Neuchâtel’s Blue Man is waiting to visit other Newcastles !

Dear Friends in our Newcastles all over the world,
At our recent conference in Shinshiro it was agreed that we do more “to promote exhibitions among the different Newcastles”   Now Neuchâtel (Switzerland) offers other Newcastles the opportunity of welcoming an exhibition from The Blueman, an artist living in their city.
After travelling and meeting people through the world (Europe, Russia, Japan, Senegal, Sweden, Canada, USA, Thailand, India, Mexico and other countries), Blueman this year celebrates his 20th anniversary. See the attached document and Blueman’s website (<> ) to learn more about Blueman and its project.
To commemorate this anniversary Blueman (with the help of private and public sponsors) has decided to create an exhibition offering both a look back on 20 years of intercultural meetings and an interactive opportunity to create new links between people, cities, countries and continents.
This exhibition is  created in the form of a tent shaped like a giant blue being. It will be inaugurated in September 2019 in Neuchâtel (Switzerland). The project is to let this exhibition then travel to other Newcastles considering the Alliance as a natural network for Blueman. This should happen at the end of 2019 and during 2020.
The tent would stay for about 15 days in every city. Blueman will personally perform during the 2 or 3 first days of the exhibition. Portraits taken in the different cities will enrich the exhibition during his trip and thus create a link between the different cities.
What is expected from the cities hosting the exhibition?
–          NO financial participation
–          to provide an outdoor space for the tent (the tent is 11 meters wide / 18 meters long)
–          to provide the electrical installation required for the exhibition
–          to ensure the safety and protection of the tent during the exhibition
–          to provide a team to take the exhibition down
–          to promote the exhibition.
If you are interested please send the contact details (email and phone) of a person in charge of this project for your city. In addition, it would also be useful to let us know if you have a time of year that you would prefer. Please contact Daniel Veuve at the City of Neuchâtel with this information or if you need to know more.
With kind regards from Blueman!
Daniel Veuve
Chargé de mission du Conseil communal
Faubourg de l’Hôpital 2 | CH-2000 Neuchâtel
T: 032 717 75 05 | M: 079 653 44 53 | F: 032 717 71 09


September marks the publication of a new book about the many different places around the world called “Newcastle”, and the opening of an exhibition about them that runs until 28th October at Newcastle upon Tyne’s City Library.

The book and exhibition are timed to mark the 20th anniversary of this unique network which brings together towns and cities that share the name “Newcastle”, both in the English language and their own language. Many of the Newcastles in the English-speaking world take their name from Newcastle upon Tyne, especially because of a shared coal mining heritage, but others have the name simply because they had an old castle that was replaced with a new one – just as in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1080.


The new book, by Tyne Bridge Publishing, has been compiled and edited by Sue Wilson, former Chief Executive of the Newcastle Initiative (now the NewcastleGateshead Initiative).
The book is available through the city library service and also on Amazon –
Sue was involved in supporting an earlier book in 2000 about the Newcastles of the English-speaking world that was edited by the then Newcastle-upon Tyne based John Nicolaou.
Several of the different Newcastles meet in conference every two years to share best practice information on matters of common interest, and to plan projects together. The 20th anniversary conference takes place from 3rd to 9th October in the Japanese “Newcastle” which is called Shinshiro City. It’s about 250km from Tokyo and also hosted the very first conference in 1998.
David said “We’re looking forward to our time in Japan to celebrate our alliance and the special things we share – our castles, our industrial heritage, our beautiful countryside – and also the particular cultures of each that we are able to bring together, enjoy and learn from. And we’ll be agreeing a programme of projects – in tourism, culture, business and education/youth cooperation – that we’ll work on between now and the 2020 conference in Neuchâtel, Switzerland”.
Newcastle upon Tyne hosted the conference in 2012 when there were delegates from 12 different Newcastles. This time there will be delegates from 16 Newcastles, the most ever, and about 70 overseas delegates in all plus many home delegates from Japan. But there are over 100 “Newcastles” around the world and Newcastles of the World is in touch with many of them through their newsletters and though social media, sharing stories.
For more information contact David Faulkner –



