During my working life it was all rather dehumanising, being stuck in a factory on the
Team Valley trading estate for approximately 50 years. Working with noisy and very
dangerous machinery as a printer. The very near mention of art and culture in a
man’s world was sort of frowned upon.
Then when Antony Gormley’s sculpture the Angel of the North was erected it
changed my life. And it can be seen form the window of my house. And the very day
it was erected I can remember the weather, and this gigantic structure there inspired
me in a part time course in art and sculpture in Gateshead College at the age of 60.
Then I was lucky to be able to visit Florence and see the architecture and sculpture
of Michelangelo first hand. A thing like David, the size of it, the scale of it just blew
me away, it was just so incredible. And that was another inspiring thing, you know.
But anyway, the thing about the Angel of the North is because it’s so iconic for this
region – where it was built, you know it was a pit heap. When I first came to
Gateshead there was heavy manufacturing, it was dirty. And its just incredible how in
the last 10 years the Angel of the North has created an art and culture scene in the
North East that is notorious. And it’s amazing.
I’m very, very proud now that my address is in Gateshead. A place that’s actually
been transformed by the art and culture. And this in turn has given me an
opportunity, I have a wonderful uplifting interest in the arts and make many new