The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.
The building is a converted flour mill. The mill was built for the Rank Hovis company to a late-1030s design by architects Gelder and Kitchen and was completed in 1950. It closed in 1981. Dominic Williams converted the building into an arts centre and it opened to the public at midnight on Saturday 13 July 2002.
The centre stages temporary exhibitions. There are only two permanent exhibits, and the one above, is one of them. It's Blake in Gateshead (1966) by Jaume Plensa.
The artists' statement: 'Walking near the Tyne and thinking of Blake, I thought a new bridge was needed, a vertical bridge to bring us towards another kind of landscape. That landscape is above our heads and underneath our feet and maybe because it is too close or too far it is unattainable'.
We visited the library
And then we went up to the fifth floor, where we could look down to the fourth floor where the next exhibition which is opening on the 20th of November, was being set up.
Bill Murray: a story of Distance, Size and Sincerity by Brian Griffiths
The artist's statement: Bill Murray is always authentic. He is consistently Bill Murray. His singularity breaks into irreducible ambiguities and contradictions - Bill the global superstar, the guy-next-door, anti-brand brand, irrepressible lothario, dignified clown and droll philosopher. This exhibition will take these and many other characteristics as an approach, turning them into a fantasy caricatures and a poetic tableau of scaled down architecture and collections.
The artist setting the exhibition up
We then moved on to the viewing platform: the Tyne, Gateshead and Newcastle were in front of us
an excellent view of the Millennium bridge
as well as The Sage.
We then had a look at the second permanent exhibit of the Baltic. Heaven and Hell (2012) by Mark Wallinger
Two identical mirrors face each other from the top and base of the stairwell creating an infinitely steepled perspective. As Wallinger points out, a fear of heights is ultimately a fear of death. Look down into the void and the fall is endless, look up and the ascent would take forever.
The photograph above is looking down
The photographs do not convey the feeling of vertigo that was induced.