This evening is the last evening you can see the spectacular outdoor laser projection Global Rainbow as it shines across the North Tyneside coastline.
Global Rainbow will be projected from 6pm until midnight from St. Mary’s headland along an eight kilometre stretch of the North Tyneside coastline. It consists of seven parallel beams of high specification laser light, representing the spectrum of the traditional seven colours of the rainbow, and is designed to be projected across large open sites, particularly densely populated areas.
With the installation, the artist Yvette Mattern intends to encompass geographical and social diversity in its reach and to symbolise hope.
Global Rainbow is the first in a series of high-profile Cultural Olympiad projects taking place across the North East during 2012. In this region, the North West and Northern Ireland it will form the main opening event for each region’s 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme.
It was initially created for projection in New York City on January 19, 2009 (Martin Luther King Day) where it was projected from the pyramidal top of the 14 Wall Street skyscraper in downtown Manhattan (the former penthouse of J Paul Getty).
The beams extended from Brooklyn Bridge to the east and the Hudson River to the west, passing over Ground Zero. Subsequently, it has been shown in Berlin in February 2010 where, over nine evenings, it formed the signature event for the annual Transmediale festival of media art and was seen by several million people.
In October 2010 it was the signature event at La Novela Festival in Toulouse. In September 2011, it formed the signature event for the launch of the new programme season at Le Lieu Unique, the national centre for contemporary art in Nantes.
Alison Clark-Jenkins, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: “Global Rainbow is the perfect way to mark the start of this year’s cultural celebrations of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the North East of England. Not only is the project delivering art on a very large scale to many thousands of people, but it’s welcoming an international artist to the region, and is the culmination of a great deal of careful planning and creative programming. This is just a taste of what’s to come over the course of what is set to be a groundbreaking year for culture in the North East.”
Ruth Mackenzie, Director of Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said: “Well done for bringing the Global Rainbow to the UK for the first time. It is a great opportunity for people in the North East to enjoy a spectacular piece of free international art as part of the build up to the London 2012 Festival.”
London 2012 Creative Programmer for the North East Lorna Fulton, said: “Yvette Mattern’s Global Rainbow has the ability to delight, engage and amaze audiences and will be a compelling introduction to the final year of the Cultural Olympiad in the North East. Global Rainbow provides an incredible start to the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012 for the region.”
Yvette Mattern is a New York and Berlin-based visual artist whose work has an emphasis on video and film, which frequently intersects performance, public art and sculpture. Her work has been exhibited in Berlin, Vienna, Dakar, New York, Venice, Rome, Chicago and Amsterdam.
Global Rainbow is funded in the North East by North Tyneside Council and Arts Council England. Supported by Lightwave International, Global Rainbow forms part of the Cultural Olympiad. Global Rainbow is produced in the UK by amino, a contemporary arts production agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne.