BALTIC, Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne
The Baltic isn't technically in Newcastle but in Gateshead; however it is just across the river and easily visited on foot (crossing the Millennium Bridge) or by public transport (Quaylink bus #1), so I make no apologies for including a tip on it here as well as on my new Gateshead page.
This amazing gallery is housed in an old flour mill which was gutted to create a fantastic space that provides the perfect setting for the modern art on display. There are no permanent exhibitions - instead the programme changes regularly so you see something new every time you visit, and it could be anything from a major exhibition to work by local artists. The best thing for me is how the curators really make the most of the large spaces on offer, so you'll often find huge paintings or striking installations. The art isn't too everyone's taste, and even if you tend to like modern art there's a good chance not everything will appeal, but with (usually) three different exhibitions on at a time there should be something to interest you. And if you have children, check out the website to find out about the many free activities here.
This is also a good place to go for a meal. In addition to the usual self-service café you find in such places there's a smart restaurant on the top floor, Six, which I've heard is really good too, though we're yet to try it.
Lastly, even if you don't like modern art and don't want to eat I'd still recommend you come here for the views of the river which are fantastic. There's a glass viewing gallery attached to the fifth floor exterior wall (see my main picture) and an outdoor terrace on the fourth floor, on the river side.
And best of all, it's free!
Based in the iconic Baltic Flour Mill, a building which must be Newcastle's answer to London's Battersea Power Station, the city has itself a respectable arts centre. Apart from the exhibits, and the fine old building they are housed in, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art has a magnificent view of the Quayside from its top floor and restaurant. And it's all free - so even if you aren't interested in the art, you can take a quick trip up in the lifts for the view.
I have yet to visit the Baltic but this converted riverside flour mill is a contemporary art gallery.
Open every day from 10.00 to 18.00 it has regularly changing exhibitions and shows. There are café facilities and a shop.
Full review once I have visited.
An landmark old flour mill on the southern bank of the River Tyne is now home to a modern art gallery known as the Baltic. The gallery doesn't seem to have a permanent collection of it's own but houses a variety of temporary exhibitions which means that what is on display at any time will change quite freqently. Even if you don't really want to see the art it's still worth a visit for the views from the restaurant at the top or from the lift. Admission is free.
This centre for contemporary art is housed in a converted flour mill on the riverside. The building and its surroundings are fabulous, but when I was there, the contents were not!
It had 1 floor with some paintings by Marioko Mori – nice enough. Another floor was taken up by installations (a wooden village!) by Yoshitomo Nara + graf. But that was it!
Good thing its free, but I did wonder if it was worth the 2 mile walk (round trip, that is) to get there!
It may have been a timing thing – according to the information leaflet, it has 4 new exhibitions starting 2 weeks after my visit.
Make sure you take in the viewing galleries on levels 4 & 5. Great views.
Open daily 10-18 (10.30-18 on Tuesdays).
This arts centre, on the Quayside, used to be a 1950's grain house and since it's opening in 2002 is now one of the biggest arts spaces in Europe. It has a changing exhibition every few months. There are five floors, the 5th floor being a viewing gallery with superb views of the River Tyne with it's bridges. There is also an external viewing gallery on the 4th floor, where we happened to witness the opening of the Millenium bridge from. You can then work your way down the other floors of art work. There is also a rooftop restaurant, but we didn't go up to see that.
Admission is free. Open Mon-Sun 10am-6pm. Thurs 10am-8pm
Newcastle's museum for contemporary art is in a spectacular quayside location, near the Millennium bridge. The building used to be a flour mill (as you can tell from the large “Baltic Flour” sign on the outside) but was converted into a museum in 2002.
The Baltic features 5 floors of temporary exhibits by different artists and during our visit these ranged from the bizarre to the downright weird, with one fantastically inventive display.
On the ground floor was a large display of stainless steel on a Japanese-restaurant-like conveyor. This was by the Indian artist Subodh Gupta and represented migration and travel.
A very strange “Dawn Chorus” followed on the next floor. In this, British artist Marcus Coates recorded a variety of birdsongs and played them back in a series of films showing humans in everyday situations mimicking the birdsongs. There was also a film showing the recording of the birdsongs by the artist.
