A stunning new community mural, in the shape of one of the North East’s most iconic buildings, has been revealed at Byker Metro Station, thanks to budding local photographers who took part in a recent Tyne and Wear Metro photo competition.
The mural, which has been designed in the shape of The Sage, Gateshead, is made up of photographs taken by people from across the North East, when, as part of a recent Metro community initiative, they were invited to snap their favourite scenes from Metro destinations around Tyne and Wear. Entries for the ‘Big Picture’ competition ranged from pictures of stunning Tynemouth Priory and the North East coastline to Sunderland’s magnificent Winter Gardens – all celebrating highlights the region has to offer, accessible by Metro.
Taking pride of place on the formerly blank wall at Byker Metro Station, the brand new ‘Big Picture’ mural features images from most of the 200 entrants, due to the high standard of the entries. The most prominent photographs on the mural have been taken by the six winners voted for by members of the public, who were given the opportunity to pick their favourite snap online. The winners were presented with their framed photograph, in a recent unveiling ceremony, attended by Councillor David Wood, Chair of the ITA, from Newcastle City Council.
Sharon Kelly, Customer Services Director at Tyne and Wear Metro, said: “The ‘Big Picture’ competition offered Tyne and Wear Metro a great opportunity to engage with the local community and we were overwhelmed with the response from members of the public.
“This public piece of artwork, which has been unveiled at Byker Metro Station, represents many of the fascinating places that people can visit in the region – all destinations you can get to easily by Metro. When people now pass through the station, they will be able to enjoy its new and improved look, as the mural really brightens it up and makes for a much more welcoming experience.
“It’s great that we received over 200 photographs and we were able to use most of them, fulfilling the aim of the project to get the whole community involved. Everyone who took part should be extremely proud that their contribution will remain part of this artwork, for many years to come.”
28-year-old, Ed Bookless, from South Gosforth, is a budding local photographer, and was selected as one of the six winners of the competition with his photograph, ‘Reflections on the Tyne’. Ed said: “When I found out about the competition, I was keen to sign up as I’m extremely passionate about photography and I regularly use Metro to get out and about around the region.
“One of my favourite Metro destinations is the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside and on the day I heard about the competition, I went down there to take some photographs of the scene. I was very surprised when I found out I was one of the winners and it’s so rewarding to feel I have contributed to this project.
“It was great to see my photo at Byker Metro Station at the official unveiling of the mural. Photography plays such a big part in my life and I hope to continue my hobby for many years to come.”
Chair of the ITA, Councillor David Wood, from Newcastle City Council, said: “I am extremely happy that the ‘Big Picture’ mural is now on display for all the community to enjoy. Many people pass through Byker Metro Station every day and it’s great that Tyne and Wear Metro has been able to offer them such an exciting piece of artwork, brightening up what was previously a blank canvas. Congratulations to all who took part in the competition – it has proved to be a fantastic way community initiative, bringing local people together to create this lasting mural.”