Platform A Gallery and Studios have successfully won a contract to manage a 12 month pilot scheme running a Skills Timebank for the Visual Arts Community in the Tees Valley. The scheme initiated by Turning Point North East will enable visual arts professionals to register on the database and swop skills using a non cash economy model. Platform Arts will be trained and mentored by Sue Ball (MAAP) and Sarah Spanton (Waymarking), who have been part of a similar pilot scheme in Leeds for the past 2.5 years.

The purpose of this scheme is to enable visual arts professionals to seek or develop skills and expertise that will assist them in their own continued professional development and career in a way that is sustainable.

More information will be posted soon on how to engage with the scheme.

A second pilot scheme will be launched on Tyneside in due course.

Symposium Number 2

Desired Futures #2: A Sense of Place
A Symposium organised by mima and Platform A
mima, Thursday 9 February 2012 5.30-7pm, FREE, booking required

This special event provides a forum for creative practitioners, researchers and educators to debate the issues around how art is made, exhibited, interpreted, and taught.

Featuring an expert panel including Sharon Bailey, founder member and Director of ISIS Arts, artist Kraig Wilson and a guest curator to be confirmed, Desired Futures #2 will be chaired by Jill Morgan, Assistant Dean Learning and Teaching, Teesside University. The symposium explores how artists' international experiences can be shared with other artists and audiences from our region, and how we can make a global impact in our work.

Booking required. RSVP BY 2 February, call mima reception on 01642 726720 or email your details to

mima’s car park is free after 4pm on this date. 


He may not have won the Northern Art Prize this year, losing out to Leo Fitzmaurice, but North East based artist Richard Rigg was voted the people's choice in the public vote. This vote of support and confidence is well deserved for Richard and he should be congratulated on his work which featured in the Northern Art Prize Exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery.

Richard is one of a number of artists featured in Turning Point North East's 11 for 2011 Artists Films series, which focuses on and celebrates artists living and working in the North East who are gaining national and international profile. If you want to see this film scroll down to see it on this site.

It has been a fantastic time for art in the Greater North this over the past four months and demonstrates that the North has so much to over in terms of contemporary art and is really leading the way in nuturing and supporting artists to establish their careers and in showcasing fantastic art.


As part of its commitment to Continuing Professional Development within the Visual Arts Sector, Turning Point North East is inviting Expressions of Interest from visual arts organisations and collectives in the North East interested in hosting a cash-free platform to facilitate skill and knowledge exchange for the wider visual arts sector.

 We are now looking to recruit and support the set-up of the first of what will be two  timebanks in the region. This first one being in the Tees Valley region.

 The Creative Timebank has been developed for the visual arts community and supports the ethics associated with the arts – flexibility, transparency, free-sharing of information, self-reflection and critique, and the production of alternatives – as part of its values. 

 The Creative Timebank is not a stop-gap measure; it is an ambitious project that accumulates trust and learning through the exchange of time as time credits amongst its extended network of members, which include designer makers, community artists, writers, digital media designers, museum curators and arts administrators. 

 It recognises the proven impact of community based timebanks and in the ethos of re-cycle, a pilot scheme was run in Yorkshire by MAAP to trial its potential for everyday use by individuals and organisations in the creative sector and its impact on members and the wider network. We are now looking to pilot two Creative Timebanks in the NE region in two phases, the first of which will be in Teesside.

 The  Host agency will be supported through a structured consultancy and offered a fee of £4000 to cover essential costs of the timebroker. We will be looking to work with agencies that can demonstrate how such a programme compliments or extends their programme, a legacy for the agency and visual arts network, and additional resources that they could bring to the Timebank.

 For further information on a Description for the Host and details on application requirements please click here.

For further Background information on Timebanks in general please click here

 Deadline for Expressions of Interest; 17th January 2012 17:00

All Applications to be sent via email to: 

Interview; 24th January 2012 (location to be confirmed)

Timebank Induction period; February 2012


 Emerging Artist Thomas Whittle is the latest artist to be profiled in the 11 for 2011 Artist films programme produced by Turning Point North East. A graduate of Newcastle University, Thomas is one of a number of young artists who collectively received a Turning Point North East Critical Dialogue Bursary to produce the first edition of Spectrum Almanac, a reflective publication featuring in depth conversations, critiques and and final exhibition that was held at New Bridge Street Studios and Gallery this year. Thomas and his peers continue to produce this magazine as a result of this initial investment and is now sold in a number of outlets across the North East. Click here to get further information on Thomas and his work.

