Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | September 3, 2012

Northumberlandia: The Naked Lady of Cramlington

Northumberlandia: The Naked Lady

Many of you will be very familiar with the fascinating chalk figures of the Long Man and the Cerne Abbas Giant. The Cerne Abbas Giant is unambiguously male but I have long argued that the Long Man possesses features that make the figure’s sex a little harder to define. What each figure’s original purpose was remains a mystery to us, a puzzle that only adds to their appeal. Whatever the reason for their creation, these pieces of art writ large upon the landscape are impressive and compelling.

In Cramlington, Northumberland a giant landscape figure has recently been created. There is no confusion about the figure’s gender; ‘Northumberlandia’ is undoubtedly female. Like the Eden project in Cornwall, she emerges from the scarred ground of a surface mine. She is 1,300 ft long and stands 112 ft at her highest point, built from 1.5m tonnes of rock, soil, stone and clay. Her surfaces have been seeded and eventually she will become a haven for nature and a beautiful place for people to visit and enjoy. Her creator Charles Jencks, although the designer, was surprised by the impact of Northumberlandia’s vast size as she began to take shape. It is easy to view this stunning figure as an image of the Earth Goddess: abundance and beauty emerging once again from a place that had seemed starkly void of life. Rising up from the bleak and bare landscape of the Shotton Surface Mine, she speaks of renewal and rebirth from the Earth’s body – a symbol of the gift of nature’s deep generosity and magical powers of regeneration.

Read more about the Naked Lady here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-19396755


Responses

  1. Beautiful. It looks as if it has been there for ages.

  2. She is lovely, beautiful and inspiring all at once! What a wonderful idea to come up with and bring forth to the landscape. A proper gift at the proper time.

    Philip, I gain much from your weblog, and I want to thank you. In fact, I was intrigued to learn of The God Tree book. Looks like a gem to me. Am looking forward to its arrival!

  3. At first I was sceptical about the success of a task so closely associated with the destructive open cast mining. However the figure is showing a lot of promise! As a step towards natural restoration it appears to be bringing hope and optimism back to Cramlington. Working in nearby Blyth I really hope it offers a boost to the local environment and and picks up the heads of the many downtrodden ang gives them back some of their pride!

  4. Ignoring all politics, what a blessed country you live in where people create something like this. A sacred isle for many of us living elsewhere, against all reason, and then to hear something like this 😉

  5. I visited yesterday and i think it is fabulous. Everyone who was involved in the project must feel very proud. The whole area is special and the views are amazing from the top of the figures head. It will be a lovely place for families to visit. 4 acres of waste land well used.


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