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First look: Newby's glowing sphere

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These are the first pictures of the new Unity Sphere sculpture, designed by Stephen Newby

The 3.4m-wide art work was moved from a former maritime research centre in Wallsend, north Tyneside, where it was made, to its new home in the heart of Thornfield Properties’ Pavilion Shopping centre in St Peter’s Square, Thornaby-on-Tees on Friday 17 April.

Billed as a ‘striking landmark’ for the Tees Valley, the geodesic sculpture has been made from 175 blown-metal, polished stainless steel triangular sections.  

At night, the 800kg sphere is lit up by 54 internal colour-changing LEDs ‘similar to the lighting sequences’ used on Wilkinson Eyre’s Millennium Bridge, situated on the NewcastleGateshead quayside.

The sculpture now sits on top of the new café building in the square -part of the larger shopping development, designed by the Harris Partnership, which officially opens on Saturday (25 April).

Based in The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle upon Tyne, Newby, 40, is originally from Ulverston in Cumbria and regularly uses stainless steel in his artwork.

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