Art and birds at Baltic

It’s been a little while since I went to Baltic, so having a friend in town provided the perfect excuse.

They have a range of shows on, as always, and something to appeal to most tastes. Survey was a mix of pieces by early career artists and, as ever in these big shows, some buts were more to my taste than others, but having them all in one space was an interesting experience (runs till 29 Sep).

I had to skip John Akomfrah’s Ballasts to Memory – I was recovering from a migraine and one look at the screens felt like it would set me off again – but it looks worth checking out. I was very taken with Ifeoma U. Anyaeji’s Ezuhu ezu – In(complete). A Nigerian artist heavily influenced by the culture of her country, she combines traditional craft methods and modern materials in witty, clever ways, and though I admit I know little to nothing about contemporary sculpture, the show – her first solo piece in the UK – really charmed me. It runs till Sep 22.

Another show that won me over was Mick Peter’s To Me, To You, a 3D installation that felt like walking through a comic strip, in the best way. (Be sure to peak through the window at the end of the show for the ‘punchline’). This is on till 27 October.

Perhaps best of all though was the sight from the 4th floor viewing platform – the kittiwakes! Newcastle’s kittiwake population is unusual for being so inland, and for nesting on urban structures, and to see a row of them lined up so neatly, preening and sleeping, was a genuine treat that my photos don’t do justice.

Entry to Baltic is free – though donations are suggested and you can even text to support the kittiwakes – though good luck getting out without spending some money in the cafe or their fantastic gift shop.

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