Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Artist Sees His Work Slowly Taking Shape; Female Form Is Rising from the Earth in County

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Artist Sees His Work Slowly Taking Shape; Female Form Is Rising from the Earth in County

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Black

AUNIQUE artwork which will become the world's biggest-ever sculpted human form is slowly rising from the earth at a Northumberland opencast coal mine.

Six months after work started on creating her, Northumberlandia - a massive landform depicting a naked, reclining female - is gradually taking shape at the Shotton surface mine near Cramlington.

Yesterday renowned American landscape architect and artist Charles Jencks paid a visit to the site to discuss the next stages in the project's development, and see how his initial designs are being turned into reality.

The shape of the figure - which has been dubbed the Goddess of the North - is beginning to emerge from the landscape, and a visitor car park has now been put in place. When completed, Northumberlandia will be 400 metres long and taller than an eight-storey building at her highest point.

The sculpture is being formed by using about 1.5m tonnes of soil and clay taken from the opencast site, which is operated by regional developer The Banks Group.

Banks and the Blagdon Estate are investing about pounds 2.5m in the sculpture, which will be the centrepiece of a public park being developed on land donated by the estate.

Northumberlandia is being sculpted using bulldozers and excavators, and more than 700,000 tonnes of material has already been brought across from the mine, with the rest scheduled to be transported before the end of the year.

Landscaping, infrastructure and other work will then continue over the next 18 months, with the park due to open to the public in 2013.

Last night Mr Jencks said: "I'm extremely pleased with how it's going and it seems to be very much ahead of the game. …

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