Varda, Angel of the North


The Angel of the North is Britain's largest and most impressive sculpture. It stands near the A1 in Gateshead in the North East of England, marking the southern entry to Tyneside and on the edge of the Great North Forest. It towers 20 metres over its hilltop landscape and has a wing span of 54 metres. Commissioned by Gateshead Council, the Angel was created by internationally renowned sculptor, Anthony Gormley.


Thus reads the text of Gateshead Council's leaflet on the already famous (or infamous, depending upon your point of view and artistic predilections) "Angel of the North". A resident of Newcastle (just north of Gateshead for anyone unaware of the geography) myself, I find this an impressive, even inspiring, piece.

The small, otherwise bare, hill beside the A167 is hardly Oiolossė,

... uttermost tower of Taniquetil, tallest of all the mountains upon Earth

JRR Tolkien: Valaquenta

Nevertheless, for me this remarkable sculpture embodies no Christian Angel but Varda, Lady of Stars.