Nocturne: Lighting Up The River Tyne

Nocturne or ‘The Light on the Tyne’ is a colorful light artwork, which is on Newcastle’s Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge carries the Tyne and Wear Metro across the River Tyne, between Newcastle and Gateshead. It was purpose-built to form a part of the Tyne and Wear public transport network at a cost of ‘4.9million. The queen officially opened the bridge in 1981, although it had already been in use for some time. Since 1980, Nexus, operators of the Tyne and Wear Metro, has been commissioning artwork to improve their customer’s public transport experience. In 2006, they commissioned Nayan Kulkarni to install Nocturne, a huge artwork on the bridge. As the River Tyne’s Millennium Bridge, Tyne Bridge, High Level and Swing Bridges were already illuminated, it was decided that this artwork should light up the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge too. After observing the water below the bridge, Kulkarni decided to use colour-changing lights on Nocturne. He said: “Like the slowly moving waters below the steelwork, I wanted to create a light work that would constantly change.” To light the bridge, Nocturne uses 36 banks of LED lights, which are set within the steel structure of the bridge itself. Kulkarni decided to use LED lights, as they are compact, long lasting and energy efficient. In fact, the LEDs that illuminate Nocturne use less energy in a year than the amount used by an average British family. Nocturne or ‘The Light on the Tyne’ is a colorful light artwork, which is on Newcastle’s Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge carries the Tyne and Wear Metro across the River Tyne, between Newcastle and Gateshead. It was purpose-built to form a part of the Tyne and Wear public transport network at a cost of ‘4.9million. The queen officially opened the bridge in 1981, although it had already been in use for some time. For Nocturne, the bridge was painted with two distinctive shades of blue, which meant that the artwork could also be enjoyed during the day. However, it is during the evening that Nocturne really comes alive, as the bridge is bathed in a kaleidoscope of colored lights. The colors of the bridge’s LED lights were based on photographs submitted by members of the public and this has given Kulkarni’s artwork a real community focus. Since 1980, Nexus, operators of the Tyne and Wear Metro, has been commissioning artwork to improve their customer’s public transport experience. In 2006, they commissioned Nayan Kulkarni to install Nocturne, a huge artwork on the bridge. As the River Tyne’s Millennium Bridge, Tyne Bridge, High Level and Swing Bridges were already illuminated, it was decided that this artwork should light up the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge too. Following its completion on 26 April 2007, Nocturne became the biggest light artwork in Britain and is expected to remain on the bridge for at least 15 years. Nocturne took 18 months to install and cost ‘300,000 to create, but when you see the bridge lit up in all of its glory, you’ll realise that it was worth every penny. ? Nocturne: Lighting Up The River Tyne


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