The most ambitious artwork at Sunderland – and one of the most complex Nexus has commissioned – is Platform 5 by Jason Bruges Studio. The west wall of the station, previously plain blockwork, has been replaced by more than 10,000 glass blocks. Low energy led lights behind each block turn the wall into a giant screen, each glass block becomes a pixel providing a 140 metre long digital canvas for the artists’ imagination.
Jason Bruges Studio has transformed this into an animated visualisation of the long-forgotten platform the wall now conceals. Local volunteers were recruited to be filmed to create a language of digitised characters who appear as shadows of passengers waiting for trains, and gathering in random patterns and groups before a train arrives. As each train departs, with its passengers onboard, so the empty platform again begins to be populated by expectant passengers, moving along it in new patterns of behaviour, reflecting the constant ebb and flow of humanity through this busy station.
It is an ever changing cycle of people coming and going, an intriguing creation and a unique response to one of the city’s transport gateways.