Artists create amazing 3D seascape featuring Tyne Lifeboat and Roman remains in South Shields town centre
Shoppers will be making a double-take as they pass by a new 3D artwork installed in the town centre.
It was commissioned by South Tyneside Council and arts project The Cultural Spring using cash from the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, which is investing £56million across the UK.
The fund is aimed at helping councils improve the look of high streets – particularly those in coastal towns and cities – and funding marketing campaigns to encourage people back into local shopping areas as the UK emerges from the Covid pandemic.
Artist Joe Hill from Joe and Max already had an idea of what the 3D artwork would look like, but he and fellow artist Gavin Nolan adapted changes suggested by people from South Tyneside who attended public meetings to discuss ideas for the project.
Joe said: “The artwork was always going to feature the sea and have a sustainability theme, but we listened to the suggestions people made and added the lifeboat instead of a raft and Roman ruins which echo Arbeia Roman Fort.
“We were also told about the pod of dolphins that often appears off the South Tyneside coast so we replaced a turtle with a dolphin. The artwork is much bigger than we originally imagined and we’re really pleased with the result.”
Councillor Mark Walsh, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy at South Tyneside Council, said: “The art work looks amazing and the attention to detail is incredible.
“The 3D effect certainly adds a wow factor to the high street as well as adding something fun and eye-catching to the area as people go about their shopping or enjoy out cafes and bars.
“We would encourage people to come along and see this brilliant creation for themselves. The optical illusion works particularly well in photos so they can be enjoyed and shared.
“high streets are really struggling and projects like this help to draw people back.
“It’s just one of the many ways we are supporting our towns and high streets and helping to create the conditions for recovery and investment.”
Painting the artwork on to the street took Joe and Gavin three days and it should last about three months.
Emma Horsman, Project Director of The Cultural Spring, said: “We love the 3D artwork that Joe and Gavin have produced and we think the changes suggested by people at our open meetings have really personalised it to the area.
"The 3D effect works incredibly well and the feedback we’ve had so far has been really positive. We very much hope people will enjoy Joe and Gavin’s eyecatching work.”
The Cultural Spring was launched in 2014 and is funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places project.
It aims to increase participation in arts activity in Sunderland and South Tyneside, and its five partners are University of Sunderland, the Customs House (South Shields), Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust Sangini, a women’s health organisation, and The Cultural Spring Charity.