Impressive 3D artwork planned for South Shields town centre to help encourage shoppers back

Artists have been hired to create an impressive 3D artwork to help encourage shoppers back into South Shields town centre.

Similar artworks have been created in other towns and cities in the UK.
Similar artworks have been created in other towns and cities in the UK.

The street art will be painted in King Street as part of a Government-backed scheme to improve high streets.

The team behind the project say the artwork will be created by firm 3D Joe and Max, measure eight metres by five metres and occupy a ‘prominent spot’ on the main thoroughfare through the town centre.

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South Tyneside Council is working with award-winning arts project The Cultural Spring on the commission funded by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, which is investing £56million across the UK.

South Shields town centre.

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.

Coun Joan Atkinson, deputy leader with responsibility for Culture and Leisure at the council, said: “Creating the right conditions for recovery and investment is a key priority for the Council, as is supporting our town centres, high streets and villages.

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“We believe this artwork will increase footfall and hopefully boost trade in our town centre, providing residents and visitors with an enhanced shopping experience. We also hope this will generate interest in culture and the arts and inspire people to support our wider culture and heritage assets.”

Some designs have been suggested to Joe Hill, who will be painting the artwork.

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A similar artwork in Gloucester.

But Joe will be meeting people from South Shields at an open Zoom meeting at 5pm on Wednesday, March 2, and at an in-person meeting at Ocean Road Community Centre in South Shields at 4pm on Monday, March 7, to hear their ideas.

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Emma Horsman, project director of The Cultural Spring, said: “We’re delighted to be working with 3D Joe and Max on the King Street mural – they’re a company with a global reputation and have created eye-catching 3D street artwork around the world.

“Whatever they create will offer people a fully immersive experience. A couple of ideas have been suggested to Joe– under the sea and the environment – but it’s really important to us that local people have a real say on the artwork, so we encourage people to pop along to the Zoom meeting at 5pm on March 2 or in-person at the March 7 meeting.

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“We also hope that local people will have an opportunity to actually help paint the artwork – or part of it.”

A similar artwork in Bristol.
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Jane Davies, commercial director at 3D Joe and Max, said: “We’re excited to be working in South Tyneside and we’ve already completed a couple of mock-ups based on the early suggestions – although we’re really interested in hearing what people would like to see on March 2.

"It will also be a great opportunity for people to meet Joe.

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“The 8m x 5m artwork will be painted directly on to King Street and should last about three months.”

Joe and Max have worked across the UK, Europe, the Far East and America, with clients including Google, Disney, Reebok, Save the Children and several car manufacturers.

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How the artwork could look in South Shields.

The company previously created a large artwork on Newcastle Quayside last summer which gave the impression of standing on the edge of a rocky canyon.

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Work on the King Street artwork will start on Tuesday, March 8 and will take three days.

To book your place on the March 2 Zoom session please email: [email protected] so the zoom link can be shared.

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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.

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A similar artwork in Gloucester.
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A similar artwork in Coventry.