If you’ve ever visited Trinity Square, you won’t have missed the Halo. You may have found yourself wondering what it’s all about and how it came to be, so we’ve decided to share with you some delightful information about our epic 27ft sculpture.
So, we need to let you into a little secret – from conception to construction the Halo project was no easy task! The sculpture was technically channelling to make and a complete world first. I mean, it’s gravity defying so why did we think it was going to be easy?
The sculpture itself was designed by local artist Stephen Newby, and if you’ve ever seen his work before,
you’ll be able to see that it’s got his signature style written all over it! Newby developed his ‘blown metal’ technique back in 1995 and patented it in 2001 – it’s an alternative to traditional metal forming process. The Halo is comprised of 330 individual shaped stainless steel ‘blown mental’ sections, linked together to form a loop. We’re pretty proud that it is the largest sculpture made from inflated stainless steel in the world.
The commissioning process started way back in 2008, we wanted something strong and iconic, something to integrate into the architecture of our shiny new shopping and leisure centre. Stephen’s design was picked from a shortlist of six, but even then the process wasn’t over. You will now see the Halo resting nicely on the ground tilting at 66 degrees…believe it or not, it was going to be suspended in the air, nestled between two buildings, but then we thought we’d better come back down to earth.
The creation itself was a real collaboration between a team of engineers from Impress Group and Newcastle University who carried out a programme of testing. Stephen Newby himself said, “It’s really important that the construction is taking place here in Gateshead and the North East, it feels like the Halo has been born here and truly belongs here.”
What’s it all about then, eh? What does it mean we hear you cry? Well, each section becomes stronger when linked together, it forms one solid and impressive loop which symbolises the regeneration of Gateshead Town centre. Perhaps most importantly though, it’s the materials that matter, they’re a fitting link to the Town’s steel heritage, a symbol of its post-industrial renewal.
We love it, what do you think?