Not many artists need to get permission from air traffic control and the local harbourmaster to exhibit their work, but shining seven rainbow coloured beams of light along the North East coastline is not exactly an every day occurrence.

American artist Yvette Mattern did just that over the last four days, shining parallel beams of high specification laser light southwards from St Mary’s lighthouse in Whitley Bay down the coastline.

The artwork, Global Rainbow, is produced by a contemporary arts production agency based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne called Amino in conjunction with the artist, who met the owners when she spent three months as the artist in residence at the Baltic in Gateshead. The light installation celebrates the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and is intended to symbolise hope.

It was the first showing of Global Rainbow in the UK and the artwork now moves on to Preston in the North West starting on 8 March and then onto Scrabo Tower near Newtownards in Northern Ireland from the 14 March and ending on St Patrick’s Day on the 17 March. If you live in either of those places it’s worth going and checking it out. I’d also advise you to walk under it where you get the best view. I mean, who doesn’t love a rainbow?


Photographs © BBC (Beaming from headland at St Mary’s Lighthouse and over South Shields approx 10 miles away)