Art In Newcastle City Centre, Tyne And Wear
The ever changing Ouseburn Street Art and Installations.
The Ouseburn area is Newcastle in a microcosm. A former industrial area, re-imagined as a vibrant cultural centre. Where there was once warehouses, foundries, mills and even an abattoir, there are now artist's studios, bars, music venues and the National Centre for Children's Books at Seven Stories.
As befits an area with a high population of artists, there are numerous art installations and pieces of street art for you to cast your eyes over, ranging from sculptures and wall murals, right down to paste ups and stickers.
The above piece is by Mysterious Al and it is one of the first things you will see as you walk down Lime Street towards the heart of the Ouseburn. Directly next to it is a work by local artist Mul, his distinctive heart motif can be seen all over the city, including the huge "Young Hearts Run Free" piece at Steenburgs Yard by the entrance to the Ouseburn. As well as larger pieces like these there are numerous smaller bits of art by the likes of CackHandedKid, Prefab 77, Laser 3.14 and many others, which you need to keep your eyes peeled for.
"Wire Horses" was created by Daniel Reed in 2002 and commissioned by The Ouseburn Trust. It is found high up on 51 Lime Street and depicts 3 wire horse sculptures inspired by Stepney Bank Stables which are just around the corner.
The Ouseburn is a quirky part of Newcastle and as a result it attracted and still attracts people of a quirky nature. One of those such people has his own plaque on the wall of The Cluny; Eric Larkham, a man of many hats and it seems a carrier bag! Despite being a regular visitor to The Cluny, I have only just found out about Eric and what makes it odder still is that I actually went to school with his son!
A recent artwork that appeared in April is, we think, titled "The Writing is on the Wall" by art collective Third Bloom. It comprises three pieces dotted around the valley on various buildings. Their manifesto states that they create "Poetry for the People, animating urban spaces with words, deeds and a bucket of paste".
The Ship Inn, which sits just under Byker Bridge, is a great place to visit for a pint and some very good vegan food, it is also worth visiting to see the two huge murals which adorn its gable ends. One shows work by The London Police and features their iconic black and white characters which can be found in cities all around the world, while the other has work by renowned US Artist Gaia. The sheep's head, which represents the nearby Ouseburn Farm, is surrounded by images of buildings found in and around the area, including the famous Byker Wall.
During 2018's Great Exhibition of the North, Faunographic, along with the writer David Almond, created "An Ancient Place" which can be found on one of the legs of Byker Bridge. Its a spectacular piece and is worth the trip alone.
In 2002 Lewis Robinson created "The Waymarkers" which can be found dotted through the Ouseburn from the City Stadium in the north, down to the Tyne Bar. These are a series of sculptures which each celebrate a different aspect of the Ouseburn's industrial past. They can be found by following the blue green bottles which are propped up against walls or railings, like in the photo below.
By its very nature much of this art is transitory (we were lucky enough to visit on a day that some new pieces were going up) so what is here this month, may be gone the next, making each visit a new experience. In fact it's the perfect excuse to keep coming back to visit the Ouseburn... well that and the amazing bars!
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Head over the road from Horatio Street passed the Toffee Factory and along Ouse Street before crossing Byker Bank to get onto Lime Street and the centre of the Ouseburn area.
Place contributed by Andrew Gardner
I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.
The Vampire Rabbit is a strange and mysterious “grotesque” that can be found above the door at the rear entrance to the historic Cathedral Buildings, adjacent to Newcastle Cathedral.
A puppet of the Iron Man that was used in the musical of the same name by The Who guitarist Pete Townshend.
A sculpture comprising 22 bronze figures by Juan Muñoz near South Shields beach.
A polished and lacquered aluminium shroud set in the nature reserve.