Artist documents building of iconic new South Shields centre The Word

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They say a picture can paint a thousand words, but artist Aidan Doyle is painting THE Word.

Aidan has spent months documenting construction of The Word, National Centre for the Written Word in South Shields, on canvas.

He has created scores of pencil sketches and oil paintings which capture workers building the venue at Market Place which is being created as part of the town’s £100m 365 regeneration plan.

Aidan, from Felling, said: “It’s such an exciting project and I’ve really enjoyed meeting and listening to the stories of the people involved in the building work.

“There is a real buzz among the construction workers because it’s such an innovative, high-end specification.

“I’ve tried to capture their interest and enthusiasm in the sketches and paintings, as well as the curves, space and perspective of the architecture.”

I’ve tried to capture their interest and enthusiasm.

Aidan Doyle

Main phase one contractor, Bowmer and Kirkland, has already completed the external structure and work is progressing to fit out the interior.

The centre, which incorporates library and digital media space, will boast an impressive range of facilities including exhibition space, a computer gaming area, a design and innovation studio with 3D printers, digitised archives, meeting rooms, children’s immersive storytelling area, and dining facilities,

Aidan’s works, which are part of the ‘Arts in Libraries’ project, funded by Arts Council England and managed the council and the Customs House, will eventually be displayed in The Word after it opens in autumn.

Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “Aidan’s drawings and paintings capture wonderfully the construction of this truly iconic building which epitomises the transformation of South Shields town centre.

“I’m very much looking forward to the opening.”