Blue Carpet
Art Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

Blue Carpet

Art In Newcastle City Centre, Tyne And Wear

A blue carpet made out of crushed glass outside of the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. Part of an urban art project and created by Thomas Heatherwick.

The title may not be the most glamorous and pique your interest, but when walking on or by The Blue Carpet outside the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle you can be a bit smug as you now know what you are looking at.

The artist is Thomas Heatherwick and he was only 26 years old in 1996 when his studio won a competition to create a new piece in this public area. It was completed in 2001.

This modern urban art is designed to help the street scene which was somewhat neglected in the 1960s after the original library was pulled down. The surroundings are now pleasing and in keeping with older buildings.

The Blue Carpet covers 5,000 square metres, which is 9/10 of a football pitch.

The carpet is made with crushed blue and a little green glass mixed with white resin. Some say the blue was old Harvey's Bristol Cream sherry bottles! When first installed it was very blue and vibrant, but time has taken its toll and is now a little forlorn. There are still places where you can see the original blue.

I don't quite understand the oblong shape as most carpets I know come in square tiles or on a roll.

The carpet peels up in places to make benches or to allow the bollards a home. The piece against the wall gave it away for me. Some have lights below for a colour show.

Light blue is supposed to be calming and relaxing. Darker blues help with focus and concentration. However, some shades of blue can be bold and overpowering.

Some said the carpet looked green when first laid, but now there is only a hint of blue. It has cost a fair amount in repairs from acts of vandalism unfortunately and has been an obstacle for skateboarders.

As the artist has become world renown and has a certain amount of infamy too. This artwork may be a smart investment after all.

In 2002 The Blue Carpet won 3 Pavior's Awards. These awards are for excellence in paving works and are given out annually in London

Mr Heatherwick is quite distinguished and holds the following titles:

Royal Designers for Industry (RDI)
Royal Academy of Arts (RA)
Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (Hon FREng)
Many of the designs have won awards such as UK Pavilion at Expo 2010

Thomas has produced other works which have caused notoriety. For example, the B of the Bang in Manchester was supposed to be for the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

Unfortunately, The Blue Carpet looks like it is getting threadbare and losing it's vibrant colour. It certainly could do with some TLC.

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How To Find Blue Carpet

Where Is Blue Carpet?

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54.974706, -1.609146

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Where To Park For Blue Carpet?

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54.975003, 54.975003

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There are lots of parking in the city centre, but Highham parking is just down the side of the Laing Art Gallery.

Contributed by Rosalind Parker

Thanks for reading through and getting to the end of this post. I enjoy exploring the Fabulous North (Especially as a Southerner residing up North). I like 'snippets' of information, and more so, if they are obscure, amusing or meaningful. The photographs are taken on a mobile phone, without any enhancements.

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Rosalind Parker

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