CGI of new Nexus trains at Tynemouth station.
Austen Shakespeare

Artists invited to create works for new Tyne and Wear Metro fleet

Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Metro operator, has announced a major new arts commission for the £362m new train fleet.

The commission, grant-funded by Arts Council England, will for the first time in the world see artists selected to create large-scale new works for the interiors of 46 new trains, due to enter service from next year.

Nexus has launched an open call for established artists to put themselves forward for the opportunity. A final four will be selected to create permanent works to be enjoyed by the 35 million customers who travel on Metro each year.

The finished works will be displayed on each new train’s end walls, facing into the seating areas. Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “We are seeking established artists for a unique opportunity to create new visual works for Metro which will be seen by millions of people as they travel in North East England.

“We believe this is the first time in the world a commission has been launched for large-scale permanent art within a new train, and it builds on our long and proud heritage bringing inspiration to local people’s journeys.

“The design of our new trains has been shaped by the customers who will use them through extensive consultation with more than 23,000 people. One key theme was that customers wanted to see the end walls brought to life, and with project grant funding from Arts Council England we are able to achieve that.”

Jane Tarr, Director North, Arts Council England said “I’m delighted that we are supporting Nexus through our National Lottery Project Grants programme to commission artists to create permanent artworks for Metro trains.

“This is a great opportunity for a number of different artists to produce exciting work reflecting the heritage and diversity of the region which will be enjoyed by millions of passengers a year. I look forward to seeing how the project develops and to seeing the artwork on the trains in person!”

Artists are invited to submit applications to Nexus before 28 February 2021.

A final four artists will be selected to create works by the summer, with the first train arriving in North East England at the end of this year, and the fleet entering service from summer 2023.

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