Richard Rigg shortlisted for Northern Art Prize

Richard Rigg, an artist based in the North East of England has been shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize, which opened at Leeds Art Gallery this evening.

Richard Rigg’s sculptures reproduce and manipulate everyday objects, often inverting our understanding of the familiar and recognisable. At times playful yet contemplative, Rigg’s work challenges the viewer to question her/his assumptions and knowledge of commonplace objects such as a pair of telegraph poles and a piano tuned entirely to middle ‘C’.

His debut solo exhibition, Holography showed at Workplace Gallery, Gateshead in 2010 and he also has taken part in group shows at the Galleria Enrico Astuni, Bologna [2011] and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead [2010].

This film of Richard and his work is one of Turning Point North East's 11 for 2011 series which aims to profile emerging and established artists living and working in the North East who are gaining national and international recognition.

11 for 2011 ARTIST FILMS

11 for 2011 is a pilot programme of artists films featuring emerging and established contemporary artists in the North East gaining National and International recognition. The artists featured were shortlisted by the Critical Dialogue Working Group from a longlist of suggestions from the Turning Point Network.

These films are being filmed across the Autumn, 5 are now complete, all 11 should be finished by December. These films will be promoted on this website, our regional Contemporary Art listing site for the North East and on stakeholders's websites.

These films form part of our  work which focuses on promoting artists Nationally and Internationally who have been endorsed by a number of professionals in the field.

Details of all artists featured will go live in December when all films are complete, but in the meantime check out Richard Forster's film, the first one made in this programme. Richard currently has a solo show at Mima, Middlesbrough and has a forthcoming exhibition at the Flag Foundation in New York in January 2012. Richard is also represented by the Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh.


A review today in the Guardian by Alan Sykes demonstrates the value of in profiling contemporary art programming in the North East. Click here to read the profile. Turning Point North East will be monitoring the response to the site including hits and downloads to test and evaluate with National Turning Point Network evaluators Annabel Jackson Associates, the value of the website and App. Findings will be shared across the Turning Point Network.


Yesterday saw the launch of Turner Prize at Baltic, the first time it has been shown outside of a TATE venue and in the North. This was not only a proud moment for Baltic but also the region, with North  East galleries able to profile their own projects, exhibitions and programmes at a Media Lunch where the visual arts constituency and national press mingled informally.

We have alot to be proud of, Turning Point North East ran 5 of its artists films from their 11 for 2011 programme and distributed printed matter from the 3 critical dialogue bursary recipients Spectrum Almanac, 3 degrees of separation and

To coincide with this launch, leaflets promoting were distributed across the region, the website is also up and running and its  Iphone APP can now be downloaded from Apple to help you navigate the region and see the great range of contemporary art on offer across the North East.



As the Turner Prize comes to BALTIC, visitors to NewcastleGateshead will have the exciting chance to see what else is happening at other contemporary art venues around the region - one year old, the award-winning NewBridge Project now provides affordable studio space to over 60 visual artists. On 29th and 30th October, all five floors of the 29,000 sq ft building will be fully accessible offering the North East a fascinating view of what goes on behind the scenes at the studio and the opportunity to speak to the artists involved directly. 

By marking its first birthday during Turner Prize week, visitors to The NewBridge Project will be able to see other work made in the city and witness another important step in the evolution from office block to city centre art studios.


From 6pm on Saturday 29th the public are invited to explore the expansive studios and will be among the first to see a series of artist films commissioned by Turning Point North East which feature artists living and working regionally who are gaining National and International profile.  The films, made to co-inside with Turner Prize at BALTIC and part of a series entitled 11 for 2011  give an insight into the practice of 11 artists, including 3 based at NewBridge Studio. The preview will be fully licensed with refreshments served throughout. 

The NewBridge Project Open Studios will be free of charge and open on Saturday evening and all day on Sunday. For further information about the NewBridge Project and all of our events and exhibitions please have a look at our website


This Autumn sees the Turner Prize come to Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. This is the first time that the Prize has been shown in the North and outside of a TATE venue.

To coincide with the exhibition October 21st 2011 -January 8th 2012 Baltic has worked closely with the Turning Point North East Coordinator and the visual arts sector in general to produce content for a leaflet, website and Iphone App, developed by AXIS, that will allow the visiting public to access listings and information on exhibitions, events, artists talks and open studio events taking place across the North East.

The website will be up and running at the launch of Turner Prize.

Look for the leaflets that are to be distributed around the region at visual arts organisations in the North East or go to the website for further details. You can also find the App in the Iphone App store.



