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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Hollywood lands with beach pop-up

Hollywood landed in Newcastle last week to celebrate the release of Netflix’s latest blockbuster series.

A giant umbrella was unveiled on the shore of Merewether Beach as part of a promotion for The Umbrella Academy.

Internationally-acclaimed Australian artist and designer James Dive, who also worked on the Sydney Sculptures By The Sea, was behind the large-scale installation.

He said Merewether Beach ticked all the boxes as an ideal backdrop.
“We had to find a great spot for our huge umbrella and Newcastle was exactly what we were looking for,” he told Newcastle Weekly.

“We’ve been up here for the last couple of months – there’s so much energy on [Merewether] beach and it’s surrounded by the café and baths.”

Mr Dive said the giant umbrella, which was installed on the beach from Thursday to Sunday, measured about 12 metres wide and six metres high.

He added the artwork proved to be quite technical.
“As always, it’s the prework that takes the most time,” he said.
“The umbrella had already been built in the studio, tested, and developed over the last eight weeks.

“It obviously needed to be suited to rough coastal conditions and just anywhere outdoors basically.

“I think that doing these large-scale installations for Netflix really draw on my experience of creating things in public that everyone can hopefully enjoy.”

The Umbrella Academy, which launched on Netflix in mid-February, is an adaptation of the cult comic book series created by Gerard Way – the lead vocalist and co-founder of now-defunct rock band My Chemical Romance.

The series tells the story of a dysfunctional family of superheroes who are reunited after the death of their adopted father when a sibling’s safety is jeopardised as the apocalypse looms large.

On the same day in 1989, 43 infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who showed no signs of pregnancy the day before.

Seven are adopted by a billionaire, who creates The Umbrella Academy and prepares his ‘children’ to save the world.

Upon his death, the six surviving members reunite and work together to solve the mystery around his passing.

However, they soon begin to unravel amid divergent personalities and the imminent global threat.

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