A splash of Mexican colour and culture has arrived in North Tyneside following the creation of a new artwork at North Shields Metro station, thanks to the region’s most vibrant festival.
As part of ¡Vamos! 2015, ‘El Patio de mi casa’ – which translates as ‘My House’s Backyard’ - was created at North Shields Metro station by Mexican artist Bayrol Jimenez during his visit to the region for the annual celebration of Latino culture.
The artwork, funded by Nexus, DB Regio, North Tyneside Council and the Arts Council, is the first work Jimenez has shown in the UK and focuses on an ink-drawing style reminiscent of comic-strip panels on a huge scale.
An internationally renowned street artist, Jimenez’s work includes mural paintings, sculpture and performance. The piece at North Shields took five days to create is intended to connect the North East with his home country.
Jimenez, from Oaxaca, Mexico, said: “The commission led me to create a link between here and the Mexican public space. I used the aesthetics of the popular painters called ‘rótulistas’ – who create cartoonish paintings on the walls of small shops.”
He describes his work as: “An ironic urban landscape where the iconography comes from objects of the suburb roads in Mexico, the detritus, the wild nature, my imagination and experiences in drawing and painting.”
The piece is the latest artwork to appear on the Metro system, where platforms and stations are used to host a range of temporary and permanent creations from local and international artists. ‘El Patio de mi casa’ can be seen on platform 2 at North Shields Metro station, and is sure to delight passengers with its edgy style.
Emma Brough, Customer Services Director at DB Regio Tyne and Wear, which operates the Metro on behalf of Nexus, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the ¡Vamos! festival in this way, and proud that such a well-known artist has chosen the Metro system to make his UK premiere.
“Bayrol’s vibrant work will give North Shields Metro station a unique look and we’re excited to see what passengers think of the new addition to their station.”
Huw Lewis, Head of Communications at Nexus, said: “The Metro system is an icon of the North East’s visual landscape and part of that is thanks to the way we use a range of unique spaces to host and display artwork.
“This colourful but complex piece adds to the diverse collection of art which can be found on the Metro system and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to see the product of Bayrol’s talent at North Shields.”
The 2015 festival was the 10th edition of ¡Vamos!, which once again featured a packed programme of arts, culture and events across the North East, celebrating all that’s great in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking culture.
Festival Director Nik Barrera said: “We’re really excited by our street art this year – and very lucky to have UK premieres right here in our region!
The cultural landscape of Newcastle and the North East is developing every year, and we’re confident this infusion of Portuguese and Spanish-influenced art as part of the wider ¡Vamos! festival will make a massive contribution to the region.”
‘El Patio de mi casa’ can be seen at North Shields Metro station. More information about ¡Vamos! 2015 can be found here: www.vamosfestival.com