New film celebrates 40 years of public art on the Tyne and Wear Metro

Bob Olley’s mural depicting famous personalities from the north east region, was created while working as Artist in Residence at the Customs House Gallery, South Shields. Credit: Tyne and Wear Metro

A new film has been produced to celebrate the proud history of public art on the Tyne and Wear Metro.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, commissioned the 18-minute feature to give people a virtual tour of some of the most iconic exhibits on the network.

The film, which was premiered at the opening of the Jesmond Community Festival via a Zoom call on May 27, is the first in a series that will delve into the Nexus Art on Transport Programme.

It forms part of the events which are being held to mark the Metro’s 40th anniversary year.


  • You can see the full film here:


Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “Art can bring a smile to a familiar journey or excite and surprise you. On Metro we are lucky to have a legacy of great art works spreading back over 40 years some of which are showcased in this new film.

“It gives people the chance to take a short tour of the art you can see in and around some of our stations – and will hopefully inspire people to go and explore, or see their Metro trip in a new light.

“Our art on transport programme has many nationally-recognised exhibits, and it has also given local artists the chance to showcase their work.

“This first film focuses on a Metro journey from Regent Centre, taking in everything from Bob Olley’s Famous Faces at Monument, the iconic Parsons Polygon on Blackett Street to more contemporary pieces like that of the American street artist Shepard Fairey."

From the Rivers to the sea, by Hilary Paynter. Central Metro station. 2004. Credit: Tyne and Wear Metro

The film focuses on ten art installations on Metro line that heads north between Central Station and Regent Centre in Newcastle.

Nexus plans to commission more films to showcase more of the public art on the public transport system through Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and North Tyneside.