Crow Hall Towers

Felling Gateshead

The Crow Hall Towers mosaics, or Felling Pride to use the official name, was a commission funded by the Gateshead Housing Company and administered by the public arts team at Gateshead Council, principally Jen Douglas and Anna Pepperall - to whom I owe enormous thanks. The aim of the project was to give a face lift to a somewhat stern looking entrance ramp on the Crow Hall Towers apartment building, and also to bring some life to the interior corridors. The building is very prominent in the centre of Felling high street and it was acknowledged from the outset that the content of the mosaics should bear relation to the history and strong community feeling of the area. This content largely boiled down to mining, railways and the large influx of Irish workers in the 19th century. Before embarking on the final mosaics I did research and workshops with several local schools as well as the arts and crafts club that use the community building adjacent to the tower block. I wanted the mosaics to have a simple, stylised appearance, with just a few colours and a recurrence of certain lines and rhythms. To my mind this was all serious subject matter so I didn't want the mosaics to look frivolous. I owe a big thanks, as usual, to Davy Whisler and Luke for doing the installation both inside and outside. They make me laugh if nothing else.