Blacksmiths Needle – Members of the British Association of Blacksmith Artists 1996

Blacksmiths Needle - Members of the British Association of Blacksmith Artists 1996

Located on the Promenade, about fifty metres past the Pitcher and Piano. The work is made from forged steel, commissioned by the Tyne & Wear Development Corporation, the Needle is conical in form with six sections. Each section contains objects, which relate to one of the senses including the sixth. The objects were made in public “forge-ins” with a mainly maritime theme. The work was inaugurated in May 1997 by Evelyn Glennie, the percussionist ringing a bell which hangs inside the needle.

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Blacksmiths Needle - Members of the British Association of Blacksmith Artists 1996
Blacksmiths Needle – Members of the British Association of Blacksmith Artists 1996

Swirl Pavillion – Raf Fulcher 1998

Swirl Pavillion - Raf Fulcher 1998

Located on the Promenade, just a few yards past the Pitcher and Piano. The work has a stone base with a steel column in it, supporting a golden ball on top of the column. The gold ball is 2 metres in diameter, and is 3.5 – 4 metres off the ground. Materials used: Stone, lead, mild steel, 23.5 carat gold leaf. Commissioned by the Tyne & Wear Development Corporation

Both a sculpture and a building, the Swirle Pavillion appears to be a folly for the Quayside. It has the names of various towns carved around the inner rim taken by the artist from a faded sign at Plummer Chare and were the destinations for a local shipping company. The pavilion takes its name from a hidden stream, which flows into the Tyne at this point.  The golden glove you can see sits atop the Swirle Pavilion, and walking inside the sculpture reveals the names of the destinations of ships which departed from the Tyne during its industrial heyday.”

Raf Fulcher teaches at Sunderland University. More of Raf’s pubic art can be seen on the Metro at Jesmond.

Swirle Pavillion
Swirle Pavillion

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Keelrow – Neil Talbot & Graciela Ainsworth 1996

Keelrow - Neil Talbot & Graciela Ainsworth 1996

Located on Sandgate, made from Sandstone, commissioned by the Tyne & Wear Development Corporation, this work likes between the other works, River God and Siren. The Keelrow has as its subject ‘Weel may the Keel row’. Sometimes called the Geordie National Anthem the song originated in the 18th Century. The Sand Gate was a main entry point into the town and was well used by the Keel men who crewed the shallow drafted Keels. Talbot depicts the Keels in one of the scenes in the work. A stone carver based in Northumbria, Talbot was head of sculpture at Northumbria University from 1992 to 1993.

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Siren – Andre Wallace 1995

Siren - Andre Wallace 1995

Located on Sandgate, made from bronze on a steel column, commissioned by the Tyne & Wear Development Corporation. Siren is the partner piece to River God, as you might expect both works are clearly visible to each other. The bronze torso is smoothly formed with the head having a slightly exaggerated scale with a bell for an earring. Its unclear what she is doing with her hands, she may be holding something the viewer cannot see.

Siren - Andre Wallace 1995
Siren – Andre Wallace 1995

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River God – Andre Wallace 1996

River God - Andre Wallace 1996

Located on Sandgate, the work is set on a roundabout at the centre of East Quayside. The roundabout outside Ward Hadaway and Mal Maison. Made from Bronze Figure on a Steel Column, commissioned by the Tyne & Wear Development Corporation, the River God is a male figure with a torso and head only, he sits on top of a steel column apparently blowing at the Siren. The figure is patinated brown and holds a staff and chain. This and other pieces on the Quayside were funded by the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation as part of the Quayside regeneration.

This part of the Quayside, Sandgate, was described by John Wesley in 1742 as “the poorest most contemptible part of the town’
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River God - Andre Wallace 1996
River God – Andre Wallace 1996

Rudder – Andrew Burton 1996

Rudder - Andrew Burton 1996

Location on the Keelman Square, made from bronze, the work is commissioned by the Tyne & Wear Development Corporation. Rudder is easy to find, it is right outside Gusto’s Restaurant on the Quayside

The piece is a striking but simple, rudder like form, which is subtly curved. At its highest point the form flows into a step like feature with elements, which curve out of the sculpture. The bronze is patinated green and has a aried surface, which is apparently smooth but if examined more closely has imperfections, which invite the viewer to touch the metal.

