This half-term holiday, County Durham residents will have the chance to watch a gigantic artwork taking shape.

During the last few weeks, people have been encouraged to send messages to Durham County Council, saying why they are proud to live in or to have connections with the county.

These messages are now being made into four large mosaic-like images by artist Kara Strachan and a group of her colleagues.

The four images will later be brought together to form a wall-like picture measuring 12 metres long by two metres high.

Message Wall
A piece of the message wall

People can watch the images taking shape at four different venues. As well as watching the artists work, people can contribute messages and see them added to the artworks.

Today (30th May) and tomorrow, Kara and her team will be working at Beamish Museum and in Millennium Place, Durham City.

On Friday 1st June, they will be at The Witham, Barnard Castle, and in Dalton Park, Murton. They will continue working in Dalton Park until Sunday, June 3rd.

Each of the wall’s panels – which are being developed as part of Durham County Council’s Celebrating Durham campaign – will highlight a different aspect of the county.

Message Wall 2
Artist Kara Strachan works on the message wall 

One panel features Seaham’s Tommy statute, looking out to sea as the sun rises over the coast. Other panels feature images such as Durham Cathedral, Lumley Castle, the Emirates Riverside Ground cricket venue, and the High Force waterfall in Teesdale.

On one panel, a coal truck from Beamish Museum makes an appearance, as a reminder of County Durham’s mining roots.

Cllr Simon Henig, the leader of Durham County Council, said, “We’re very pleased that so many people have shown their support for this unique project by sending us their messages for inclusion on the wall.”

“Our area has so much to offer and it’s clear from the hundreds of messages we have received that people are extremely proud to be associated with County Durham.”

“I’m sure the finished message wall is going to look very impressive and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it.”

Members of the public can submit a message for inclusion on the wall by going to or by tweeting @durhamcouncil using the hashtag #HelpDurhamShine. You can also put your thoughts on a card and place it in the box provided at one of the host venues.

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