141,000 GNR photos wanted

It's the visual equivalent of citizen journalism. Photographer Julian Germain wants everyone with a camera to contribute to a giant artwork he is making about the Great North Run.

It's the visual equivalent of citizen journalism. Photographer Julian Germain wants everyone with a camera to contribute to a giant artwork he is making about the Great North Run.

Julian needs 141,000 pictures of this year's race to make The Running Line, a 13.1 mile long photography exhibition planned for Gateshead's Saltwell Park in autumn 2007.

Yesterday he was at Thomas Hepburn School in Gateshead, where he is working with pupils, to launch a call for help with The Running Line.

Julian, 43, of Allenheads, Northumberland, says: "My work is usually quite modest and this is by some distance the biggest project I have organised. It will involve hundreds of people in the production of The Running Line and thousands more people will be photographed."

The photographer was inspired to produce The Running Line for the Great North Run Cultural Programme after watching the 2005 half marathon.

Julian, who has exhibited at the Baltic, says: "My first impressions were that it was a great day. People were having a really nice time. I enjoyed the fact that winning didn't matter; it was all about taking part. It's not really what modern life is all about, as we are all encouraged to be competitive.

"The atmosphere was fantastic. I noticed when I was there that lots of people were taking photos and quite a few runners also had little cameras recording their day. I wondered how many photographs were taken of the event." Julian, who will also document this year's run, is asking anyone who takes digital or standard photos of the run to send them for inclusion in his exhibition.

"I am not interested in what is a good photo or bad photo," he says.

"Any photo has value as it has recorded a moment of the run. I don't want people just to send their best pictures, I would like them to send them all."

The Running Line will be exhibited in one continuous stream of photos winding round to form coils, and shown partly in a big tent and partly outside, wrapping around trees and buildings in Saltwell Park.

Julian says: "You might be able to find your own image but this isn't too important. It is more about being in there. Just about everyone has access to photography now so it is a celebration of this, while being a document of the run."

The photographer is working with 15 primary and secondary schools between Newcastle and South Shields to create a 150m stretch of the artwork.

Project coordinator Laura Harrington says: "The students will be given cameras to help record the spectacle of the event and will then make the strip of work to go with the final piece."

* Send your photos (6in x 4in only please), along with your name and address to: The Running Line, PO Box 1161, Newcastle, NE99 4TS or send your digital images to: www.marathon-photos.com/ greatnorthrun/

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