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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 09:18 GMT
Voyage to make literary sculpture
Centre for the Children's Book
The centre is based in a former Victorian mill in Newcastle
Children from across the North East are to help create a sculpture to stand outside the country's first dedicated centre for children's literature.

The sculpture will be based on voyages and seafaring taking its inspiration from children's books and stories, as seen through the schoolchildren's eyes.

The project will be overseen by established artist Andy Comley.

The finished sculpture will stand outside Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books, in Newcastle.

Cultural development

The project has been devised by the Universal Building Society. The sculpture will stand outside Seven Stories, based in a converted Victorian mill in the Ouseburn Valley, and set to open in 2005.

Having lived on boats on waterways for more than eight years, Mr Comley was chosen for his insight into seafaring - he also works on developing creativity in the national curriculum.

He said: "Living on a longboat has given me a unique perspective on the world and the transience of the water has been my muse.

"With this piece of work, I'm hoping to incorporate the children's drawings, models and stories into an inspirational sculpture that will be enjoyed by all who visit the centre."

Universal's chief executive Kevin Robinson said: "This project not only allows us to support Seven Stories, an important cultural development for the North East, but we can also introduce some of region's children to an experienced artist and new creative methods."

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