It’s hard to believe that my blog is now one year old (time flies when you’re having fun), but what’s even more unbelievable is that in all that time I’ve never really got round to writing a full post about one of Geordieland’s most famous landmarks, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Well shame on me, so here it is, my list of some of the different things you can do at BALTIC…
Immerse yourself in contemporary art:
The landmark building on the Gateshead side of the River Tyne is steeped in history and its origins as a flour mill are still clear to see. But since being transformed in to a major international centre for contemporary art, BALTIC has welcomed a diverse and thought provoking range of exhibitions from around the world! Since there’s not a permanent display at BALTIC, there’s always something new to discover in the four different galleries.
Until the 22nd of June you can explore the work of Lorna Simpson, an artist from New York who challenges conventional views of gender, class, race, culture and history with photography, text and video installations that she’s created over a 30 year period. I found the exhibition a bit surreal to be honest but I guess that’s kind of the point! Oh dear, I don’t think I’ll ever make an art critic will I?
Shop till you drop:
OK, so I admit it, I don’t really know much about modern art, but shopping, now that’s a subject I can almost claim to be an expert in! So take it from me that the BALTIC shop is an absolute treasure trove of home-wares, jewellery, books, toys and gorgeous gifts. If I’m ever after something a bit different then this is where I come. Fashionistas will love the Tatty Devine range of jewellery and accessories and if you’re scratching your head trying to think of a suitable pressie for a new homeowner or a kid that already seems to own every toy on the market, then this is definitely the place for you!
Free guided tours:
Entrance to BALTIC is free (although donations are always welcome!) so you might expect extras like tours to come at a charge but no, these are free too! Sunday mornings are devoted to ‘behind the scenes tours’, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4pm you can find out more about the local sights while overlooking the magnificent view of the quayside. Plus, everyday there are bite size tours of the current exhibitions. It’s the perfect way to get more out of your visit.
I’m yet to take my little niece and nephew to BALTIC but according to my friends with kids, it’s the perfect place to kill a few hours with little ones. There always seems to be extra activities lined up for school holidays and special occasions too. In fact, there’s a special super heroes art session lined up for Father’s Day, check out the website for details. (Oh, and this is free too!!)
Fine dining with a spectacular view:
BALTIC is home to a wonderful restaurant on the top floor called Six, many people before me have given it rave reviews and now I can join them! I dined there with my other half a few weeks ago and we both opted for steak which is sourced from the Wallington Estate in Northumberland. My rib eye was cooked perfectly and served up with some of the tastiest hand cut chips I’d had in ages. To be honest I wish I could eat it again right now! Day or night, Six offers one of the best views in Geordieland – if you’re a lady, make sure you don’t leave without popping to the loo, you’ll see what I mean when you get there!
So whether your passion is art, shopping, family, food (or all of the above) a visit to BALTIC should definitely be on your to-do list!
Thanks to NGI and BALTIC for use of the images in this post, except the one of me of course, that’s my own! Also thanks to Fresh Elements/Six Restaurant for generously providing the complimentary food and drinks.
By Rachel Kershaw