Baltic Gallery & Quayside art, Newcastle upon Tyne
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
After the Tate Modern in London, this the biggest modern art exhibition centre in England. It is in a refurbished flower mill on the river Tyne. It hosts many interesting installations, which rotate quite often. It is not only a pace to exhibit but also a place to create art. In fact it is like a big art factory. The entrance is free and once you get to the top you can also admire several famous bridges and a panorama of Newcastle/Gateshead.
Recently voted the top city to visit in England by Guardian/Observer readers.
This area of Newcastle is undergoing massive investment and transformation, to the tune of some 11 billion Euros over a period of 10 years.
Baltic is a major venue for contemporary art, having no permanent collection, instead presenting an ever changing, often thought provoking, programme of exhibits.
FREE to enter. Check out the award winning restaurant at the top of the Baltic, with fantastic views up the river.
Also shown is the multi-award winning Millennium Bridge with its world first unique tilting design. Known locally as the "blinking eye" for its eye-lid like design and movement, when it opens don't blink, or you might miss it!
The old Baltic Flour Mill in Gateshead (=South bank of river Tyne) was turned into an art museum not too long ago.
It's free (as usual in England! Love it), it's huge and it's a great museum with changing exhibitions.
There's a public viewing terrace with great views of the river and nice reflection of the bridges in the windows.
There are five funny signs outside the BALTIC. As I love sign I had to take pictures of each of them of course. They are in a travelogue on this page.
Don't ask me why they are there, I guess it's some art project. I just loved them :)
At Quayside close to Millennium bridge there are many fancy sculptures and modern bars and buildings. There even were some little areas where you could eat and drink outside - something which unfortunately isn't very common in England. A nice place for a walk!
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.
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.
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)
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.
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!