• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

North East Connected

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Artist Stuart keeps lights shining with steel business fund help

Stuart Langley's VHS R.I.P.  installationA Hartlepool artist, whose unique and quirky light installations are wowing audiences at venues from the Durham Lumiere Festival to events in Brussels and Singapore has won backing from UK Steel Enterprise.

Stuart Langley gave up his job as Director of a Teesside design agency about a year ago to concentrate full-time on the growing number of commissions for his creative and ambitious artworks.

UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, has stepped in with a £2,500 loan to help him grow his business and transport his larger works.

“Until now I’ve been using my car for small works and hiring or borrowing vans but I desperately needed my own van,” he said. “I am really grateful for UK Steel Enterprise’s support and their confidence in me.”

Stuart, who has studied Japanese and French as well as graphic art and design, works with light and colour, making use of waste materials to create sculptural artworks and installations of all sizes.  Help has come from Andrew Middleton at MIDS Auto Services in Marske with the fabrication of many of his works.

They include Robin Reliant cars with stained glass windows, a neon crucifix and a giant nine foot wave made from sea glass painstakingly collected from Seaham beach by volunteers which was at the 2015 Durham Lumiere and featured on BBC’s The One Show.  Currently three neon artworks, funded by the Arts Council, are being exhibited nationally; another installation formed part of the Download Music Festival and some exciting UK and international commissions are in the pipeline

“There is a surge in popularity for light installations and I am becoming better known,” said Stuart, originally from Darlington.  “More organisations and local authorities are getting behind creative events as the public come to them in growing numbers.

“Being a small part of Durham Lumiere for two years was amazing.   I am confident that I will be creating at least two jobs in the next 18 months.

“I hope my work surprises and inspires people as I’m fascinated by the way light and colour can transform objects and material that are ordinary and forgotten.  Hours of research and work can go into one installation so it is great when you get a good response.

“I love the North East, especially Teesside, for its combination of industry and countryside and its hard-working people who are determined to see their region succeed,” he added.

Sarah Thorpe of UK Steel Enterprise, said: “Our Regeneration Fund is part of our range of investment packages available to businesses in steel areas and can provide the relatively small amount of funding early-stage businesses need.

“We have seen a five-fold increase in the number of these loans allocated in the first few months of this year compared to 2015 which shows that more people are choosing self employment as the area fights back.”

Details of UK Steel Enterprise’s support for businesses is available on 01642 777 777 and at www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk.  Stuart Langley is on 01429 598425 and atwww.stuartlangley.co.uk

By admin