Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Icon Hears the Echoes of History

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Icon Hears the Echoes of History

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sam Wonfor

When acclaimed artist Stefan Gec was first shown inside the north tower of the Tyne Bridge he immediately knew it was the right place for his latest piece of work ( even though he didn't know precisely what that piece of work was going to be.

"It took us quite a while to find a site, but the first time I came in the tower, I knew we had found what we were looking for.

"Then I started thinking about what the installation would be."

The piece was to be one of three principal installations, around the UK, in the collaborative, Coal, Salt, Tin project which looks at Britain's post-industrial heritage.

It would also provide the first item on the North-East's CST programme which runs throughout this month.

Yesterday, for one-day only, the public were invited inside the rarely-opened tower of the bridge to absorb Stefan's Warehouse work ( a continuous loop of popular music from around the time that the bridge was built in 1928.

"It just occurred to me when I came up to visit the site, that the interior of the tower in so powerful in itself, it would be difficult to put something in here which could rival what is already here.

"So I decided to install something people could listen to while they were in the space. I thought it would be really nice to relate the history of the tower through the music which was popular at the time the bridge was built. The bridge neatly symbolises Newcastle's once powerful industrial standing when the River Tyne was full of ships from all over the world and when a huge workforce was employed both along its quayside and in many of the region's coalmines.

"All you can do as an artist is rummage around and bring something to light or make something surface that might have been lost in the space.

"I would like to think that Warehouse would stir a sense of re-engagement with the audience, changing their initial perception of the site between the time of their arrival and the time of their departure from the space."

Warehouse is the second project by CST which has seen three artists groups from Newcastle (Multiplus), Leeds (East Street Arts) and Cornwall (PALP ( Penwith Artist-Led Projects), united to commission new works which explore how ideas and location are affected by economic change. …

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