Prints Illuminate New Development at Newcastle Helix

Prints Illuminate New Development at Newcastle Helix

Sarah Duncan

Northern Print is delighted to announce that we are collaborating with Creative Space Management in order to curate a collection of original prints for the new Lumen building which is the largest privately funded office building to be constructed in the city centre in the last decade and forms part of Newcastle's Helix Quarter.

The project comes at a challenging time for the cultural sector and demonstrates a bold and imaginative approach by The Lumen partners in pursuing this initiative. The building has been funded by Legal & General and is owned by Newcastle City Council and for more information you can visit their website.

By choosing to invest in original artwork and commissioning Northern Print as a registered arts charity to deliver this project The Lumen is not only gaining a wonderful art collection but is supporting individual artists and wider arts provision within the city.

Original prints by six artists have been selected to feature throughout the building, two of whom have been commissioned to make work especially for the collection.

Newcastle-based filmmaker Alan Fentiman will be working with the artists to create a series of short films exploring their varied approaches to the collection's theme of ‘light’.

Speaking about the project, Northern Print's Director Anna Wilkinson said,

'We were very pleased to be invited to propose artwork for The Lumen as it’s a rare and  special opportunity to showcase the talent of artists working in printmaking today.

Carefully chosen, well-placed artworks can be a really important feature in creating a high- quality working environment which is why we approached the selection of artworks by thinking of it as so much more than a series of pictures hanging on the walls and instead as a thoughtfully curated art collection.

Making spaces in which people feel good about working is currently more important  than ever and art can help to achieve this. It is also a good way of welcoming visitors, assisting them in navigating the building and communicating the inspiration behind The  Lumen as well as its ambitions.'


The collection features different types of light – from streetlights to illuminated interiors, shafts of sunlight across a seascape and the luminescence of celestial skies. The works themselves also use light in their making processes, from lasercutting to photography.

As one of the commissioned artists, Nick Loaring of The Print Project has created a joyful letterpress print of brightly coloured transparent inks expressing the idea of the natural phenomenon of light in the form of light waves. For her commission Newcastle-based artist Rachael Clewlow has revisited the original inspiration for the building’s name ‘The Lumen’ by tracing the route from Newcastle’s Lit & Phil Society, where Joseph Swann first demonstrated his newly invented electric lamp, to The Lumen’s location within The Helix.

The prints will be hung from the basement to the top floor beginning with the streetlights of Anja Percival at the bottom to the glowing moon of Sarah Duncan on the seventh floor taking in work by Eunice Routledge and  Katherine Jones along the way. All the artworks are located within the stairwell,  so even more of an incentive to take the stairs rather than the lift!

In addition to the prints, Northern Print has also helped to source a number of items for the reception area to feature local designer-makers - including Bronwen Deane and Susi Bellamy.


Image: Sarah Duncan in the studio by Sorbus Minima

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