Man has a theory that says things don’t exist properly until he’s seen them, which seems to us like a damn good excuse to go on lots of road trips to see as much as we possibly can.
So, adding now to the list of things that exist are two of the most enormous statues that say ‘Welcome to the North of England’.
Just outside Gateshead, this huge masterpiece by Antony Gormley stands the height of four double decker buses and has a wingspan the same size as a jumbo jet. That’s Man examining its ankle.
It stands 20 metres high and is made of 200 tonnes of steel. It stands on a mound near the A1 where it can be seen by around 90,000 drivers each day and is also visible from the main train route to Scotland.
The area was a former coal mine, reclaimed as green space in the 1990s after the pits closed and the Angel of the North has been watching over the area since 1998.
I really like it.
This is Northumberlandia, the Lady of the North.
If you’re not quite sure what you are looking at, to the left of the feature is her head – you can see her forehead, nose, lips and chin. The path goes across her neck and to the right of that you have her chest. In the far right of the picture, that’s one hand sitting in the water.
It’s probably easier to see from above.
She is 34 metres high, 400 metres long and is made from 1.5 million tonnes of soil. Began in 2010, she was officially opened by the Princess Royal last August and lies in 47 acres of public park. The orange lines you can see in the photo above show the footpaths that wind their way all over her.
She was designed by the American landscape artist Charles Jencks, can be found near Cramlington in Northumberland and has been nicknamed Slag Alice – slag being the term for the waste material produced from a mine.
It is claimed that this is the world’s largest landmass sculpture of the female form. It really is quite something.
And she will be left to mature naturally, changing with the seasons and over time.