Laing Art Gallery to host Sting's favourite painting, Northern City Renaissance

By Kayleigh Rose Lewis | 12 January 2012
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A photo of a man in a suit posing next to a painting
Sting admires the work of one of his favourite artists
The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle is welcoming the return of Northern City Renaissance, a painting commissioned by Sting to celebrate his hometown.

The painting, by the renowned New York artist Stephen Hannock, is a modern day view of the River Tyne, complete with views of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Millennium Bridge.

An image of an oil painting of a bustling city from overhead
Images and text relating to the city's mining heritage are partially hidden under the layers of paint
The huge work of art, which originally debuted at the gallery in 2008, celebrates the rebirth of the city following the closure of the coalmines and shipyards.

"In many ways Newcastle is the 'everyman' of post-industrial cities," says Hannock. "The cultural resurgence currently underway is truly inspiring."

The painting showcases Hannock’s technique of polishing layers of paint to create what he himself describes as a "luminous" effect. Beneath the layers are partially visible words and pictures relating to the city’s coal mining past.

"Sting greatly appreciates and collects Stephen Hannock's work and commissioned this piece to celebrate his hometown," says curator Julie Milne.

"We are delighted to be able to show it to the public once again."

  • Northern City Renaissance, Newcastle, England will be on display from January 21 – May 6 2012.
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