The installation of a new landmark artwork in Stockton-on-Tees by an acclaimed artist has been built on Tees Valley inspiration.
Aikaterini Gegisian's large-scale artwork called 'Turn Back Tide' addresses the economic heritage of the Tees Valley, and with over 38 meters wide, it is sited at Castlegate Shopping Centre.
Watch: Artist Aikaterini Gegisian talks through 'Turn Back Tide'
Following a period of research and engagement with local residents, Gegisian's work suggests the evolution of central Stockton-on-Tees from an industrial past towards its current status as a hub of trade and service provision.
Turn Back Tide acts as a bridge between the former sites of production surrounding central Stockton-on-Tees, the river as a historic route for the transportation of goods and natural resources, and Castlegate Shopping Centre as the present container of goods.
Gegisian took as her starting point a series of product catalogues from various former local factories, including South Durham Steel and Iron Co and Head Wrightson. She brought together diagrams of steel sections from these publications with copies of archival photographs of local factories, and contrasted these images with views of shopping centres, depictions of ancient temples and reproductions of decorative objects.
The commission of the installation is a collaboration between Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Ellandi and Angelo, Gordon & Co, the owners of Castlegate Shopping Centre; and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.
Senior Curator Miguel Amado commented:
Castlegate Art provides a new art platform for Teesside. The name of the initiative is the combination of ‘Castlegate’ with ‘Art’, suggesting art for and at Castlegate Shopping Centre. The commissioners are keen for the project to have a community-oriented focus, and situate it with its constituents, who are the customers of Castlegate Shopping Centre. They also want to widen the scope of the commissioned artists, who may work with all sorts of media and engage with ideas rather than just studio-based activity.
Karen Eve, General Manager, Castlegate Shopping Centre, added: