A new giant artwork at Byker Metro station unveiled today, Thursday 1 August, lets passengers view the Newcastle suburb in a whole new light.
The work by local artist Judy Thomas, Byker: Seen and Unseen, is made up of pinhole camera images captured by local people during a community project.
The finished 11-metre long work blows the images up to a huge scale across one wall of the busy suburban station.
Judy explained: “So much of what we see these days is manipulated and manufactured digitally. With these images this is not the case.
“The first pinhole photo was made in 1850. It is still is an exciting technique, it captures the world in an authentic way. The final work shows familiar locations in a dreamlike way.
“Hopefully this engages the viewer to speculate on what they see, questioning what is real and what is imagined.”
The artwork is the latest commission in the Next Stop Byker programme supported by Newcastle City Council, Arts Council England and Nexus. This will see six new works appear at the station over two years, created by artists working with different community groups.
Judy worked alongside members of Arcadea and St Martin’s One O’Clock Club to make simple pinhole cameras and then put them to use in and around Shields Road, the main shopping street just a few yards from the station.
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.”
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.