Sand Gate is that the one time home of that famous Newcastle community, the Keel Men, who were unique to the region. These were the highly skilled boatmen, who handled the movement of coal from the riverside to ships on the River Tyne. The keelmen took their name from their small vessels called Keels which could carry around 20 Tons of coal.

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Rudder - Andrew Burton 1996
Rudder – Andrew Burton 1996

Column and Steps – Andrew Burton 1996

Column and Steps - Andrew Burton 1996

Located in Keelman Square, made from steel, commissioned by the Tyne & Wear Development Corporation, is easy to find, right outside La Tasca’s Restaurant on the Quayside. The piece comprises of a series of curving forms surrounding a tapering column, which has a plain surface. On top of the column is a twisting abstract shape, which is on top of a gear like form. The individual shapes and material seem to allude to the industrial but taken as a whole the work could be read as waves, which are flowing around the column.

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River Tyne – Neil Talbot 1996

River Tyne - Neil Talbot 1996

This work is just opposite the large court building, where the wide pedestrian walkway departs from the Quayside Road. Located by the retaining wall by the Wesley Memorial Fountain, made from Sandstone, commissioned by the Tyne & Wear Development Corporation, carved on site the work is a relief depicting thirty miles of the course of the Tyne. The Tyne is shown as a map with various views from along the river’s course realistically carved to a relief with a maximum depth of a centimetre. Despite the overall length of the work being 30m, it is a subtle intervention into the retaining wall and quayside as a whole. the architecture was built by Talbot together with his sister Anna and son Jay, it is considered as one of the more discreet works on the quayside. The work is very easy to miss.

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River Tyne - Neil Talbot
River Tyne – Neil Talbot

Give and Take – Peter Randall-Page 2005

Located in Trinity Gardens, Quayside, made from naturally eroded glacial boulder, commissioned by Silverlink Properties & Newcastle City Council. Not so easy to find, this work is behind the new Trinity Buildings, which itself is behind the new Court House. The Art Work is surrounded by lime trees

‘Give and Take’ is carved from a 36-tonne naturally eroded glacial boulder over 3m in height. The boulder, rounded like a giant pebble by glaciation, was unearthed near Fort William in Scotland. The artist acquired it in 1998 and transported the monumental stone to his studio in Devon.

Accepting the overall shape of the rock as a given, Peter Randall-Page mapped its entire surface with an unbroken matrix of 630 hexagons and 12 pentagons. This pattern can be seen in the natural world in cellular, molecular and atomic structures.
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Give and Take
Give and Take

Tributary – John Maine 2005

‘Tributary’ traces the course of the Lort Burn, down Side to the burn’s emergence into the River Tyne next to The Guildhall. Integrated with a new traffic scheme, the sculpture forms a subtle part of the fabric of the street. ‘Subtle’ also means this art work is easy to miss, unless you are looking for it, you might just think it is rather fancy paving, but once the path of the Lort Burn is imagined coming down Dean Street, then the ‘fancy paving’ springs into life. Three stages charting the river are already in place, and a final element is planned for the Quayside.

The Lort Burn was gradually arched over and by 1686 completely culverted in The Side forming a road on top allowing traffic easier access to Groat Market and by 1789 the Lort Burn in Dean Street was not only culverted but its top built up with clay, stone ash and brick rubble to form a broad surface suitable for carriages. A steady gradient from the bridge and waterfront to Grey Street, now topped by the Grey’s Monument, was thus formed.

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Lort Burn
Lort Burn

Location: The Side, Quayside, materials used, reclaimed & new granite paving, commissioned by Newcastle City Council