AAJ Press
Commissions & Projects, Light, New Books, Publications, Sculpture

Flash@Hebburn – Charles Quick

Art & Architecture Press

FLASH@Hebburn by Charles Quick

Urban Art in the New Century

Edited by Jonathan Vickery

Publication Price: £15.00


  • 01 Foreword – Matthew Jarratt
  • 02 Introduction – Tony Duggan
  • 03 The Sculptural Imagination of Charles Quick – Jon Wood
  • 04 Infrastructures: creating FLASH@Hebburn – Jonathan Vickery
  • 05 Hebburn Past – Charles Quick
  • 06 Celebrating FLASH@Hebburn – Rebbeca Chesney
  • Designed by Thompson Brand partners
  • Case Bound. 235 x 170mm. 120 pages including 70 illustrations
  • ISBN 978-0-9565192-0-7
  • Published by Art & Architecture Press, 2010.


The Work….

FLASH @Hebburn Urban Art in the New Century   by Charles Quick

A public art installation by Charles Quick launched on the River Tyne at Hebburn Riverside Park on 7 March 2009 was inspired by the flashes of light associated with the industries along the river. Hebburn had been an important industrial centre with a large number of heavy industries including coal mining, ship-building, steel works, chemical works, coke production and high voltage electrical engineering. Flashes of light could be associated with all of these industries and the work developed light sequences with local groups representing what Hebburn and the Riverside Park meant to them.

The installation consists of 12, 8.5 metre-high columns with photovoltaic panels on the top powering 1 metre-high blue and white LED tubes. All arranged in a 3 X 4 grid with a distance of 8 metres between each column.

Flash@Hebburn will activate for a 30-second sequence every 15 minutes throughout the day.  The lights will come on and off slowly, with the fastest being between half and one second which is the same rate that a car indicator lights works.  Once a year a special midnight sequence will celebrate New Years Eve to coincide with the ships sirens and flares that once populated the river.  Charles Quick led a number of workshops with several groups and individuals of people from Hebburn, to develop the eight different 15-minute light sequences (one of which will automatically run each night at dusk).

  • Up and down the mountain – Mad Hatters Walking Group
  • Memories – Retired ladies from Reyrolle
  • The heart rate of a cyclist – A Hebburn cyclist
  • Marching and Morse Code – T.S Kelly Sea Cadets
  • Local Hero – Swan Hunter Apprentices
  • Striking up arc welding – Hawthorn and Leslie apprentice from the 1960s
  • Playground activities, Hebburn a letter at a time – Hartleyburn Youth Club
  • MC DJ in lights – Hebburn Detached Youth Project

Charles Quick is particularly interested in social and physical infrastructures in the urban environment. He often works with electricity and light to explore these concerns. He is Reader in Art in Public Places at the University of Central Lancashire. Current projects can be seen at http://vimeo.com/user2484940

Films of Flash@Hebburn and an interview with the artist can be seen at



Art & Architecture Journal Press is a specialist publisher for ideas and projects about art and public space.

About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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