The Great North Run is one of the worlds largest sporting events attracting some 50,000 entrants with thousands more spectators lining the route from Newcastle to South Shields.
The ‘Running Line’ is a series of more than 138,000 individual photographs made of the 2006 Great North Run by the spectators, event workers, volunteers, press, media, PR companies, charities, amateur and elite athletes, fun runners and school children. This was an attempt to collect every kind of photograph to produce a unique photographic record of the event. Each 6X4 inch ‘enprint’ image was placed end to end to create an exhibition 13.1 miles long, the same length as the run itself.
The Running Line was installed in Saltwell Park, Gateshead during September 2007. It is a photo sculpture which follows pathways and flowerbeds wraps around and up into trees and then snakes its way through dense foliage, occasionally coiling into ‘towers’ which accommodate miles (and thousands) of images. The work can be read in numerous ways - as a comment on the ubiquity of photography, as an un-edited photographic documentary, as a collection of thousands of individual points of view, as a kind of line drawing or as a reflection on time, space and the distance of the run.