Boxers help launch Sunderland Olympic art exhibition

The forthcoming 2012 Olympiad was the inspiration for an art installation in the foyer of Sunderland Central Library and Arts Centre. Members of the Assign art group met alongside their artwork which has been inspired by the sport of boxing. At the official unveiling, Anthony Austin and Steven Lavender, from Lambton Street Youth Centre, gave a sparring display.
The forthcoming 2012 Olympiad was the inspiration for an art installation in the foyer of Sunderland Central Library and Arts Centre. Members of the Assign art group met alongside their artwork which has been inspired by the sport of boxing. At the official unveiling, Anthony Austin and Steven Lavender, from Lambton Street Youth Centre, gave a sparring display.
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A NEW work of art is proving a knock-out on Wearside.

Local boxers were recruited to help launch the Pillars of Boxes installation at the Library and Arts Centre, in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

Eight artists from the Sunniside-based Arts Sunderland Support Initiative Group Network created the piece to celebrate the London Olympics.

“The artwork is displayed on, or in, the boxes, with each artist addressing the Olympics in the their own way,” said group member Tony Redman.

“It has gone down really well and generated quite a bit of interest.

“We had a really good turn out for the launch and the boxers were terrific.”

Mr Redman, from Roker, said the group was inspired by Wearside-born boxer Tony Jeffries, who claimed bronze at the Olympics in Beijing.

The exhibition, which will run until March 31, was created by Dick Rainer, Cathy Duncan, Decia Morris, Bill Harris, Alex Surtees, Pat Thirtle and Frank Styles, as well as Mr Redman.

“We’ve held workshops before at Lambton Street Boxing Club, where he went as a youngster, to video and draw the fighters,” said Mr Redman. “Tony is a popular figure in the city and he was certainly an inspiration for us.

“We’ve been in touch with him by email and he’s shown a lot of support for the group and what we do.”

The artists spent more than three months working on the novel artwork, which is made up of 2ft boxes covered with sports-themed designs and is set up in the foyer of the popular city-centre venue.

“We just thought it was something a bit different,” added Mr Redman. “We each created different designs for each box. One shows the different sports in the Olympics and another different boxers.

“It took us a while to get out heads around how it was going to work, but we’re pleased with how it has turned out.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho