Know your city, know your venues

baltic_sr

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

What was once a flour mill is now home to a vast and ever-changing variety of contemporary art exhibitions. Even the venue itself has been transformed into a work of art, including an interesting mirrored staircase and a fantastic viewpoint of the Tyne River and bridge on the 5th floor.

It is also worth mentioning the well-curated library found on the 2nd floor. Currently on show is “Bloomberg New Contemporaries”, celebrating a diverse range of emerging UK-based artists. From 16mm b&w film projections to 3m long plastic tapestries hanging from the ceiling.

It’s also free entry!

Currently on show is “Bloomberg New Contemporaries”, celebrating a diverse range of emerging UK-based artists. From 16mm b&w film projections to 3m long plastic tapestries hanging from the ceiling, it’s fair to say the work is very abstract and might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Nonetheless, whether you want to simply wander around to gain some culture or have any kind of interest this style of expression, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Northern Stage 

Northern Stage

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Northern Stage is one of the top ten producing theatre companies in the country as well as an amazing venue that we have the privilege of having so close to us.

Located in the heart of the Newcastle University campus right opposite of the Students’ Union building, the venue consists of three stages with Stage 1 being the largest one hosting nearly 450 seats and Stage 3 being the smallest. 

The building also has a bar-restaurant called McKenna’s which is a very lovely place to visit before or after seeing a play.

As a theatrical venue, Northern Stage focuses on giving the spotlight to contemporary productions and adaptations. One of the more recent productions showcased in the theatre was an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s remarkable Hedda Gabler produced by Northern Stage and the Grayscale theatre company.

The Northern Stage does not only give people the opportunity to enjoy amazing theatrical art but it provides students with many other opportunities as well. The company is very open to young people who want to participate and show the world their ideas and it also gives college students opportunities for work experience. The Northern stage is undoubtedly one of the best venues in Newcastle.

The Laing Gallery

Image Credit: Roger Cornfoot (Wikimedia Commons) licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Image Credit: Roger Cornfoot (Wikimedia Commons) licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The Laing Gallery is key in Newcastle’s growing arts scene and located centrally on New Bridge Street just off Northumberland Street, it is incredibly accessible. Built in 1901 in the Baroque style with Art Nouveau elements, is now a Grade II listed building and thus pleasure for the eye within and without.

With four-star reviews from the Guardian and the Times, do your part to support Newcastle’s art scene and go.

The Laing’s collection hosts locally produced artwork by Ralph Hedley and John Martin in the North Spirit gallery; amongst paintings, displays include Newcastle’s ceramics and glassware. The Marble Hall also hosts sculptures by Henry Moore and Turner Prize nominee Paul Noble. Watercolours by J. M. W. Turner also adorn the walls of the Laing.

What is often heartbreaking as soon as you leave London is the distinct lack of arts funding and thus lack of interest, which can be seen through the Laing’s beautiful, alas minimal, collection. However we are seeing change with the exhibition opening of Paul Nash, a key war artist and integral in British Surrealism, which has travelled up from the Tate Britain and for which I can vouch is worth your pennies seeing.

 

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