Tag Archives: display

Quayside & Baltic Mill Contemporary Art Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne UK

The temperatures are still distinctly wintery and the air was full of rain and delicate snow flurries on Sunday. But one of the places on our things-to-do list for Newcastle was a visit to the Baltic Mill Contemporary Art Centre. We also wanted a chance to see the architecture of the buildings and bridges along the Quayside since we had heard so many positive things about that area.

We drove to the closest Park-and-Ride area for the Metro and just sat and watched the stations go by as we travelled from one part of Newcastle into the heart of the city.


On board the Metro in Newcastle Upon Tyne UK


Gateshead Station for the Metro in Newcastle Upon Tyne


Emerging at the Gateshead Station, we took the escalators up the surface and braved a very cold and blustery walk past the lovely Tyne Bridge which looks like a miniature of the Sydney Harbour Bridge because it was built by English firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd, of Middlesbrough, the same contractors who built the many-times-larger bridge in Australia.


Tyne Bridge in Newcastle Upon Tyne UK


15 minutes of walking-against-the-wind later, we arrived at the The Sage Gateshead, a spectacularly funky and shiny and contemporary building that houses everything from concert halls to music studios to cafes and gift shops and more. The place was buzzing with activity on that cold winter day as people mixed and mingled, ate and drank, relaxed in the warmth. Just take a look at all of the upcoming events by clicking on the link above.


The Sage Gateshead centre for the arts and music on the Quayside in Newcastle Upon Tyne UK


Walking through the building to the east facade entry, we saw the re-purposed historical building that houses the Baltic Mill Contemporary Art Centre. in the near distance and traversed the levels of stairs down toward the waterfront setting.


Baltic Mill Contemporary Art Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne UK


We had such high hopes — truly — but our favourite parts of this museum ended up being the cafe and the gift shop — and that’s a sad statement. We knew full well that this was a small museum and could not be compared to the many major urban museums we have seen all over Europe for the last 2-1/2 years. But we certainly had expected more and both left feeling quite disappointed by the visit. The exhibits currently on offer were simply bland and odd and, in several cases, quite dated — not in a good way. I wasn’t allowed to take any photos inside so I can’t let you judge for yourselves. For us, it was all too-little and too-uncritically-examined and we both had a sense of been-there-seen-that a long time ago. Ah well — at least the admission was free!

The best thing about the Baltic Mill for us was the viewing platform on the 5th level which has simply splendid look-outs over the Quayside area and the juxtaposition of old bridge, new bridge, old buildings, new buildings and all tied up with the pretty ribbon of the Tyne snaking its watery way through the middle.

View of Quayside in Newcastle Upon Tyne from viewing platform at Baltic Mill Contemporary Art Centre with Sage Gatehead, Tyne Bridge, and Millennium Bridge.


Come back soon for more photos and articles about Newcastle including one on the small but elegant Laing Art Gallery.

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Photo: Historical Fortune Teller in Barcelona

Whilst wandering through an exhibit in Barcelona’s wonderful CCCB — Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona — we happened upon this benign-looking but eerie-feeling display.

The exhibit concerned life in the El Parallel district from the 1890s through the 1930s. This fortune telling machine was used during that period by inserting a coin and then waiting for the paper prediction to appear in one of the doors that open at the bottom.

A very pretty but eerie-feeling fortune telling machine from the early 1900s in Barcelona, Spain.

A similar fortune telling head was a pivotal element of the 1988 movie “Big” with Tom Hanks. The scary-looking male fortune telling doll in that movie granted the boy in the story a wish and he was able to become a grown man overnight.

She has a lovely face — I certainly acknowledge that — but she also gives off an odd energy and although I was completely alone as I took my photos, the entire very empty room was full of that edgy energy. I waited for Mark to come into the room to see what his reaction was and I asked him if he knew what it was. “Yep!” was the very short reply as he exited the room hastily. Hmmmmm!!!

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Vintage World War II Poster: Do The Job

A simple and gorgeous World War II poster recruiting women to enter the work force and do the jobs that the men had left behind when they went off to fight the war overseas.

This is on display at the Caen Memorial Museum in Normandy, France.

Vintage World War II poster recruiting women into the factories

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Photo Break – The White Car Eco-Initiative in Amsterdam

The White Car — an Amsterdam initiative from the 1960s through late 1970s designed to lessen traffic congestion by reducing the number of private cars in the city centre. According to the write up at the Amsterdam Historisch Museum, this was a “playful yet serious response to this problem.”

Members of the White Car Association could rent one of the cars at stations which were scattered throughout the city.

This 1960s version of a ‘car’ may not be particularly attractive, but it is very similar to the ‘green car memberships’ which exist in many larger cities around the world today. Funny little thing — isn’t it?

The White Car: a 1960s Amsterdam Eco-initiative

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