A monument (and a car) made of textiles

The Great Exhibition of the North has begun and there is plenty going on in Newcastle/Gateshead in the North-East of England. For more information about this major series of events, please check out the website listed at the end of this post.

I was in Newcastle on Saturday, walking up Grey Street towards Grey’s Monument and was delighted to find that the monument had been turned into a large piece of  textile art.

Grey's monument.jpg

The piece, commissioned by the Baltic Art Gallery, was made in 2018 by Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich. It is inspired by an illustration from 1894 by Walter Crane, described as ‘The Worker’s’ Maypole’.

the worker's maypole by Walter Crane.jpg

All the phrases on the modern sculpture were taken from the original illustration. Here’s a closer look:

Grey's monument close up.JPG

I liked the transformation of a stone sculpture into a fabric one, and also of the ideas of Walter Crane (a 19th-century illustrator and socialist) being combined with a memorial to Charles Grey, Second Earl Grey,  (the 19th-century reformer) in such a vibrant contemporary art-work.

Earl Grey.jpg

Right next door to the ‘sculpture’, was another transformation: an artificial grass company had transformed a car into a lawn-covered vehicle. There is seemingly no end to what you can do with textiles…

Grass car

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The website for the Great Exhibition of the North (UK) is here: https://getnorth2018.com/

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