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Landmarks — Part 1

People find their way around using a variety of means and one of those I’m particularly interested in is the use of landmarks.

Landmarks can be many things both natural and man-made — a specific building, a distinctive tree, a field with animals grazing, a sign. Within a building they might be a staircase, the colour of a wall, the name of a room or a specific feature. They may be used as part of a series of instructions, for example “turn left at the pub, over the railway crossing and past the bridge“, or pictorially on a map.

Here are a few of my favourites.

The Angel of the North

Antony Gormley | 1998

Gateshead

Said to be one of the most viewed artworks in the World, the sight of The Angel symbolises nearly home for those living in and around Newcastle Gateshead.

I remember very clearly the uproar from residents nearby the day it was installed, claiming it ruined their view.  I’d be very interested to hear what the reaction would be now if they were to take it down !

Couple

Sean Henry | 2007

Newbiggen, Northumberland

The landmark in the sea (or on the rocks when the tide is out) at Newbiggen beach. A reminder that it’s always best to be ready for the unexpected. A smaller version of the sculpture can be found along the promenade revealling the faces and clothing in detail.

Platform 5

Jason Bruges | 2010

Sunderland Station

I’ve been wanting to include this in a blog since I first heard about the project at an SEGD event where Jason was speaking.

A brilliantly simple idea featuring an LED digital sequence of passengers to cover up a disused platform. My favourite part is the person running along the platform, a little late, attempting to catch the train as it is about to pull out the station (those who know me will understand why !).

Sunderland Station is the most unlikely setting for such a dynamic and entertaining installation.  If you live the North East or are passing through please make sure you visit it.

Eat for England

Bob Budd | 2006

Cramlington, Northumberland

Part of the larger Wild Space art trail this is a recent discovery of mine. It’s located along a combined walking and cycle track, with the artist believing a field the most logical place for a giant spoon (it’s 4.5m high).

In 2015 the installation gained a new audience, in the form of staff and patients at the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, which can be seen in the background.

War Memorial

Felicity Watts with High Spen Primary School pupils | 2006

High Spen, Tyne & Wear

This special memorial came about after the local Primary School discovered two past residents of their village had been awarded the Victoria Cross and wanted an appropriate landmark to remember them by.

Positioned in front of the school, the shadow of the soldier is cast over the centre of the stone at 11am on November 11th each year.

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