Swans in Flight
Art Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

Swans in Flight

Art In Newcastle City Centre, Tyne And Wear

Five bronze life-size swans in various stages of flight that look naturally interwoven with each other.

The Swans In Flight sculpture is at Newcastle's Civic Centre located inside the quadrangle of which there is a public alleyway built through the Civic Centre to give you access.

After enjoying these swans' serenity against the building's Brutalist look, you may wonder why swans? From what I can find out it was already decided that King Olav V of Norway was going to open the Civic Centre in 1968 and Bergen is twinned with Newcastle. They give a Christmas tree to Newcastle most years, so for the King's visit, swans could have been chosen for a reciprocal gift as they feature a lot in Nordic countries.

For me, when thinking of Newcastle's links to Scandinavian countries, I think of the Danes and Vikings, oh and DFDS (other ferry operators are not available) sailings to Nordic countries from the Port of Tyne.

The sculptor David Wynn (1926 to 2014) used the Scandinavian poem 'The Swans From the North' By Hans Hartvig Seedorff Pederson's as his inspiration.

Here is the opening verse.

Twas five wild swans in silver plumage dressed,

That toward the coastline of the north were streaming,

A streak of dawn light colored every breast

Ere yet the red flush of the dawn was gleaming...

Five Swans are a reference to the Scandinavian countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden and feature in Norse folklore. Who remembers The Ugly Duckling by Danny Kaye based on the Danish Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale? The Whooper swan is the National bird of Finland and the Mute Swan is the national bird of Denmark. Five swans have been featured on Nordic postage stamps.

David Wynn studied Zoology at Cambridge and did not study sculpture academically. He did 'study' with sculptor Georg Ehrlich of which his goal was to marry Ehrlich's model Gillian and he did. Wynn also had historian George Macaulay Trevelyan of Garibaldi and Wallington Hall fame in his corner. I guess they met at Cambridge where they both attended. George was instrumental in persuading Mr Wynn senior to spend a fortune on a studio for David. He was known to take time to study his animals when commissioned for sculptures.

This is a bronze sculpture and each swan is subtly attached to another. They look life-size. Some say this sculpture also portrays the various stages of a swan taking off. According to the Wildlife Trust in the UK we have three types of swan; The Mute Swan is the noisy flyer, The Berwick Swan is the fastest flapper and The Whooper Swan is the largest with a long neck, so I suggest these are Whoopers.

Whilst you are here you should marvel at David Wynn's other work River God Tyne near the entrance to the Civic Centre. If you need some sustenance there is a pub nearby called the Five Swans in reference to this sculpture.

  Add To Bucket List   I Have Visited This Place

Get 2 points if you have visited this place. Already visited by 20 VIPs.

Login to the VIP area to add places to your bucket list, mark them as visited and more importantly see where you rank on the league table.

How To Find Swans in Flight

Where Is Swans in Flight?

Show Place On Google Maps

Lat / Long

54.978695, -1.611072

What three words

diary.loft.novel

Where To Park For Swans in Flight?

Show Parking On Google Maps

Lat / Long

54.979531, 54.979531

What three words

potato.closes.open

Lots of parking within Newcastle City Centre, with the nearest being the Civic Centre car park.

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.

More Places from Rosalind
Rosalind Parker

More Places In Newcastle City Centre

Find more fabulous places in Newcastle City Centre, Tyne And Wear and if you know of a place we haven't listed, then let us know.

Newcastle City Walls
Newcastle City Walls
Building Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

Remains of the 14th century walls that were built around Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Central Arcade
Central Arcade
Building Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

An ornate, Edwardian Shopping Arcade, in the centre of Newcastle built in 1906. The arcade is set within Richard Grainger's Central Exchange Building.

White Walls Project
White Walls Project
Art Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

A series of art installations created to celebrate the regeneration of the Hoults Yard estate between 2011 and 2020.

More Art

So this art wasn't enough and you want more? Don't worry we have you covered.

Temenos
Temenos
Art Middlesbrough North Yorkshire

Art installation near Middlesbrough football ground.

Whittonstall Wicker Man
Whittonstall Wicker Man
Art Stocksfield Northumberland

A cool rural wicker man, keeping an eye on any bad lads on the border of Northumberland and Durham.

Conversation Piece
Conversation Piece
Art South Shields Tyne And Wear

A sculpture comprising 22 bronze figures by Juan Muñoz near South Shields beach.

Never Miss A Fabulous Place

If you are afraid of missing out on all the fabulous places we post, or just want to be the first to know, then sign up to the Fabulous North.

Each week we will email you all the brand new places that we visit.

Sign Up To Alerts
Sign up to newsletter
Fabulous North On Facebook

Find Us On Facebook

We post all our new places daily on our Facebook Groups page, so join the group today and be notified when we add a new place.

Join Our Facebook Group

Swans in Flight was listed in Art // Tyne And Wear // Newcastle City Centre