North East Connected

Local artist to use powerful Consett Steelworks designs to help SSI families over Christmas

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 15.37.52A North East artist wants to help families affected by the closure of SSI by donating 10 per cent of profits he makes from the sale of his artwork.

Graphic designer, Graeme Hall, has created a series of 150 powerful, limited edition designs, depicting the closure of Consett steelworks, which saw 4,500 people lose their jobs in September 1980.

Having grown up around Consett, the father-of-two witnessed first-hand the devastating impact such a closure has on a community, which is one of the reasons he has decided to donate to the Teesside Steel Appeal.

Graeme, 43, has also been inspired by the actions of 10-year-old, Ben Hebden, from Marske, who started a fund to give a Christmas party and other treats to steelworkers’ children.

He said: “When I saw in the news that this young lad was doing an extremely generous thing to help those affected by the closure of SSI, I thought why can’t I raise some money to show my support for them?

“When the Consett Steelworks shut down, the impact it had on the community was huge and it took years for the town to recover.

“I knew people who were personally hit by the closure back then, but I couldn’t really help the way I wanted to.

“This time, I can do something to help, even if it makes Christmas better for just one family.”

Each of Graeme’s designs has been created to capture the significant moment in the region’s history, while emphasizing the scale of the steelworks and showing how it dominated Consett.

Taking anything between eight hours and a couple of days to produce, Graeme has used an abundance of reds to portray the processes which were used when the steelworks was running and often left a red glow over Consett.

Having worked as a graphic designer for the last 20 years, Graeme – who is a director of award winning branding and graphic design studio, Designs Unique – always knew he wanted to pursue a career in art from a young age.

Although he has never sold any of his work in the past, Graeme currently has designs displayed in Consett’s The Glass and Art Gallery and now hopes his work will find its place in houses across the North East, while helping SSI families enjoy their Christmas.

To order or enquire about a design, email

There are four different designs available which come in A3 and cost £45 (double mounted) and £98 (framed).

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