Public art


Art on the Riverside was the largest programme of public art in the UK.

Funded by a £3.5m National Lottery grant and £2.7m from the public and private sectors, the project was set up in 1995 and consists of a large range of artworks and design features.

The art installations by local, national and international artists were sited along the banks of the Rivers Tyne and Wear.

Within South Tyneside there are many visually stunning pieces of public art waiting to be discovered...

Mortal 8 by Joseph Hillier

&bsp;Sculptor Joseph Hillier gathered inspiration from the Souter Lighthouse community and used motion capture technology to take images that would help form the design for the figurative steel piece.

The life-size steel sculpture of the human form represents loss and mortality, particularly the final moments in the life of Christ when he was brought down from the cross.

The sculpture was initially created for the BBC's Great North Passion event that took place in South Shields, Bents Park over Easter 2014.

It is now available to see at Souter Lighthouse, situated in a small red container sited in the car park. You can view the sculpture in line with the opening times of the Lighthouse. From December to February half term, the sculpture will be available to view through weekend opening times only.

Wavemaker by Michelle Castles

Michelle Castles created a unique piece of art that would reflect activity in Haven Point, while inspiring more people to get involved in sport.

Using wire mesh, she handcrafted the life-size models of a man swimming the butterfly stroke, and has since revealed that the proportions are based on the actual measurements of six-time world swimming champion, Mark Foster.

The striking 'Wavemaker' is currently suspended from the ceiling that overlooks the centre's main reception area and provides a unique talking point for visitors who can also view it from the café, gym and mezzanine.

Littlehaven promenade sail and Eye by Stephen Broadbent

Visitors to the seafront will be able to take in two new pieces of artwork produced by Stephen Broadbent, the 'Eye' and 'Sail' along the Littlehaven promenade which was opened in April 2014.

The 'Eye' is located near the Little Haven Hotel and affords stunning coastal views of the pier, while the 'Sail' is located at the southern end of the promenade near Haven Point.


Conversation Piece by Juan Munoz

See & doThis magnificent piece consists of 22 life size bronze figures situated next to Littlehaven Beach at the mouth of the Tyne in South Shields. The artwork stands as a magnificent gateway to South Tyneside and is a great favourite with visitors who eavesdrop on the mysterious group of sculptures.

Created by the Spanish sculptor in 1999, each figure is approximately 1.5 metres high and weighs approximately a quarter of a ton.

Spirit of South Shields by Irene Brown

See & doThe 'Spirit of South Shields' harbours a ship safely in one arm whilst raising her other arm in greeting. Installed in 2000 within the housing development at Market Dock the bronze sculpture has been adopted as South Tyneside's icon of regeneration.

The work is based upon a great deal of research into the historical associations with South Shields - a long and rich history from the Romans through to the more familiar history of the ship repair yards.

The Spirit is seen as the protector - guiding the ship through the seas safely. She stands strong and optimistic, unafraid and invigorated by the winds of change. She is the prow, the figurehead for South Shields' future.


Fleet by Irene Brown

See & doIrene Brown crafted 'Fleet' in 2004 from highly polished stainless steel. It consists of seven Collier Brigs (sailing ships that carried coal), which appear to be floating in a pool of water. The pool used to be a dry dock used for shipbuilding and ship repairs.

The ships design is the same as the ship being held by the 'Spirit of South Shields', as well as the weather vane on top of South Shields Town Hall.

The brightly polished ships reflect patterns of both moving sky and water and give the impression of a fleet heading out to sea.