I READ with great interest Mr Nicholl’s letter (News Guardian, August 18) commenting on the proposal of a local lady to have a mermaid type statue on the Black Middens at the mouth of the Tyne.
I suggest that for those of us who are active in promoting Shields harbour in various ways, such a feature would be a welcome addition, either as a ‘realistic’ version or like a world famous ‘modern’ sculpture we already have in the north east.
This would add to the existing artworks in the Fish Quay area.
I found the use of salvaged buoys to form a sculpture at the Fish Quay sands to be an imaginative second use of such marine features, presented as they are on high quality plinths.
As reported in the News Guardian etc., it is intended to have a similar buoys sculpture at the north approach road to the new Tyne Tunnel, with added artworks included.
In the eyes of a beholder, these added works may distract the viewer from the essential nature of the ‘buoys’, but this is someone’s vision of art.
At the top of the bank above the Fish Quay, a sculpture in coloured boulders and pebbles is (in my view) an exceptional piece of work.
At the harbour view end of Howard Street there is an equally inspired naval monument (bronze) on behalf of all branches of the naval services through the wars and since.
The mermaid type sculpture may well reflect an important link between the Port of Tyne and various ports in Scandinavia served by DFDS.
We should congratulate the proposers on their flair and vision, and here’s hoping they get the funds required.
Regarding the use of bronze in a marine environment, I have little doubt that any reasonable bronze is suitable, though such it is an attractive ‘scrap’ to determined thieves.
Perhaps the sort of granite in walls and piers already is more vandal proof.
MR A M JOHNSON