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Newcastle artist to create dreamcatcher artwork for building society building

Artist Alison Ashton has won a £2,000 commission from Newcastle Building Society to create a dreamcatcher-style artwork

Alison Ashton (left, in blue) with knitters from Newcastle Building Society
Alison Ashton (left, in blue) with knitters from Newcastle Building Society

Employees at Newcastle Building Society probably shouldn’t be daydreaming – but if they do, their mental musings will not get far in future.

Artist and theatre set designer Alison Ashton plans to create a dreamcatcher-style artwork to hang in the Society’s offices at Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside.

Alison, who lives in Newcastle, was one of 20 artists who pitched for the £2,000 commission to adorn the atrium.

Her idea won unanimous approval from the judges. Volunteers have been helping Alison with her dream-catcher-like creation, which has ribbons and strips of material sitting alongside five hanging sails.

Alison said: “I was attracted to this project because of the strong regional links.

“A number of my projects are sited around the country, so to be able to work on something that’s virtually on my own doorstep was a great opportunity.

“Seeing the atrium space for the first time back in October really inspired me, and I couldn’t wait to start planning. It’s such a big and impressive space I wanted to create something that would be eye-catching but would also have meaning.

She added that being able to involve staff in the creation of the project would make the results even more special.

The society has worked with artists before, at its North Tyneside headquarters and branches. It has also collaborated with organisations such as Seven Stories and Northern Stage.

Natalie Falkous, society head of corporate social responsibility, said: “The new artwork will be one of the first things that employees and visitors to our Cobalt office see. It has been designed to symbolise the hopes and dreams that we help fulfil through the provision of mortgages and other products.

“Supporting artists and creative projects across our heartland area is just one of the ways that we translate the principles of our mutual status into direct benefits for the communities in which we work.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer