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Photo-a-day 306: Big head

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I have an oddly large head, as proven by my inability to wear Christmas cracker hats or round neck t-shirts. At least it’s not quite as big as this artwork at Newcastle University!

This post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, , .

Photo-a-day 284: Map

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This plan, the Grainger Town Sculptural Map, can be found just across the road from Newcastle Station. It was designed by Tod Hanson and Simon Watkinson, and put in place in 2003.

The idea is that the buildings have been reduced to their “essential forms” – no Earl Grey atop the Monument, for example – to provide an enjoyable spotting challenge to locals and tourists alike. When I first saw it, though, I didn’t realise it was meant to be a representation of the local area, so it didn’t really challenge me at all. Whether that’s a comment on the artwork or my own dimness, I’m not sure.

Here’s another angle that shows the pretty lights within:

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This post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, , .

Photo-a-day 259: Northumberlandia

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Today, I’ve been to visit Northumberlandia, a colossal sculpture of a woman, 100ft high and a quarter of a mile long. It’s made from the excavated material of the open-cast coal mine next door, leading to its more common colloquial name: Slag Alice.

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This is a closer view of the face from atop Alice’s right breast. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!

As the sculpture is new, and still bedding in, it is only open to the public on selected days and at selected times. It’s expected to be fully open later in the year.

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This is, erm, Alice’s left nipple, with Shotton surface coal mine in the background, demonstrating where the material of her form was gathered. It is still very much operational. The coal mine, I mean, not the nipple.

The sculpture cost around £3m, and it was entirely privately funded. It was designed by Charles Jencks. As well as making lots of landscaped art, he co-founded Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, of which there are now fourteen across the UK. They provide evidence-based psychological, emotional and informational support to anyone affected by cancer – whether a patient, relative or friend.

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This is a slightly whimsical picture of Alice’s right hand, which points roughly in the direction of the exit…!

Admission to Northumberlandia is free. And here’s a mildly amusing unusual sign:

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This post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, , .




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