Artists say it with light in Valentine exhibition

LYRICS of love will shine down on travellers when a vibrant neon art project gets underway on Valentine’s Day.

Expressions of intimacy, adoration and heartbreak will shout out across the train tracks all year round as part of a special exhibition called 12 Months of Neon Love.

Twelve large neon banners bearing words borrowed from well-known love songs have been designed by Wakefield-born artists Richard Wheater and Victoria Lucas.

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And they will shine from the roof of the Neon Workshops warehouse, on George Street, starting on Monday evening.

The quotes, taken from artists ranging from Elvis to Nirvana, will change on the 14th of each month.

Richard, 32, said the romantic rhetoric would be unmissable for people travelling to and from the city by train.

He said: “It’s in an area you wouldn’t normally expect to see a piece of public art.

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“The inspiration came from travelling back and forth from Sheffield when I was doing another neon project there.

“On the train I’d see people gazing out of the windows with headphones on. I thought with the dark nights it would be great to work with lights, and love is a subject matter which means something to everybody.”

Richard said inspiration for the project was very personal to himself and Victoria.

He said: “When people get into relationships they tend to have favourite love songs that they can relate to themselves.

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“I’m involved in a relationship myself at the moment and was inspired quite heavily by that.

“Victoria and I chose the quotes ourselves.”

Richard, who has been making art for about six years, was nominated for the Northern Art Prize in 2009 and has since represented the UK at international exhibitions.

Victoria Lucas has also shown off her art at exhibitions all over the world and currently has a residency in Berlin.

Richard said: “I’ve come across Victoria at various art openings and I really respect her work.

“We’re both really excited about this project now.”

Each banner will be auctioned off on eBay once the exhibition has finished.

The first quote will be lit up at 8pm on Monday.