Wednesday 4 October 2023

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art - Gateshead.

 When we lived in the North East we had obviously heard of The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle but we never thought about visiting. I don't know why? Maybe we thought it was too posh or you had to pay to get in and why would we do that when the Discovery Museum and the Great North Museum were free. Whatever reasons we had the Baltic wasn't even on our radar until we visited at the end of August. We were walking down the Quayside and over the Gateshead Millennium Bridge when we saw all the signs saying the Baltic was free entry so we thought why not.

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Housed in a historic, renovated flour mill on the Gateshead bank of the River Tyne The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art presents an ever changing calendar of dynamic, diverse & international contemporary visual art exhibitions and events. Also houses the Baltic Shop, a community cafe & cafe bar, library & archive and Six rooftop restaurant.

Spread over I think 6 floors there is something for everyone to look at.

Michael Rakowitz: The Waiting Gardens of the North.

Michael Rakowitz: The Waiting Gardens of the North

The The Waiting Gardens of the North by renowned Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz is a work of homage to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Working with local artists and community groups, Rakowitz has transformed a floor of the Baltic gallery in Gateshead into “an immersive environment of trees, hedges and herbs. It really is amazing, stunning to look at and smell too. Over the time that that the installation runs until May 2024 the whole exhibition is going to keep growing and become more alive.

The Waiting Gardens of the North

The Waiting Gardens of the North features trees, plants, flowers, and herbs requested by the local community of migrants, who miss aspects of their home landscapes, and wish to make them take root, whilst they wait, hopefully, to take root themselves. A hanging garden for lives hanging in the balance.

A Visual Story: Larry Achiampong, Wayfinder

A Visual Story: Larry Achiampong, Wayfinder

Baltic presents the first major solo exhibition by artist Larry Achiampong. Working in film, sculpture, installation, sound, collage, music and performance, Achiampong draws on his shared and personal heritage to explore class, gender, the intersection between popular culture and the residues of colonisation. His work examines digital identities and constructions of ‘the self’, offering multiple perspectives that reveal the deeply entrenched inequalities in our society.

A Visual Story: Larry Achiampong

The exhibition includes the commissioned feature length film Wayfinder which follows a young girl’s intrepid journey across England, from Hadrian’s Wall in the North to Margate in the South and the people and places she encounters. Set in a pandemic, Achiampong’s most ambitious film to date considers class and economic exclusion, belonging and displacement, cultural heritage and the meaning of home. 

There are several rooms to see which include things from this exhibition, they really are thought provoking and sometimes a little shocking.


Larry Achiampong - Gaming Room.

The games in this room were chosen to take you on a journey, to travel and to wayfind, across multiple landscapes and virtual dimensions. In one way or another, through visual, audible, play based tendencies and more.

Gaming room

In this space, you’ll be able to play the following: Metal Gear Solid, Donkey Kong Country, Super Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, ICO Shadow of the Colossus, Heart of Darkness, Gris, Streets of Rage 4, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, Wonderboy: The Dragon’s Trap, Journey and Double Dash.

My girls thought this space was amazing! They hadn't seen some of the really old TV's before or gaming systems. It sure did make me feel old though. It was a nice spot to have a sit while the girls played.

Chris Killip, retrospective.

Chris Killip, retrospective.

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead is pleased to present a full career retrospective of work by one of the UK’s most important and influential post war documentary photographers, Chris Killip (1946-2020). Located on the ground floor the retrospective exhibition of more than 150 works serves as the most comprehensive survey of the photographer's work to date. 

I thought this was fascinating, it might not have been as eye catching or had the wow factor as some of the other displays but it was so interesting as it was just real life!

There was so much more that we saw at The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and their exhibitions are always changing. It's well worth a visit. It is open Wednesday through to Sunday, 10am until 6pm.

Have you been to the Baltic before?


  1. We do love visiting places like this, wish it was nearer to where we live

  2. Wow, this looks so cool!

  3. I love visiting museums and this one does sound so interesting. The exhibitions look very thought provoking.