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.
On arrival in Newcastle we headed for the Gateshead Quayside - a wonderful regeneration of the old docks here - much like the project of Salford Docks. The contemporary Baltic Art centre and Gateshead Millenium Bridge are complimented by many sculptures seen along the Tyne. This one here with, hubby Dave and Steve at its base, was one such unusual artworks, entitled the Blacksmith's Needle. There are six layers to the 'Needle' and the objects are themed within each, according to a bodily sense.
There is a whole series of sculptures and artwork in the area - indeed its the largest programme of public art in the UK and was financed from the National Lottery Fund.
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cycle bridge spanning the River Tyne in England between Gateshead on the south bank, and Newcastle upon Tyne on the north bank. The award-winning structure was conceived by architects Wilkinson Eyre, with structural engineers Gifford.
The bridge was lifted into place in one piece by the Asian Hercules II, one of the world's largest floating cranes, on 20 November 2000. It was opened to the public on 17 September 2001. The bridge, which cost £22m to build, was part funded by the Millennium Commission and European Regional Development Fund.
Already acclaimed worldwide for its physical and aesthetic beauty, it has fast become a significant tourist attraction in its own right.
Minuscule hydraulic rams, one on each side, tilt the bridge back on special pivots to allow small ships and boats to pass underneath. Its appearance during this manoeuvre has led to it being nicknamed the Blinking Eye Bridge.
The bridge has operated reliably since construction, opening to allow river traffic to pass. It also opens periodically for sightseers and for major events such as the Northumbrian Water University Boat Race and the Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Race. Its reputation was untarnished until October 2004 when the failure of a £200 GBP circuit board prevented the bridge from opening.
The construction of the bridge won the architects Wilkinson Eyre the 2002 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize. In so doing they became the first, and so far the only, firm of architects to retain British architecture's most prestigious prize - after winning the prize in 2001 for the Magna Science Adventure Centre. In 2005, the bridge received the Outstanding Structure Award from IABSE (International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering
Costs: GBP £22 million
Weight: 850 tons
Height: 50 m
Width: 126 m
Opens in: 270 seconds
As you walk along by the Tyne look out for the many pieces of public art here. The piece in my photo is River Tyne by Neil Talbot which is a relief depicting thirty miles of the course of the Tyne carved on a sandstone wall by the Wesley Memorial Fountain (near the Law Courts). The Tyne is shown as a map with various views from along the river’s course realistically carved to a relief with a maximum depth of a centimetre. The work is 30 metres in length, and it’s fun to follow the river’s course on it and spot the well-known landmarks.
Other pieces near here include the River God, a male figure with a torso and head, and holding a staff and chain, on top of a steel column. The work is set on the roundabout at the centre of East Quayside, near the Malmaison Hotel.
The provision of public art along the quayside in Newcastle was one of the largest programmes of public art in the UK and was financed by a £3.5m National Lottery grant and money from the public and private sectors. While walking along the quayside to the right of the Millenium bridge on the Newcastle side, I saw a couple of pieces of public art that caught my interest, the first being the Swirle Pavillion, created in 1998. It has the names of several European ports on the inside that were regularly visited by shipping coming from the Tyne.
This piece of artwork called the Blacksmith's needle caught my eye. It was created in 1996. It is made up of six sections, five representing each of the five senses and the last, the 'sixth' sense. You can find it if you turn right after coming from the Millenium bridge and walk along the quayside, it is on your left.
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.
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.
This is also a good place to go for a meal. In addition to the usual self-service cafe you find in such places there's a very good restaurant on the first floor with good views of the river and an excellent menu (though I've found the service a little slow here on both occasions I've visited) and a smart restaurant on the top floor which I've heard is really good too.
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. And best of all, it's free!
On the Newcastle side of the Millenium Bridge, is the river god, a bonze figur on a steel column, which overlooks the tyne. It was commisioned from Andre Wallace in 1996 .
The River God is a male figure with a torso and head only. He sits on top of a steel column apparently blowing at the "Siren". The figure is patinated brown and holds a staff and chain.
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.
When you have the time, stroll along the Quay side both on the Newcastle and Gateshead side. If you can, stop by the Sage Gateshead and have a look around, its a great structure and very interesting from the inside as well as the outside.