 CAS Tour to the Hepworth, Wakefield

It's been another great year for the Contemporary Art Society recruiting new members to the North East membership scheme at the NewcastleGateshead Art Fair. Rebecca Morrill, Head of Collector Development North East said 21 new members signed up taking the regional membership to 85. At a cost of £50 per year for individual members, the scheme offers real value for money and provides an exciting programme of events,talks and artist studio visits enabling members to gain a real understanding of contemporary art and how to go about collecting it.

Turning Point North East invested in Rebecca's role in collaboration with the CAS and Arts Council England and has found the regional partnership hugely beneficial  for visual arts organisations and individual artists building a new collective audience base for their work. This season's programme is fast becoming a sellout with demand for events outstripping the season before. At the Art Fair this year Rebecca's programme of talks on collecting prints were attended by over 100 people and a breakfast event in collaboration with The Sponsors Club for Arts&Business and Exceptional Networking drew over 50 people from the business community who individually also signed up as individual members.

For more information on the North East programme and how to join click here

Desired Futures Symposium at Mima, Middlesbrough

Desired Futures Symposium Edited Version from Julia Bell on Vimeo.

This symposium on September 15th 2011 was for creative practitioners, researchers, educators and those interested in changing and developing the cultural landscape in and across the region.

 In light of recent media focus on how the people of the Tees sub-region perceive themselves and their significant places, the symposium aimed to investigate how these perceptions could be developed and disseminated to create productive new potentials for art practices. 

 Desired Futures,  started with the panel presenting research by art practitioners, academics and curators that enriches the relationship between art and place, especially within global post-industrial contexts, looking at how our cultural identities rooted in specific places are connected to contemporary global issues.

The Panel

Kate Brindley, mima Director, Chair

Richard Forster, artist.

Jill Morgan, Assistant Dean, School of Arts and Media, Teesside University

Annie O’Donnell, Platform A artist and PhD researcher, Newcastle University

 Following the forum a robust discussions took place around how critically engaged art is made, exhibited and interpreted facilitating critical dialogue for those wishing to debate shifts in the production, teaching and curation of art.

 Event organised in collaboration with Platform A gallery, Turning Point North East, mima, & University of Teesside. Funded by Turning Point North East as part of its Critical Dialogue Programme.

Filmed by Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Archive Centre,

The link above leads to an edited version of the video. For the full unedited version click here where it can be seen on Baltic's archive.

International Artist Mobility Lab

Mobility Lab. Image by K.Ryniewicz
Here are our final recommendations following the TPNE Mobility of Visual Artists Lab that took place at Baltic on 9th/10th May in collaboration with ISIS Arts. This event brought people from across the UK and from Europe to discuss the issues surrounding artist mobility into the UK.
Click here to find out more about the Mobility Lab programme content and speakers
The revised and comprehensive Lab Primer including key documents and websites from the UK, Europe and beyond is a useful guide for anyone trying to navigate the world of artist mobility into the UK.
These documents were commissioned by Turning Point North East from International Artist Mobility expert Judith Staines who helped shape, contextualise and summarise the event, its recommendations and findings and produced the newly revised and up to date primer

 This is a timely distribution of information, as it aligns with recent press publicity that has been given from the letter written by Manick Govinda of ArtsAdmin that was accompanied by many impressive signatories in the Telegraph. Further coverage has continued in the press since. We hope to continue and develop our relationship with AN, VAGA, ArtsAdmin, Visiting Arts and support them in championing this cause to change the visa system introduced to manage migration into the United Kingdom. The current system often prevents visiting artists from entering the UK and we need the Government to understand the detrimental impact this is having on artists and programmers in the arts sector. We also hope to build on the relationship we have started to develop through this work with European Networks such as Culture Action Europe, IAA (International Artists Association) and IGBK (German Visual Arts Network.

We plan to keep you updated on this campaign so register your email on this site and we will keep you abreast of developments.

 Click here to download our Mobility Lab Recommendations document
Click Here to Download our Mobility Lab Primer


Desired Futures: Developing creative landscapes symposium
Discussion to create productive new potentials for art practices in Teesside and the North East.
15 September 2011
FREE, booking required
mima, Centre Square, Middlesbrough,TS1 2AZ

This symposium is for creative practitioners, researchers, educators or just those interested in changing and developing the cultural landscape in and across the region.

There will be presentations by the panel, Kate Brindley, mima Director, Richard Forster, artist, Jill Morgan, Assistant Dean, School of Arts and Media, Teesside University and Annie O’Donnell, artist and PhD researcher, Newcastle University, about how others have approached art and place especially within global post-industrial contexts. Followed by an open discussion forum facility for critical dialogue for those wishing to debate shifts in the production, teaching and curation of art particularly our region.

