A series of 25 new artworks are waiting to be discovered along the Tees Valley, including five here in Middlesbrough.
Local artists were commissioned by the River Tees Rediscovered, to create five interpretative pieces – one in each of the local authority areas across the Tees Valley creating this fabulous sculpture trail of 25 individual pieces. So while you are exploring the area, why not see if you can find them all using the Tees Sculpture Trail map.
Transporter Bridge – ‘Crossing’ by Pat Walls
Located at the Transporter Bridge is ‘Crossing’ by Pat Walls which is made from cast iron on a sandstone plinth. The sculpture is a Möbius strip; a continuous loop with only one side, representing the connection between the North and South banks of the river.
The form of the sculpture is based on a triangle as the Transporter Bridge is a massive series of triangles. Cast iron was chosen to reflect the industry of the area.
Teessaurus Park – ‘Infinite’
You can find ‘Infinite’ on the banks of the River Tees at Teessaurus Park, which is an egg-shaped installation made up of curved interlocking white planes.
Inspired by the vast offshore structures built on the opposite side of the river. Each plane of the form is made with curved lines representing river water while the resulting egg shape playfully ties in with the park’s other residents – the dinosaurs!
Tees Sculpture Trail at Teessaurus Park
Blue Bell Beck – ‘Touchstone’ by Russ Coleman
Explore nature and local wildlife by paying a visit to Blue Bell Beck, where ‘Touchstone’ by Russ Coleman is located.
Our island was sculpted by ice when the planet warmed, so receding glaciers left erratics. Stones from another place further north were carried along in the ice. Ancient time travellers that helped shape this place.
The artist sculpts and polishes the stones to reveal their true beauty. Delicate yet robust each piece gives visitors a direct connection to the land on which they stand. The piece is etched with words “Walking sleepy circles at Blue Bell Beck, Pan and Peg will get you, if you’re not quick.”
Iron Masters District – ‘Ship Seal’ by Steve Tomlinson
This area is the birthplace of modern Middlesbrough where the iron industry first came to the town in 1841.
This weathering steel seal speaks of the former shipbuilding heritage of the River Tees and how now that the water is cleaner, seals are encouraged to return. Weathering (Corten) steel forms an oxide coating over the first few weeks, changing colour from steel to orange and then finally to brown.
Tees Sculpture Trail at Iron Masters District
Newport Bridge – ‘Crossing Points’ by Andrew McKeown
The river’s bridges and bends influence the forms and shapes of these pieces and the Newport Bridge is now different.
A ‘crossing point’ is also a ‘threshold’ to overcome; to get from where you are to where you want to be – reflecting the
area’s future aspirations. The pieces deliberately feel organic, as if they are ‘growing out of the ground’.
Each a galvanised steel box section with etched words ‘Reclaimed by nature, transformed and revitalised’ to tie it with its particular location.
To find out more and to see where else you can spot the sculptures across the Tees Valley, please download the Tees Sculpture Trail guide booklet.