I haven’t wanted to say anything about this until now, in case I jinxed it, but my calligraphy is going to form part of a fantastic new art installation at Bede Metro station in Jarrow!
I was asked by artist Mark Gibson to get involved after a chance meeting in the reception of Bede’s World, where his Hive Art Studios is based.
It was the day before he was due to pitch his designs for a series of panels at the revamped station to bosses at Nexus.
I heard from him a little while later, having secured the contract, and set about writing for him a passage from the Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, comparing a man’s life on earth to that of a sparrow’s flight, and some poems by local writer Tom Kelly.
I opted for black, uncial hand, to reflect the medieval writing style of Bede and the other monks at the famed Wearmouth-Jarrow monastery.
I handed the pieces over to be scanned and added digitally to the huge panels Mark and other volunteer artists had created, although I wondered how well it would work and whether they’d be able to enlarge my lettering, which I’d written with the biggest nib I could find!
My fears were proven to be unfounded, however, when I was invited to a Press photo call for the project and saw how everything had been brought together via the magic of computer-aided design.
The panels are very vibrant in colour and as well as my calligraphy, they feature local landmarks and various local groups have been involved, so there’s a real sense of community about it.
I can’t wait to see what they look like when they’re up and hear what people think of the artwork. A lot of hard work has gone into it and I hope it brightens up what could otherwise be a dreary train ride or long wait at the station.
To see the Shields Gazette article on the project, click here.
To see the Nexus news release, click here.
Photographs of Mark Gibson and the group courtesy of Nexus.