A remarkable art gallery in UK with novel and energetic exhibitions.
Newcastle upon Tyne, usually shortened to Newcastle, is the largest city in North-East England. The night view around the Tyne river always attracts tourists, even the Londoners who are usually happy with Thames. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge spans the River between Gateshead on the south bank, and Newcastle upon Tyne on the north. The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art is located at the foot of the bridge.
Baltic started in 2002, converted from a 1950s flour mill. It doesn’t have a permanent exhibition but always has remarkable, novel and energetic exhibitions. The 6 floors of the exhibition spaces are worth visiting as long as the best view of the Tyne River from the balcony of the top floor.
The second floor is the learning & activity space with the library illustrated by the artist Yoshitomo Nara and kids size designer furniture. This is such a children friendly space. Even if you are a grown up, this place takes you back your childhood and you cannot help but enjoy the learning toys and books.
Baltic has been gained international attention with exhibitions like “Spike the Monkey”, introducing graffiti artist Banksy, graphic artist Takashi Murakami, “Candice Breits” and a video installation featuring international John Lennon Fans, singing his first solo album, unsupported by the music, in its entirety.
Baltic was recently the centre of the art world’s attention because of the event over freedom of art expression. During a photo installation “Thanksgiving” which was composed of 147 pieces, by American photographer Nan Goldin, Police seized one of the photographs, because it may be considered child pornography. Goldin felt that without the one the whole thing would not make any sense, the owner of the photo Elton John, and the gallery agreed and the installation was removed. It was disappointing that this installation cancelled before opening for the public. No charges were brought and the photograph was not considered to be pornographic in any way.
Currently they are showing “The Zabludowicz Collection”. Newcastle born Anita Zabludowicz, one of the UK’s most exciting and innovative art collectors. The exhibition features works from international artists such as Yoshitomo Nara, Ed Templeton, Tracey Emin, and Gilbert and George.
Finally you can’t miss the gallery shop even if you don’t have enough time for visiting every floor. The shop located at the ground floor, The selection of art books and design goods are well enhanced. The miniature figure of an angel statue which is the Newcastle landmark is also here as Baltic original souvenir.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Address: Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA UK
Tel: +44 (0)191 478 1810
Text and Photos: Sayaka Hirakawa, Simon Borkin