong

Because like you,

No matter what pushes me,

I will never break.



Your small seeds,

They entice me into spreading kindness.

By doing small acts,

For friends and strangers alike.



As your seed grows,

Just as someone evolving into a better person,

Spreading seeds of selflessness

Repeating the cycle until our world is filled with beautiful dandelions





A photo of the full glass piece produced by Lucy can be viewed in the Gallery.

Image of a tree and a wall

The Tree

Before the barrier between us,

We were free.

Now this wall divides me.

I am a marker,

An attraction.

Now people touch and gawp,

Like I am in a zoo.

Now I am restrained,

My roots are held down with rocks.

There is … no escape.



A photo of the full glass piece produced by Martha can be viewed in the Gallery.

Image of the Sycamore tree on Hadrian's wall

Sycamore Gap


Image of a sunset

The sunset reward after an accomplished day


The Swifts fly past,

Now, you know it is summer at last,

But how surprising sunset can be

Let alone the colours on the horizon you see,

I wonder if it would be the same if it weren't at the end of the day.

For if the clouds could talk what would they say ?

Fluttering wings,

Bird Calls and sings ,

Melodic noise ,

Girls and boys ,

This scene set on a field,

The clouds blocking the view like a shield,

Rustling trees and the taste of sweet dew ,

The painted sky no longer blue,

The break between day clouds and midnight stars,

Like people on planets searching from afar,

The poor fish that the seabird caught

The families all on their afternoon walks

The feeling of so little being so powerful, so involved yet so lost.


A photo of the full glass piece produced by Martha can be viewed in the Gallery.  


Image showing a country scene

The Scene

A mirage of green and brown visible at the forest’s edge,

Skywards, a few bright, beaming rays of sun escape the

Barrier of a beautiful mountain.

Underfoot, a meadow brimming with life; flowers sway

Gently with the early morning breeze,

Like great swirling clouds on brittle stems.


The soft buzz of bee, and flap of feather sound, echoing eternally,

As hoverflies drift dreamily in the air.

Butterflies dancing between flower and field, amid the morning dew.

Also sounds the lapping of a gentle stream,

Winding its way through weeds and reeds,

The water, cool as mountain tops, fresh and serene,

This, I thought, was my perfect scene



Sycamore tree on Hadrian's wall

Nature’s Tale


Sycamore Gap, where nature’s wonders bloom,

Flowers dance in colours, chasing away the gloom.

Hadrian's wall a heroic sentinel of old,

Witness nature embrace a story yet untold.


Petals unfold, like delicate dreams taking flight.

Their fragrant whispers kiss the air with delight.

Ancient stones, finding their space,

Softening the ground with grace.


Sycamore Gap, a haven where beauty’s at play,

Where nature and history change day by day.

A testament to time’s embrace,

As nature weaves its magic in this sacred place



Sycamore tree on Hadrian's Wall

The Sycamore Tree


This is a sycamore tree,

A tree for you and me,

A tree of truths and tales,

And to all that visit,

It whispers and wails.


This is a sycamore tree,

A tree for all to see,

This tree has character and fame,

But what about all the others?

It’s surely just the same.


This is a sycamore tree,

A tree for you and me,

A tree ever so tall,

Its beauty has a purpose -

To fill a gap in the wall.



A photo of the full glass piece produced by Pippa can be viewed in the Gallery.

Image showing a deer in the landscape


The Flying Bird


Bird high in the sky,

The wind is your calling,

You're calling to fly.

Forever free,

It's all you can be.

And yet somehow you still stay with me?

Our past is sad,

And for that I am sorry.

But when we escape,

You must hurry.

When we are free,

We then must flee.

You must fly back to your tree.




Image of a tree

Nature’s Realm


In nature's realm, a wondrous sight,

Where beauty reigns both day and night.

The sun's warm rays, with gentle ease,

Caress the earth, a tender breeze.



Image of the sea

Sea Lions in the Deep

Dive down, deep.

Swim down to the depths of the deep blue.

You’ll soon find these creatures lurking

Happy, peaceful, deceiving, waiting to pounce.

Down deep or rising high, you can always feel the waves they create.


Dive down deep.

You see the circular eyes appear from the unknown dark.