Booking required, RSVP by 1 September, call mima reception on 01642 726720 or email

Event organised in collaboration with Platform A gallery, Turning Point North East, mima, & University of Teesside.


Since the award of the bursaries the three initiatives, Chance Finds Us, Spectrum Almanac and 3 Degrees of Separation have been busy making progress with their projects. Several of these sites have gone live.

This has involved interviews with artists, studio visits and commissioned writings. Each initiative is slightly different, based on their original proposals to the Critical Dialogue Group and either weighted towards practical events and exchanges or commissioned new texts on their practice in magazine or in published book format.

Chance Finds Us ( led on by artists Nick Kennedy & Anne Vibeke Mou) 

Three Degrees of Separation (led on by artists Catherine Bertola & Jo Coupe)


Spectrum Almanac (led on by artists Sebastian Trend, Tom Whittle and Adam Hogarth)

These initial 3 are supported through the Critical Dialogue Bursaries but also a further two are being championed here.

CANNED  - new magazine (to be several issues) PopUp Initiative launch July 2011 (led on by artists Iris Priest & Rory Bidulph)

PLATFORM A Gallery  Middlesbrough 15 Sept 2011 seminar with Platform Arts/MIMA  and

Please track back to the site for news of further activities associated with the bursaries and for shared events in October 2011.



Bursary Announcements

Following a strong response to the call for Critical Bursary applications from the Critical Dialogue working group in November last year, over 16 applications were received from across the North East region.

All applications were scored by a cross regional visual arts panel down to six applications and then shortlisted further to a final three submissions with the support of an external assessor Rosalind Furness, Publications Editor of the Serpentine Gallery, London and former Frieze Yearbook editor. This process ensured that the full scope of the submissions were fully examined and discussed and ensured TPNE adopted a fair and thorough process. The three successful recipients were:

PACE – This is an artist-led project, involving a group of eight artists based in the North East region.The eight artists that constitute the group are, Sarah Bray, Alex Charrington, Rachael Clewlow, Peter J. Evans, James Hugonin, Nick Kennedy, Anne Vibeke Mou and Richard Rigg. The work of these artists is characterized by a particular rigour, resolve and pace, with its foundations in a systematic or ritualistic approach to making.The aim of this project is to examine the developing relationship between this group of artists and establish a forum for critical dialogue within the group. This will take place through collaboration with selected writers and curators and is expected to culminate in written text, blogs and the presentation of a future group exhibition.

Spectrum Almanac - Spectrum is a recently formed group of emerging artists that live and practice within Newcastle upon Tyne. The collective consists of four recent graduates: Adam Hogarth, Sebastian Trend, Thomas Whittle and Mike Pratt. The group is based at the New Bridge Space and Pop-Up studios, a recently formed artist studio and gallery in the hub of Newcastle city centre. The group are looking to engage critics and writers in discussions and critiques that will result in critical writing and online blogs about the work of the artists involved.

3 Degrees of Separation - The programme consists of three discussion events each one with a different focus, drawn from links the artists have identified in their own work. A different curator/writer will be invited to participate and respond to the work and conversations in each event, culminating in three new commissioned texts.

The selection of artists is based on the principle of degrees of separation. Rather than pre-determining a group of artists, this simple idea will be used as a way of initiating dialogues with artists outside existing networks and peers, as a way of broadening critical debate and establishing new connections between artists across the region.

Over the next two months the blog and website addresses associated with these three projects will be put up on the Turning Point North East website.


Alessandro Vincentelli

Chair critical dialogue group reports back......

In late November the Turning Point Critical dialogue group assembled a day seminar that looked at critical writing, commissioning writers and the experiences of both print and on-line initiatives, publications and journals. The intention was to inform thinking regarding the outlined plans of the north east critical dialogue group and its allocation of funds for this area of work in the coming year.

The invitations to speakers reflected the interests and suggestions from members of the group. The day was made up of short presentations and conversations from Sarah Lowndes, Rosemary Shirley (A-N Air), Coline Milliard (Catalogue Magazine), Martin Herbert (Writer and Critic) and Lucy Gibson (Axis).

A valuable opportunity for exchange and conversation, the day generated a good deal of discussion and reflection. Participants were able to look at the benefits of different structures and models, and importantly it was also a chance to take from the strengths of what exists here already within the North East.

Posted here is a a link to an update from artist, Karen Davies who observed the day and wrote up some notes in her own blog.

