“Gateshead Council’s Cultural Development Service has, over the last fifteen years, established a track record for innovative programmes in the Visual Arts, and a dedicated approach to public art and artists working in social contexts. We have taken the audience and artists with us from the earliest residencies to the ‘Angel of the North’. We hope they will now enjoy and benefit from the manifestation of our past programme in the exciting climate and context of BALTIC and its unfolding programme.”
Questions put to Anna Pepperall, Public Art Curator at
Gateshead Council in July 2006:
Q1)Has the Angel opened the eyes of other local authorities to the possibility of arts-led regeneration?
Yes, judging by the number of enquires (email, telephone, letters) that are received about public art. Many local authorities have asked for visits and discussions about how the Angel was delivered, which they see as a pathway to arts-led regeneration. The award for Beacon Status for Regeneration through Culture, Sport and Tourism in 2001 has also added value to the profile of Gateshead and delivered promotional material about arts-led regeneration.
Q2)What feedback have you had about the Public Art programme in the light of the Angel project?
There have been many invitations to give talks, lectures and attend conferences to talk about the Angel and feedback has generally been positive (however, earlier public art projects have probably been overshadowed by its popularity). The Angel, because of its scale and prominent location stands apart from other schemes where issues of durability, maintenance and new development are paramount.
Q3)What public art projects were planned for the Gateshead Quays Redevelopment?
There were strategies for incorporating public art into the Gateshead Quays redevelopment. This included working with Gateshead Council’s Major Projects Team to progress a co-ordinated approach integrating art in the public realm, and working on a commissions programme for the Sage Gateshead. This resulted in the spectacular glass balustrade created by Kate Maestri for The Sage Gateshead (see page 6/7) and other interventions by Jo Fairfax and David Pearl.
Public Art and The Angel of the North