A beating heart of light will be beamed out across Middlesbrough’s skyline in a display of hope and positivity.
The pulsating heart installation inside Church House is part of a series of public artworks delivered by Navigator North.
Videos and images of the heart were shared across social media during testing, with the official switch-on taking place on Thursday (September 30) at around 7pm.
Beating Heart by Teesside artist Stuart Langley has previously been shown in Leeds, Manchester and London and is now coming home to Middlesbrough.
Church House will be illuminated during evenings for two weeks by the installation, which is in collaboration with Artistic Solutions Hartlepool.
The switch-on coincides with the launch of this year’s Middlesbrough Art Weekender.
Stuart said: “Beating Heart has been really well received elsewhere in the country so it’s great to finally switch it on at home.
“I hope it can help people think differently about the town centre and everything we have here. To be able to coincide with the art weekender is brilliant – there’s so much going on in Middlesbrough with talented artists trying new and interesting things.”
Middlesbrough’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Mieka Smiles, said: “I’m so excited for this. The heart is a simple and powerful piece of art that will impress so many people.
“There was a mini social media frenzy just when Stuart was doing his final testing and I’m sure all of that intrigue will lead lots of people to head into town for a look.”
Church House, on the corner of Bedford Street and Linthorpe Road, is owned by Jomast, who have made the project possible.
The company’s commercial property director, Mark Hill, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to help Stuart bring Beating Heart to Middlesbrough.
“Art and culture are an integral part of the town, and this installation within Church House is a fantastic opportunity to project a positive message to the people of Middlesbrough and beyond.”
Middlesbrough Art Weekender runs until October 3 and features more than 50 artists across 17 venues. The family-friendly event is free and accessible to all.
Also being launched to coincide with the festival are Meteor and TRANSMIT, TRANSFORM, TRANSLATE.
Artist Mark Gubb’s neon light work of a meteor has been installed on the roof of the Dorman Museum.
The piece recalls a meteorite which was witnessed plummeting to earth on March 14, 1881 by three railway workers at Pennyman’s Siding, close to the site of Roseberry Park Hospital.
And Stephen Hurrel has reactivated the five red telephone boxes outside Middlesbrough Town Hall using light, colour and sound.
All three projects are part of a series of public art installations, largely funded by Arts Council England and initiated by Creative Factory.
Image: The Beating Heart Middlesbrough by Stuart Langley. Photo credit: Ashley Foster.