Steve Messam

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Flagged -Up


Date: September 2007

Location: South Sheilds, Tyne & Wear, UK.

Client: Customs House Theatre & Gallery

Dimensions: variable

Materials: textile flags, projection

Flagged-Up projection

'Flagged-Up' was commissioned to welcome the luxury liner 'QE2' to its first visit to the River Tyne and open a new passenger terminal on the river opposite the Old Customs House, South Shields.

International signalling flags were developed for communicating between vessels at sea. The lyrics to a traditional folk song from South Shields were projected onto the exterior of the Customs House, while postcards of the signalling flags were distribured to passengers on the QE2 berthed opposite.

Half a mile of the flags were strung along the banks of the Tyne, and wrapped the Mill Dam chimney - the last remnant of the ship-building industry which used to dominate this part of the Tyne.