Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

Install shot of exhibiton Crab Walk
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Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art presents changing exhibitions of new work by emerging and established artists from the UK and abroad, bringing key new works of art of our time to new audiences. The gallery runs a programme of talks, tours, education activities, workshops and artists residencies, providing a range of different opportunities for people to engage with the visual arts in an imaginative and inspiring way.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art is currently relocating to the University of Sunderland, where we will open a new gallery space in 2017.

Admission charges


Collection details

Architecture, Design, Fine Art, Photography

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Two images of trees - one is a hand drawing by Annibale Carracci, one is a computer generated graphic by Kelly Richardson.

A Scientific Encounter: On Interobjectivity

  • 20 April — 24 May 2017 *on now

At Montpellier University medieval medical libraries: 2 rue de l’École de Médecine, 34000 Montpellier

Artists: Murray Ballard, Baccio Bandinelli, Irene Brown, Keith Brown, Daniel Brown, Jan Breughel, Annibale Carracci, Bettina Dittlmann, Elpida Hazdi-Vasileva, Nadia Lichtig, Rosalind McLachlan, Kelly Richardson, Richard Talbot, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Wolfgang Weileder

“Art is something that seemingly lets us see the ‘impossible depth of objects’ ”.
Graham Harman, (2005) Guerilla Metaphysics, Peru IK: Open Court, p105

This exhibition of international artists from Germany, France, Canada, Macedonia and the UK examines how we see the world through objects, and how objects act upon us. The show takes the anthropologist of science Bruno Latour’s idea of how objects interact and act on the world as its starting point – an idea he has labelled “interobjectivity”.

The exhibition is staged in the historic buildings of Montpellier University’s original libraries, and draws on three hundred years of collecting by the institution. Montpellier was one of the first universities in the world to pioneer modern medical sciences, and this exhibition pairs eleven artists with objects from its extraordinary collections of early-modern medical artefacts, natural history collections – and European Old Master drawings. Accordingly the exhibition provides a unique chance to view seldom-seen works by some of the most celebrated artists of all time, including Breughel and Tiepolo. The result is an experiment in what anthropologist Arjun Appadurai has called “the social lives of objects”. It includes, for example, one of the very first independent drawings of landscape by Annibale Carracci, shown alongside a photorealist image of an imagined future landscape, covered with four billion computer-created crystals, sculpted digitally: one for every alternate species on the planet.

Created in partnership with Montpellier University, Newcastle University, Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Montpellier Agglomération, and La Panacée: Centre de culture contemporaine, Montpellier.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Montpellier University medieval medical libraries
2 rue de l’École de Médecine
34000 Montpellier, FRANCE

Norman Chapel

Simon Martin - Special Event

  • 5 May 2017 10am-9pm

Simon Martin’s works have been described by the New York Times as “masterpieces of poetic discretion”. His career has included showing with White Columns, New York, and acquisitions for the permanent collections of Tate and the Arts Council. The common denominator across his diverse forms of work is the question of what value we attribute to the experience of art, and to its objects. Often Martin makes use of either techniques of appropriation, or of media that escape commodification. For the last three years he has made sound works that can only be experienced rather than owned, and are experienced in particular spaces.

These works are made with the digital technologies used to create electronic music, and they share in its forms. The work takes its cue from the rich history of both experimental electroacoustic music and contemporary dance culture. Over a set period of time individual rhythmical motifs undergo subtle modulations, heightening our perception of the ‘space of sound’ by drawing us into listening ever more carefully, and more intensely.

Martin’s new works are made in response to the acoustics and histories of particular spaces. The first is created for the Norman Chapel in Durham Castle, constructed in 1080. Now part of University College, Durham University, it is the city’s oldest building and part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Martin advocates what he has described as ‘critical listening’ as a way of navigating the built environment. This might include all forms of available aurality, at once traditionally revered composition and the everyday noise of the city.

At a time when digital media offers a flood of instant content, distributing our attention across ‘virtual space’, Martin’s use of it runs in a counter-direction, asking us to be present. His quadrophonic work makes us conscious of the strange presence and tangibility of sound: its thickness, texture, and its occupation of space. The second of his new pieces is shown in an oddly intense and claustrophobic circulation space in Trevelyan College. Trevelyan is an astonishing complex of hexagonal modernist buildings, whose 1960s ideal geometries were similarly intended to unify its inhabitants, creating an imagined community. These two works offer new ways of seeing the city and its histories.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art is Currently Relocating

  • 1 November 2016 — 1 September 2017 *on now

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art is currently relocating to the University of Sunderland, where we will open a new gallery space in 2017.

During this time we are hosting a series of off-site events and exhibitions across North-East England and further afield. Please see the exhibitions page of our website for details:

We are also working to create a new collection of contemporary art, in partnership with National Glass Centre, with the support of University of Sunderland, Arts Council England, Sunderland City Council and other partners.

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
c/o The National Glass Centre
Liberty Way
Tyne and Wear




Alistair Robinson, Programme Director

Kathryn Brame, Engagement & Development Manager


0191 515 5555

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.