At the end of January I visited Newcastle and on that visit I wanted to go and experience the Baltic Art Centre for the first time. When I got there I was just so amazed at all of the different things they had and how amazing the exhibits were. So I thought I’d share it with you in case you wanted to see what’s going on in Newcastle!
What is the BALTIC?
The BALTIC is a contemporary art gallery in Gateshead, Newcastle which aims to “create greater understanding of the world through outstanding, experimental and inspiring contemporary art which has power, relevance and meaning for individuals and communities”. It opened in 2002 and since that summer it has presented over 226 exhibitions of work by 476 artists of 64 nationalities and has welcomed more than 8 million visitors.
What’s on now?
In February 2020 there are a few different exhibitions on, and these are the ones that
Play Rebellion by Pippa Hale
12th October 2019- 23rd February 2020
Play Rebellion is an interactive exhibition which invites visitors to explore their imaginations and reconnect with their creativity. When you enter the exhibition it looks like a ‘higher end’ soft play centre, it has soft walls and flooring and many different sized and shaped foam blocks. The blocks are either black, white, orange or black and white striped, visitors of all ages are encouraged to interact in the exhibition and create whatever they would like. Play Rebellion is aimed to help show people the importance of play for children and adults, and provides a space for all ages to play, explore, create and build with no judgement.
This exhibition is by Pippa Hale, and she is an artist based in Leeds who is interested in connecting people and places. This interest in the concept and importance of play comes from having her own children. The foam blocks are called PlayShapes and they can be ‘refigured into limitless combinations to create sculptures, installations or playscapes.
This exhibition was one which I was so excited to visit because this please my educator heart, I mean the two words PLAY and REBELLION are two which capture my soul. I love that for the adults this exhibition is meant to help them use play as a form of rebellion and letting you be free to just relax and play.
Our Histories Cling To Us by Joy Labinjo.
19th October-23rd February
Our Histories Cling To Us is an exhibition which shows large-scale paintings which show people and scenes found in her family albums. These paintings are meant to show her personal experiences of growing up in the UK with British-Nigerian heritage and also explores the relationship between cultures, identity and race. Labinjo “creates her compositions by fusing different photographs together, instinctively collaging interiors and figures.
I loved exploring this exhibition because I was so drawn to the bright colours and interesting scenes and people, and then when I looked closer I saw the culture and identity behind it all. I saw the difference between mine and her upbringing, and I also saw the issues which could arise due to the differences. It was really cool to look at and really interesting to think about.
16 November 2019- 19th April 2020
This exhibition covers Chicago’s 50 year career, which starts at her actions in the desert in the 70’s to her most recent series “The End: A Meditation on Death ” and “Extinction”. The exhibition room is full of multiple of Chicago’s work and shows the range and consistency of her work. Each exhibition is connected by the human condition, she has work on birth, death, and emotional journeys in life.
This exhibition contains Chicago’s “The Birth Project (1980-1985) , “Autobiography of a Year (1993-94), “My Accident (1986), “Atmosphere” series (1967-2017), “A Purple Poem for Miami (2019).
It is so interesting the way the room was set out, they have the Birth Project and The End were linked together and then the parts which are in between birth and death are scattered around. This was the exhibition we spent the longest in and it was the most thought provoking one because it was so cool to be able to look over someone’s life and career span with hindsight.
My favourite part of this exhibition was definitely the Autobiography of a Year series. It covered an entire wall and was set out in what seems to be a random order and it was just such an amazing series to look at. I loved the honesty of it all and also the different ways emotions and events were represented. I loved the simplicity of a lot of it and how loud and clear a lot of the messages were.
Animalesque/Art Across Species And Beings- Group Exhibition
16th November 2019- 19th April 2020.
This exhibition shows a collection of art work of different mediums to bring an understanding of issues with the environment, the animal kingdom and humans relationship with ecologies in the world. Something which all of these works have in common and bring to the visitors is the environmental impact of humans and global warming effects on all species apart from humans.
It contains so many different art pieces which carry the same message, which is something that helps you think about the issues. It shows you different ways in which art can express issues. Here was a huge sculpture, word art, two video exhibitions, and other types of art work within the exhibition. My favourite part of that exhibition was the showing of the Jungle Book on a small screen with some comfy cushions around it, but what was interesting about it was that every character was dubbed over in a different language; so no two characters spoke the same language. This really speaks on the complexities of the animal kingdom and how out of that loop human beings are. In eco-systems different species have an unspoken law and also can co-exist without actually communicating it, but we just cannot do that. I loved that concept.
These are what’s on at the BALTIC Centre of Art in Gateshead in February 2020. Which exhibitions interest you the most? I was so happy to have seen these exhibitions and I can’t wait to see what comes out in the later half of the year. I hope you can visit and give these exhibitions some love!
Thank you so much for reading today and I hope to see you around these parts again soon. If you’ve enjoyed my recent content then please leave me a like, comment and follow so I know! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest which are all left down below. I hope you have a good day or night wherever you are, and God bless.