Visiting an Angel

Shady Gaff


Despite living less than ten miles away from the Angel of the North ever since it appeared in 1998, I had never actually taken the time to go and see it up close. I’d passed it countless times in cars, admired it from a distance and absent-mindedly accepted it as part of the local landscape. It became one of those many things that were on my doorstep that I was happy to claim as my own when it suited me, but I never bothered to experience first-hand. So, when I got the opportunity to visit it this week I jumped at the chance.

It is impressive up close, particularly the wing span which almost seems to defy the physical possibilities of the structure. It stands resolute, with a real sense of immovable permanence. The Angel’s sheer scale takes it out of the human world, yet it remains almost defensive…

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