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Inflatable replica of Stonehenge comes to Gateshead

24th August 2012

Categories: Latest News

'Sacrilege' by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller comes to Saltwell Park, Gateshead on Thursday 30 August as part of 2012 celebrations

'Sacrilege', the life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge for people to bounce on by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, is coming to Saltwell Park, Gateshead on Thursday 30 August as part of a tour that will see it travel to over 30 locations across the country as part of the London 2012 Festival.

Deller's Sacrilege is aimed at people of all ages and its appearance in Gateshead is expected to attract a lot of local interest, adding to the excitement of the country hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is also light-hearted way for people to think about one of the UK's most iconic historic monuments.

Sacrilege is a co-commission between the Mayor of London and Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. The first venue on this nomadic tour of the UK was the National Botanic Garden of Wales, where the inflatable monument appeared on 21 June to mark the first day of the London 2012 Festival. The transient monument has since visited 8 UK towns and cities and 15 Boroughs in London.

The tour will continue throughout the Paralympic Games as part of the London 2012 Festival, including; Gateshead (30th August), Doncaster (1st September), Skegness (3rd September), Whitstable (5th September), and Stoke (7th September), with support from Arts Council England. Its final appearance will be at the North West’s closing celebration, WE PLAY Expo at Preston Guild 2012 on 9 September, the last day of the Paralympic Games and London 2012 Festival.

Jeremy Deller said: “A lot of my work deals with history, and Sacrilege is no exception, this is a way to get reacquainted with ancient Britain with your shoes off.”

Carol Bell, Head of Culture & Major Events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: “We’re very happy to welcome Sacrilege to Gateshead after its previous planned visit during EAT! NewcastleGateshead was cancelled due to poor weather.  This project has really captured people’s imaginations and now it’s the turn of NewcastleGateshead to join in the fun.”

Ruth Mackenzie, Director, London2012 Festival, said: “Jeremy Deller’s life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge embodies many of the values of the London 2012 Festival – it is a once in lifetime event, it is a remarkable piece of art by a world renowned artist, and it is free for everyone to enjoy. With thanks to Arts Council England and the Mayor’s office this work will travel around the UK and London, popping up to delight London 2012 Festival audiences throughout the summer.”

As Sacrilege moves across the country the growing tribe of followers is being encouraged to 'offer their images to the gods' by uploading photos of themselves on the installation onto Flickr to create a gigantic on-line clan. To check opening times and local weather conditions at Saltwell Park on the day, members of the public should follow Sacrilege on Twitter to receive updates direct from the heavens @Sacrilege2012.

Alison Clark-Jenkins, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: “I’m delighted to say Sacrilege is coming to the North East as part of its tour of the country, with funds from our Grants for the Arts programme. Jeremy Deller has created an irreverent and playful artwork, whilst connecting us to one of England’s oldest landmarks. As the real Stonehenge plays host to the Summer Solstice every summer, Saltwell Park will now play host to one of the most fun additions to the London 2012 Festival this summer - go and see it!”

In London, Sacrilege was presented by the Mayor of London and the London 2012 Festival as part of Surprises, which sees new work suddenly appearing at different locations.

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