"Here's the link to where I blogged about the Critical Dialogues seminar so people can access it easily."

Summary CVs of the contributors & website links.

Sarah Lowndes

Dr Sarah Lowndes is a lecturer, curator and writer based in Glasgow. Lowndes lectures in the Historical and Critical Studies Department at Glasgow School of Art, where her research focuses on artist-led projects, interdisciplinary and performance-related practice and contemporary art. Her PhD analyzed concrete performance art in Southern California in the 1960’s and ‘70s, and she has contributed to Frieze, The Frieze Yearbook, Artforum, Art on Paper, Untitled, Circa, MAP, 2HB publications for CCA Glasgow, Spike Art Quarterlyand Afterall and to catalogues for international institutions.

Sarah has recently had her original publication Social Sculpture:  the rise of the Glasgow Art Scene (first published in 2003, now out of print) re-published by the Luath Press. (

Coline Milliard

Coline Milliard is an art writer based in London. She is UK Editor for Modern Painters and ARTINFO, London correspondent for art press, and a regular contributor to Art Monthly. She is also founding co-editor ofCatalogue, the first contemporary art magazine designed to act as a platform for interaction between the English and French-speaking art worlds (Read online: The 5th edition of Catalogue has just been issued. 

Coline has written for MAP, Artnet Magazine, Contemporary, Flash Art InternationalUntitled, Metropolis M,, Afterall Online, Numéro, Art Review and Art in America. She co-curated Zineb Sedira's first retrospective at the mac, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Marseille (November 2010-March 2011

Lucy Gibson

Lucy Gibson is an artist-curator based in West Yorkshire. She has worked for several years on projects which bring site and context responsive art works into the daily life of the city. Since graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 2000 she has developed a number of innovative independent projects. She has lectured in collaborative strategies and professional practice at Leeds College of Art and Design. She is currently Dialogue Editor at Axis (  developing interaction and participation with the website and commissioning new content for the webzine, whilst also continuing her freelance artistic and curatorial work.

Martin Herbert

Martin Herbert is a writer and critic based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He writes regularly on contemporary art for magazines including Artforum, frieze and Art Monthly, on books for the Daily Telegraph, and is associate editor at ArtReview.  He has written catalogue essays for institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, Tate Britain, and the Serpentine and Hayward Galleries, and on artists ranging from Rebecca Warren, Paola Pivi and Darren Almond to Barnaby Furnas. He has been a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths College, and European editor of Modern Painters. His monograph on Mark Wallinger will be published by Thames & Hudson in 2011. 

Rosemary Shirley

Rosemary Shirley is the online editor of Interface - a-n magazine's platform for new critical writing about art. She studied Fine Art at Winchester School of Art and MA Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths. She writes
regularly for a-n Magazine and has had work published in Contemporary, Circa and international publications such as Belgium based Context K. She teaches on the MA in Arts Management and Policy at Birkbeck, BA Art History at Goldsmiths and delivers lectures at universities around the UK. She is currently undertaking research at the University of Sussex for a Phd, looking at the non-metropolitan everyday and visual culture. 

Short list of websites that came up in the day: 

Catalogue Magazine set up by  Coline Milliard & Florence Ostende


Axis Web


A-N magazine and Interface


GI Festival

Urlibido and Le Drapeau Noir

Slash seconds: Peter Lewis and Graham Hibbert / Leeds Metroplitan University


Los Angeles 

East of Borneo – Tom Lawson  – ex LA art school  LA art scene/fiction


Art & Research Glasgow School of Art  GSA


Art Feast – North West and VAIL’s initiative



Skills Swop Audit event 18th November 2010

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) working group have been developing a system that could be implemented regionally within the visual arts sector to encourage the sharing of skills, knowledge and expertise. An IT skills bank would allow professionals to enter what skills they require which would then be matched against another professional who can provide training to that person. Based on a time bank model, the system would allow members to use credits to gain access to the wide base of skills and expertise that the sector has to offer in the North East region.

The CPD Working Group devised a skills audit sheet to test out on 25 members at an event in November at Baltic, in order to gain feedback on its effectiveness and where it needed amending and adding to. A diverse group of members attended and gave a robust and informative response to the proposal.

The group are now implementing changes to the audit as a result of feedback and plan to test the effectiveness of such an exchange on a small pilot group before considering the further investment on an IT system. This initial testing is to take place in February/March of 2011, If you would like to be involved in the pilot group testing this programme please get in touch with Julia Bell, TPNE Co-ordinator.