Crane pattern Byker

Byker Metro – Trails & Treasures

Trails and Treasures captures the everyday and overlooked features, patterns and detail found around Byker; this imagery inspired the highly intricate and ornate ‘Byker Barcodes’ which will be installed in Byker Metro station in May 2013.  The artwork reflects the complexity and constant state of change of our urban spaces whilst bringing into question the role public art often plays in oversimplifying what makes a place.

In March 2013, artists from rednile used a shop on Shields Road as a base to research and develop this celebration of hidden treasures.  The artists consulted with local businesses and explored the area with community groups using Geocache treasure hunts.

Geocaching is a global outdoor treasure hunt. Players locate hidden containers (caches), using a smartphone or GPS device and can share their experiences online. Caches are often located in places which mean something to the owner, not tourist spots or main footpaths, so this allows for an alternative, personal experience in exploring places. The Byker groups found some local caches and also created their own, filled with objects, messages and photos then hidden for others to find in future.

Images, stories, memories and websites collected along the way have also been used by rednile to create the ‘Byker Barcodes.’  The artwork is interactive, embedded with QR codes which can be scanned by smartphones to take you to gems of information about Byker discovered during the project.  To download a QR code scanner on your Smartphone go to:,  or

With thanks to the Byker Inbetweeners at the YMCA, Northern Architecture and the Byker Lives project.  This work forms part of Next Stop Byker, a series of temporary commissions at Byker funded by Newcastle City Council, Arts Council England and Nexus as part of Tyne and Wear’s Art on Transport programme.

The following are links to information featured in QR codes on the final artwork installed in Byker Metro station:
QR 1.  Image 6 YMCA Geocaching
QR 2. Image 19 Byker Primary School Blog
QR 5 Map of Byker (paint splats)
QR6 Fish Monger’s blackboard

QR7. Map of Byker (doughnut)

QR8. Collage and YMCA

QR9. Image 20 Geocaching

QR10. Image 21 Byker Primary blog

QR14. Image 8 Grafitti take by youth club

QR15. Image 14 The Helter Skelter

QR18.Image 11 Pub Tile
QR19. Image 10 Original windows

QR20. Image 16 Photos taken by Byker Lives youth group

QR21. Image 17 Spires on the haunted school

QR24. Image 5 Old pub

QR25. Image 18 Old butchers