Angel of the North

PUBLISHED: 11:47 05 January 2011 | UPDATED: 15:03 20 February 2013

Angel

Angel

The Angel's famous silhouette at the head of the Team Valley today rivals any other image as the most definitive of North East landmarks - and is listed as one of the 12 official icons of England. Since it first spread...

The Angel's famous silhouette at the head of the Team Valley today rivals any other image as the most definitive of North East landmarks - and is listed as one of the 12 official icons of England. Since it first spread its massive wings 10 years ago it has become one of the most talked about pieces of public art ever produced.

It was designed by Antony Gormley who won the prestigious Turner Prize in 1994 and three years later was awarded the OBE for services to sculpture.

The site, a former colliery pithead baths, was re-claimed as a green landscape during the early 1990s. Gormley says: "The fact that the Angel is rarely alone suggests it is part of everyday life for the people of the North East.

"The angel has three functions: firstly, a historic one to remind us that below this site coal miners worked in the dark for two hundred years.
"Secondly to grasp hold of the future, expressing our transition from the industrial to the information age. And lastly to be a focus for our hopes and fears - a sculpture is an evolving thing."

To celebrate its tenth anniversary Gateshead Council is organising a whole year of events to mark this milestone, including the release of a thousand helium balloons - each carrying a message from people in the region to loved ones who have died.

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