Deep down. You can find the hate, the creature understands.

He hates, hates that he’s hungry but unable to hunt. Hates the pollution of humans, they don’t belong.


Deep down you can find the root of all hatred. The demon that lies within.



A photo of the full glass piece produced by Alyssa can be viewed in the Gallery.

Image of the landscape

Common Idol


we all look up to him

every single day

for he covers all aspects of life

in every single way


the holder of my emerald shields

blower of the wind

a blanket stretched across my golden fields


his breath seeping through

each blade of grass

beams rays of sun

till he’s done

then brews fiery rage

till his will storm pass


one day lifeless, still and grey

silver charm, snow at bay

next day an eclipse of dark ascension

stars from far foreign dimension


king of all, for every tongue of the land

must confess

he watches over our eternal rest

my hilltop green succumbs to you

the great almighty eternal blue


for when a shepherd looks up at night 

he sees our common idol

the shepherd reads the cloudy scripture

its own natural bible


that shepherd sees the same idol,

as you, them and I 

the idol above everything

mother nature’s sky



A photo of the full glass piece produced by Zac can be viewed in the Gallery.

Sycamore tree on Hadrian's wall

Nature is a beautiful sight 

Place where everything is right

The sun shines bright the birds take a flight

And everything is bathed in light.


The flowers bloom the trees stand tall 

The gentle breeze touches it all

The rivers flow the ocean roar

And everything is worth living for 


The animals play insect buzz

The world is full of  so much love

The mountains rise the valley dip

And everything is perfect sync


Nature is a work of art

A masterpiece thats close to heart

Its a place where we can find

Peace and solace for our mind




Image of Dolphins

Dolphins in Nature


Dolphins in nature, 

so free and wild, 

swimming and playing,

 their sleek bodies gliding through the wave, 

as they leap and jump,

 and show off their acrobatic ways.


With clicks and whistles,

They communicate,

In a language that we can only speculate.

They hunt and feed,

In a world so vast and travel in pods,

With a bond that will last.


Dolphins in nature,

So graceful and serene,

A world so pristine.

It’s elegance was unsurpassed,

Waves began to crash.


A tsunami wave, 

May we always cherish and protect these creatures

And ensure their survival,

For future generations to treasure.



A photo of the full glass piece produced by Kiana can be viewed in the Gallery.

Image of a woodland scene

Glass Sheets


The rain above fell like glass sheets

I feel soaked in cold embrace that feels somehow familiar

As the flowers danced in your coat of shine

They bloomed into their seasonal beauty.

Tall statues with wooden bark loomed gently

With ivy warped into their veins.


Peace warms me as i take in the nature

Everchanging and filled with desire

A mother who nurtures her kin

Reminding me of when i was smaller

And destined for a bigger dream.



A photo of the full glass piece produced by Elena can be viewed in the Gallery.


Image of the landscape

There in the distance is a snow covered street

The thick layer of white snow covers the top of the houses

The black car is stuck in a snowdrift

Whilst the people wearing hats, scarves and gloves walk through the white of the winter wonderland

There could be a polar bear with cubs far out looking for food

Little did i know i was the food




Image of the Quadrangle at Newcastle University



Old buildings and cloudy skies

Car engines and people walking by

Windows fog over, the air is cold

Grass adorned with flowers red and gold


Benches wait for someone to sit

Chasing paper trying not to lose it

Wind rustling through all the leaves

Big, old, tall willow trees


Scratching of pencil on paper

Wet patches on the page 

Rain colouring in the ground

People everywhere as you look around


Rushed conversations with no words

Branches dancing in the breeze

Trees gently swaying from side to side 

Raindrops gripping onto the end of leaves




Sycamore tree on Hadrian's wall

Still You Stand 


Standing tall and proud, 

Your deep strong roots sinking into the ground,

Leaves dance in the gentle breeze, 

Swaying in the northern wind with ease, 

Birds sing their lullabies,

Down below strangers pass by,

How far do your roots go down?, 

Met with bark cracked and brown,

Near is a wall old and hollow,

On it sits a lonely swallow,

But still you stand tall and proud.


Lexie Jo

Image of the landscape

The Sound of Rain


The sound of rain patters against the proud distinctive buildings.

