Several Ways to Look at an Angel

Standing just off a major trunk road the Angel of the North at the southern edge of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England is a sculpture by Antony Gormley.  As a ‘southerner’ the Angel is the notice that I’ve arrived in the North (of England).   I have to travel to Newcastle every so often – using the Angel as the signpost to turn off the A1 to, through Gateshead and then over the Tyne Bridge into Newcastle (how else should one arrive in Newcastle?).   Every time I pass the Angel there are sightseers and photographers parked in the car park and wandering around the base of the statue – and every time I say ‘I must stop and take a few pictures myself’, but never do – but Monday I did.

During my little shoot, I was approached by a gentleman who volunteered that he was a local himself and watched the lorries carrying the parts for the statue pass his house.  He told me the Angel actually stands on the position of the pithead baths that were part of the coal pit located at the site.

Colour, black and white and an opportunistic shot.


As I was moving from one position to another, I nearly trod on some mushrooms in the lee of a small copse – which seemed worth trying to drop into the foreground.


19 thoughts on “Several Ways to Look at an Angel

  1. A rather modernistic and stiff angel that one is. It does look rather like a sign post in fact. My favorite is the photo with the mushrooms, they add a touch of reality to the image.

    • Very modernistic. I had it in my mind that it might have been made out of steel from an old ship – it has that sort of feel – but it isn’t.
      Apparently, it’s know by some locals as ‘the Rusty Chicken’ – and, at one time it was referred to as ‘the Gateshead Flasher’! 🙂

    • Thanks!
      The Angel is seldom alone on it’s little hill, but I think the inclusion of figures helps give a true sense of scale to the work.
      A popular ‘pose’ for tourists is for them to stand at the foot with their arms outstretched while their partner/family member takes a photo – then there’s a rapid change of position as the reverse roles!

    • To be honest I was limited in what I could do because I had a wide angle lens – I would have liked to have done some close up work – but that can wait until next time – (I’m already being lined up for another visit to Newcastle to deliver lumps of rug and a fridge)

  2. These shots are excellent, they really catch the scale of the thing even without the tiny people; I especially like shot from behind in b&w. But I have to say, it really looks like some sort of Art Deco air travel poster to me!

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