David and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a visit to Gateshead. We were on holiday in north Cumbria and drove the length of Hadrian’s Wall to Newcastle and then made our way to the Baltic Mill, thanking the sat nav for getting us there without matrimonial break up.
We enjoyed a gourmet lunch on the top floor, with sweeping views of Newcastle and the Quays and then made our way slowly down, taking in the Thomas Scheibtz and Heather Phillipson exhibitions on the way.
Scheibtz is a leading German artist and this exhibition retraces the development of his career with a particular focus on the human figure. His abstract canvases are largescale, colourful and very vibrant – very orange! They are also rather a lot to take in after a good lunch… There were a great many of the artist’s source sketches and I found these as interesting as the canvases as I’m finally gaining an appreciation of the fact that creating a work of art is a process that starts with the exploration of ideas and experimentation.
Phillipson’s video installations, housed in bizarre structures she has created and a car, were altogether more playful and fun…and very pink!
Next time I’ll visit the exhibitions before lunch and write something more enlightening …
Angel of the North
Guided by the sat nav, rather than divine intervention, we then made our way to see Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North. I’d seen it before from a train but the experience close up is quite different. It has a grace I hadn’t expected. The lines of the body, modelled on Gormley’s own and created from ribbed, perfectly rusting steel, are truly beautiful.
The Angel looks about to step forward and stride across the countryside. It’s also fascinating to watch how people interact with a sculpture that is as high as four double-decker buses. It was well worth the visit and we were lucky to have a dramatic sky to enhance the experience.