Local Artists Bring Bold and Exciting Energy to Wellington Square

Taken: 4th June 2022 Wellington Square shopping Centre - Jubilee Event Image Byline: Dave Charnley Photography.

The shopping centre in the heart of Stockton-on-Tees has commissioned three local artists to bring creative heritage to the centre.

With the demolition of Castlegate Shopping Centre and Swallow Hotel to make for a new urban park in the heart of Stockton Town Centre, the centre management team at Wellington Square want to provide shoppers with a vibrant destination for all the community to enjoy.

Transforming three service gates in the centre, Wellington Square teamed with ARC to seek the help of local artists to work their creativity and transform these previously blended-in gates into a pieces of art for visitors to enjoy.

Chantal Taylor, Marketing Manager at Wellington Square, said “As we relocate shops from Castlegate we are investing in the future of the centre. Our aim is to make visiting Wellington Square an exciting experience, we are the heart of the community in Stockton and we want Wellington Square to be a place that everyone in the community wants to visit.”

The artists, Sofia Barton, Lewis Hobson and Jessica McGowan were asked to focus their designs local heritage of Stockton-on-Tees. Each artist had a different approach to their creations, which is testament to the diversity and culture within the Teesside community.

“My work was inspired by Art Deco combining vintage designs and mirrored elements with multiple framing of the borders and floral shape. The arc of ‘Stockton’ is celebrated at the centre and the holding hands represent hope and unity.” said Sofia Barton whose gate can be found next to Elizabeth’s Embroidery.

Lewis Hobson, whose gate can be found next to WH Smith, said: “As Stockton is an historic market town, I wanted to paint a portal through time, showing people what the street may have looked like. As I was painting the mural, there were a lot of positive comments from shoppers who were all really interested in public art coming to Stockton.”

“When I saw the brief for the mural I knew I wanted to evoke a sense of nostalgia. As a child I loved the greyhound sculptures. For the mural to embody this I kept the colours bright and playful and the shapes simple to be reminiscent of childhood.” said Jessica McGowan whose work can be found on the gate next to F Hinds.

Chloe Lawrence, Programmes Manager at ARC, said: “We’ve loved working closely with the team at Wellington Square to commission local artists to create outdoor work in the heart of Stockton and it is brilliant to see everyone enjoying this artwork.

One further gate will be decorated once the H&M split has opened which will look at Stockton’s most beautiful woman Ivy Close.