” This World Here…Nomhlaba Le”

Curious Monkey Theatre Company, Newcastle upon Tyne and Newcastle Arts Development Organisation, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa have been collaborating for two years on the “Two Newcastles” project, and last week presented a work on Tyneside that they have created together called ” This World Here…Nomhlaba Le”

It’s a journey to a new world full of song and discovery. When faced with a new culture, visiting a new place, what do you bring with you? What do you leave behind? Original music intertwined with traditional South African and Geordie songs, verbatim testimony and storytelling about their lives, homes and experiences in two different Newcastles by the performers, exploring community and belonging, celebrating diversity and uncovering our unconscious biases. Asking…where is home?

Created and performed by:
Sanele Mzimela, Phelelani Mzimela, Velaphi Mthimkulu, Samu Khumalo, Sam Bell, Alice Blundell and Stan Hodgson
Directed by Amy Golding
Produced by Sphiwe Xulu and Jen Dewar
Assistant Director Jonluke McKie
This World Here…Nomhlaba Le was commissioned as a flagship cultural project of Newcastles of the World supported by International Newcastle. Funded by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts, Waka Waka Africa North East, Newcastle Municipality KZN, The Department for Arts and Culture (South Africa) The Tyne and Wear Community Foundation (UK)

Robert Indiana (1928 – 2018) – A Giant of “Pop Art”, from New Castle, Indiana

It’s sad to record the passing of a great figure from the world of modern art.

Aaron Dicken, of New Castle, Indiana (Robert’s home town) tracked him down and met him in 2015. Here he pays tribute to Robert’s life and legacy


“Reading his biography, one could probably rationalize why Robert Indiana had a reputation for being somewhat unpleasant. He was adopted, he had transient parents who later divorced, and was repeatedly taken advantage of, which includes the copyright debacle of LOVE, as well as the requests for art and more, late into his life (speculation).
However, that is not the man Dick Bouslog and I met in the summer of 2015. For three hours, which is a lot for someone who was 86 at the time, he was gracious, he was warm and welcoming, and he was just another man who enjoyed conversation over coffee and cookies (my mom’s cookies, actually).
He was an enigma and a recluse. So many people had tried to reach out to him after his permanent move to Vinalhaven, Maine, and without much success. The late John Dickey (another New Castle citizen) shared a note he had received from the artist when we showed a small exhibit of serigraphs at the Henry County Art Center in New Castle, which was a rarity. I remember being floored looking back at that visit to the Star of Hope that he had a binder marked “Henry County Indiana,” which I regretfully did not ask to peruse. I can only imagine it was filled with his unreturned collection of correspondence from other community members and articles of interest.
Though over due, I’m proud of how the New Castle community has taken to heart Bob’s legacy, which started with his first breaths in New Castle. A group of people have come together, whether it be with financing, fabricating, or organizing, to create our two LOVE sculptures, a beautiful mural that represents his life and works, and the Robert Indiana Parkway. During this sad time, I am comforted in the fact that I got to show Bob how he is loved and how his legacy will carry on in his “long ago hometown” before he passed.
This artist is obviously world-renown for LOVE, a powerful message and theme in 1966 that will undoubtedly carry his legacy. But his life was so much more than that, such as his stint at the New York World’s Fair with his EAT sign in 1964, his breakthrough into modern art with American Dream I at the Museum of Modern Art in 1961, his avant-garde design and painting of the MECCA floor for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1977, or the reimagining of LOVE when he created HOPE in 2008.
Surely, HOPE is something Bob carried with him throughout his life. But that leads me to a word I think he embodied even more…RESILIENCE. Although that word can’t be made into a masterpiece as easily, to come from the beginnings from which he came, to endure the trials and tribulations he endured, it beyond question took resilience. Had he not exemplified that word, the world would be a little less colourful, a little more devoid of HOPE, and a little less full of LOVE.
May his legacy of love, hope, and resilience live on.”