The most impressive display was by Brazilian artist Vik Muniz., whose exhibition featured photographs of iconic images (and a few self portraits). The images were created using a variety of items including chocolate, ink, peanut-butter, sugar, glue, diamonds and caviar. Che Guevara was rendered in beans, Chairman Mao in chocolate, Marlene Dietrich in diamonds, Liz Taylor in cinnamon and spices and so on (see my extra pictures for some of these). It was a fantastic idea and very well executed.
Also popular in the Baltic are the lovely views from the outdoor lookout off the fourth floor and the fifth floor window. The Baltic overlooks the Tyne and offers great views over Newcastle, Gateshead and the river below. There is also a nice restaurant on the very top floor and a cheaper cafe downstairs. Admission is free.
Large contemporary art gallery on bank of the River Tyne. Admission is free, including lots of tours and talks, etc. The exhibitions change all the time. There are 2 restaurants and a cafe. The views over the river are wonderful. Open Monday - Sunday 1000 - 1800, Thursday 1000 - 2000.
On the fifth floor of the Baltic Centre, is a suspended viewing platform, from where you get good views of the river Tyne, the bridges, the Sage building, and of the Newcastle cityscape
Admission is free!
The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art is Britain's newest national art gallery and the largest of its kind outside London.
The building is a converted former flour mill set beside the River Tyne, next to the millenium Bridge. The building has restaurant, cafe, shop, and a viewing platform on the 5th floor.
The actual art is housed on several floors in an open plan layout. Although a litlle "contemporary" for my taste no doubt it will appeal to some.
A riverfront industrial building converted into an art gallery, adjoining a landmark bridge. Welcome to the 'Tate Modern of the North', the Baltic.
Both are bold architectural statements specialising in contemporary art and have helped to revitalise a rundown area, accessed by a stunning pedestrian bridge.
But in some ways the Baltic falls short in comparison. The gallery space in the old flour mill is surprisingly small, even tiny on some floors, and the lack of a permanent collection means the changing exhibitions can be hit-and-miss.
You'll also be disappointed by how little you see of the Tyne as the one observation platform is puny and the rooftop restaurant requires advance reservations.
However, you won't soon forget a ride in one of the three glass lifts that overlook the Sage and Tyne bridges.
Admission is free and the shop is excellent. Open daily 10-6 (till 8 on Thursdays).
Many column inches have been given to the former Baltic flour mill in Newcastle(Gateshead actually).
It has been transformed (a la Tate Modern) into a Modern art gallery as part of the regeneration of the dockside on the Tyne.
In terms of architecture it is a towering achievement, with the requiste numbers of brushed aluminium handrails and glass lifts for such a site.
If you have zero interest in modern art, then at least you can use the building (free) as a good vantage point to look out over the Tyne bridges.
If Modern art is your thing - then I'm sure you will make good use of the place. There appears to be no permanent collection - but rather 4 floors of temporary affairs (and they are the best sort)
A 1950's disused flour mill has had a multi-million pound makeover transforming it into this centre for Contemporary Visual Art - the lagrest outside of London. It has a fanatastic position right on the quayside and linked by the Gateshead Millenium Bridge. Several galleries to wander around here if you enjoy contemporary art and for those that don't the roof top restaurant is worth a look for its wonderful views over the quayside and all those bridges. A viewing terrace can be reached by lift - enlarge the pic and you'll see the glass surround at the top of the viewing platform.
Time was short and the weather too nice to be indoors looking at art but the view from the top of the viewing terrace was lovely - seeing all the bridges - and certainly the best view of the "Blinking Bridge" in my opinion.
Baltic, the former Baltic flour mills, is the Centre for Contemporary Art. There is no permanent exhibition, but so far (it opened in July 2002) many of the installations have been very popular. Perhaps the best well known was Antony Gormley's Domain Field, constructed on site by taking moulds of local volunteers, with visitors allowed to watch the sculptures being created from a viewing gallery. Strictly speaking it is in Gateshead but it's a short walk over the new Millennium Bridge from the Newcastle Quayside.
Even if there isn't anything on show that you fancy, it's worth going for a look as it is a dramatic part of the skyline in its own right, it is free to enter and there are great views of Newcastle from level 5. Even better are the views from the rooftop restaurant but a reservation is recommended if you want to eat there (I also recommend the food, but the menu, like the exhibitions, varies).