Forest green leaves littered around my silhouette like fresh snow on a winter's day.

The sound of rain accented the pale pink flowers.

Tall menacing trees stood tall as if they were giving out their daily orders.

The sound of rain overcrowded my senses.

I was overwhelmed with peace as I felt the soft gentle touch of the water drops against my finger tips.

The sound of rain stopped. 

Faded, lingered, reminisced.



A photo of the full glass piece produced by Lilly can be viewed in the Gallery.


Image showing the sun

Tree By the Road


Tall and sturdy,

Nothing so simple

Yet so strange,

Constantly moving, 

Never the same, 

Never something so close

Felt so far away

One sits and writes, 

The other creates life,

One rides cars,

The other sits and stares, 

The tree by the road,

Completely oblivious to the world



Image of the landscape

The Hill’s Welcome


The hills welcome me in the moonlight

As the brown hare runs past my stomping feet

I listen to Lover’s Rock

As the hills welcome me in the moonlight

Shadows of rustling shrubs and the hoots of the wise owl

Like spirits and ghosts prancing around me

As the hills welcome me in the moonlight

The moons spotlightling me

Solar Systems watching over me

Stone walls falling

Skies colliding

The hare returns with wide bewildered eyes 

Like ambers

Saturn smiles at me with a welcoming smirk

As the hills welcome me in the moonlight

Comets from long ago stretch across the sky 

reaching and searching for long lost treasures of the universe

Foxes, badgers and shrews all hurry over and befriend me

I listen to Lover’s Rock 

As I tread

The hills welcome me in the moonlight. 



Image of a tree

As Above, So Below


The World above where we tread,

Walking on land on our two legs.


The dimension below where strange creatures lurk,

Aquamarine paints the rocks a luscious verdant sheen.


Humans cannot stay here.


We love to test the boundaries between our world and the vast expanse,

Floating across the portal on hand made contraptions.


Looking down on the painted gems of the world below,

Knowing that if they take them away, the gemstones would become worthless stones.


This dimension humans explore, but we cannot remain.

We peek at its splendour through screens of glass, 

dreaming of the other world which inhabits 71% of the world.

But the water is not for us.


But fear not, for the dimension we inhabit is just as extraordinary,

If you look close enough.


Look not on what we cannot take, 

instead appreciate what we have in front of us.


The trees sing for us, we are just too ignorant to hear them,

The flowers bloom for us, we simply do not appreciate them enough,

The sun rises for us, but we take that for granted.

Nature is always there for us, why aren't we there for it?


We are a part of nature, it is just as alive as you or I.


Now, i ask you, look around, listen carefully, feel the nature, 

You may be surprised as to what you find.


A photo of the full glass piece produced by Tommy can be viewed in the Gallery.

Image of a tree

Senses Last 


Faces covered in clay like mud,

Hands stained in crimson blood,

As I fall I think of all that could,


I feel the jagged and rough floor,

The beauty is ragged and raw,

I feel the deafening, suffocating silence stab my soul,


Pollen blows where grass grows,

I see all of humanity's flaws,

The world is beautiful and great but plagued with deadly hate,


I see endless fields of emerald green, never to be seen,

I see flourishing fragrant flowers next to tall wooden towers,


Wild winds scream,

As the dazzling sun beams,

I see mighty magnificent marigold meandering aimlessly,

I feel the bitter sour rain licking  my nose gracefully, 


I see cotton candy clouds gathering in peaceful crowds, I feel the overwhelming amount of sorrow,

Knowing I will never see tomorrow,


Like lying on a bed of glass,

The pain holds so much mass,

I smell the strong sweet scent of lavender,

I feel death and I will not challenge her,


I taste the crisp refreshing air kiss my tongue,

I’m going to die alone and young,


Do mountains dream,

Do rivers wish to be streams,

Do hills wonder,

Is rain scared of thunder,


Calm winds whistle slowly, it feels so holy

My face fills with flooding tears,

The beauty blindfolds my fears,


I die a nameless knight in forgotten fight,

This will be my last sight,

I can see a glaring white light.



“It really was a fantastic experience… The students gained so much insight, encouragement and confidence”.


“I got a lot out of this experience”.


“I really enjoyed it. It was very creative and engaging”.