A giant new artwork at Byker Metro station takes people on a tour of the hidden treasures of the surrounding area.
The 11 metre-wide ‘Byker Barcodes’ artwork Trails and Treasures captures everyday and overlooked features, patterns and detail from the streets of East Newcastle and weaves them into a colourful design inspired by local people.
The finished work by rednile projects is also interactive, embedded with QR codes which can be scanned by smartphones to reveal stories and information about the area.
It marks the first of a series of six new commissions for Byker Metro which will appear over the next two years with the support of Arts Council England, Newcastle City Council and Nexus, which owns and manages Metro.
rednile artist, Suzanne Hutton said: “We used a shop on Shields Road as a base to celebrate the hidden treasures of Byker by talking to local businesses and exploring the area with community groups using urban treasure hunts.
“The layered content of the piece aims to reflect the complexity and constant state of change of our urban spaces, whilst questioning the role public art often plays in oversimplifying what makes a place.”
Huw Lewis, Head of Communications at Nexus, said: “Trails and Treasures offers a new perspective on Byker for the thousands of people who pass through the Metro station every day.
“We’re delighted to see a work inspired by local places and created with the input of local communities displayed as part of our Art on Transport programme.”
Cllr. David Stockdale, Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Health, Culture, Leisure & Libraries at Newcastle City Council said: “Next Stop Byker is rich in possibility. It provides the opportunity for local people to engage with artists from the Ouseburn Valley and further afield to create temporary artworks which enhance public space and reveal the distinctiveness and creativity of the local community.”
Rednile are the first of six different artists to work with the communities round Byker station over the next two years, creating a series of works to be displayed in the Metro station’s ticket concourse and in local shops on Shields Road.
From there they will visible not just to thousands of passengers every day but people passing the station entrance.
Byker Metro has paid host to a wide range of work since 2005 including internationally-famous urban artists, community projects and photo exhibits by Metro passengers.
The history of the station and its artworks can be found on a Facebook page ‘next stop Byker’ which will also track the progress of the new projects unfolding in the months ahead.