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Creative Quarter Block Party

The creative and cultural organisations of Pilgrim Street, Market Street and New Bridge Street West open late for a special block party on the 29th January.

Date: Friday, January 29, 2016, 7:00 pm
Venue: Pilgrim Street, Market Street & New Bridge Street West

Within the confines of just 1 city centre block, 20 organisations and dozens of artists are coming together to showcase the creative work housed in the East Pilgrim Street area. From theatre companies such as Alphabetti Theatre, to art galleries like The NewBridge Project, and community venues such as ¡VAMOS! Social, this quarter of the city centre has become a vibrant hub for artistic and cultural organisations, experienced by many thousands of people over the past few years.

East Pilgrim Street, once the “gateway to Newcastle”, had fallen into disuse over the past decade. Both loved and hated buildings such as the Odeon Cinema and Commercial Union house have become commercially uninhabitable whilst awaiting demolition as part of the East Pilgrim Street regeneration project, which will eventually feature shops, offices, accommodation and leisure facilities. Owned by the Reuben Brothers, one of the most successful property developers in the country, the area will eventually become on the largest development projects that Newcastle has seen in many decades.

Whilst the area is awaiting redevelopment, many of the empty buildings have been occupied by cultural organisations and house a diverse range of arts, education and social enterprises. This has taken the area from an empty boarded up shell to a populated cultural draw with a high density of some the city’s oldest and newest arts producers.

On the 29th January the venues and organisations of the Creative Quarter will be opening their doors late to create a block party with a vast array of culture on offer, all for free. The evening kicks off at 7pm and comes to a close at ¡VAMOS! Social for late night music and dancing. Highlights include music from Haythem and Yoko Pwno at Alphabetti Theatre, the opening of a new second installation by Gareth Hudson as part of his extremely popular series at The Globe Gallery, a video game workshop by local developers Nosebleed Interactive at Bamburgh House, dance company FRESH North East launching their new brand Moving Art Management at Space Six and the opening of a group exhibition of local and international artists who have worked in the East Pilgrim Street area over the past year at Abject Gallery.

With such a tight footprint, the free arts and culture on offer for the evening within just 3 streets will mean visitors can experience some of the best and most diverse the city has to offer with no more than a few steps door to door.

Participating organisation include:

Experimental Studio
7pm - 11pm

The Experimental Studio was founded in 2014 by Breeze Creatives in an attempt to increase the availability of time for artists to play, experiment, reflect, and take the pressure off their usual studio practice. Applicants to this project were not expected to anything at all with their time, the usual pressure of residency programmes wherein artists propose a tight schedule for work was removed and we expected only that artists would enjoy their time to be creative, do as much or as little as they pleased.

Applicants varied, from location, country of residence and practice. This show acts as a document of the time that they had to simply experiment.

The residency was split down into three groups of two artists with a ten week access period to a studio, what they did or didn’t do there was completely up to them. Artists from Newcastle enjoyed this experimental period alongside artists from the US and Turkey.

This show is a document of their work, one year to the date, artists featured are:

Simon Farid:
“I make work about the relationships between administrative, social and bodily identities, interrogating the political and bureaucratic systems that attempt to regulate, codify and enforce these relationships. In doing this I am attempting to explore, enact and provoke a range of questions about identity systems, where and how they manifest as oppressive tools and examining the possibilities that the use of subversive and alternative identity practices can offer in terms of progressive political tactics”.

Kirsty Harris:
Harris’s most recent short film continuously loops a naval officer sporting black out goggles, waiting for a nuclear explosion at Bikini Atoll in 1946. He chews nervously while the paradisiac sun perpetually casts a moving shadow up and down his face and the breeze beats the shirt collar against his neck. Time passes but, in the video, the explosion never comes.

Constance Humphries:
Ren Butoh is instigated by Constance Humphries, an artist and educator who works with Butoh dance, performance, video, sound and costume to create works and workshops which explore the political, spiritual and psychological potential of the self while challenging the perception of self.

Mehr Javed

Çiğdem Menteşoğlu:
In this project the balloon is used as a metaphor for our tools of emotional self-control. It visualizes the point at which self-control is lost, overcome by the internal pressures of mundane crises, and thus conveys the otherwise invisible border between social and emotional behavior.

Jasper Weinstein Sheffield:
Jasper Weinstein Sheffield’s work engages with the use of landscape as a socio-political tool. Born in Somerset, he relocated to Newcastle upon Tyne and graduated from Northumbria University in 2013 with a First Class BA Hons in Fine Art. Since graduating he was awarded the 2013/14 Northumbria University Graduate Fellowship (Sculpture) and was selected to maintain a curatorial role in managing the University’s project space.

In addition to these posts, Weinstein Sheffield has sustained an active studio practice, exhibiting across the northeast and further afield in Scotland and London.

Since being selected for the Experimental Studio in winter 2014, he was selected as a finalist in the Xerxes Sculpture Prize 2015 and currently lives and works in Brighton.

Preview event Friday 29th January, 7pm - 11pm, with live experimental music and refreshments.

The exhibition continues 30 January - 27 February, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, 12pm - 5pm.

Venue: 8th Floor, Bamburgh House, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BH

Abject Gallery

Come explore, dance and have a great night on Friday 29th January with Alphabetti as we play host to some brilliant musical artists who mix genres experiment with styles and always entertain. The Artists:

Haythem Mohamed’s slap-funk melodic guitar beats mixed with banter and storytelling never disappoint, but tonight you’ll see him as never before. The man and his guitar will be joined by the rest of his array of electronic toys that make noise to deliver a pumping set of original, dance/acoustic inspired tunes. He may even have a guest or two with him.

Yoko Pwno
Yoko Pwno expertly mix downbeat electronica and dance with the melodies and vibe of traditional Scottish music. Calum, Dan, Izzy and Lewis have been making waves on Scotland’s club scene for the past two years with a show combining live elements with sequenced drumbeats and basslines aimed squarely at the dancefloor. Yoko Pwno aim to take the traditional music they grew up listening to and update it for modern venues and audiences. Their productions deftly reference a broad swathe of contemporary music from electronic acts such as Four Tet and Orbital to hip hop producers such as J Dilla or DJ Premier. Key influences also include Scottish acts like Martyn Bennett and Shooglenifty.

Alphabetti Theatre is based in Newcastle upon Tyne and was formed by Ali Pritchard and is currently the only independent theatre in the city. They create, produce and program new original work from emerging artists across the performing arts. The intimate performance space plays host to music, comedy, poetry and theatre is a place for artists to experiment, evolve and discover excellence. Hidden in a basement of an old office block it’s complete with its own bar is open from 11am – 11pm Monday to Saturday and is one of the best kept secrets in Newcastle. Alphabetti champions fringe culture, developing high quality, professional productions in the grassroots; growing new audiences and artists alike.

When: Friday 29th January 2016
Music Begins: 19:30
Bar Closes: 23:00
Tickets: FREE
Age Recommendation: 12+

Venue: Alphabetti Theatre, The Basement, 18 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AW

Press Contact Ali Pritchard- Turn on Javascript! +44 (0)7584319605
Landline 0191 261 5906
Social Media

Founded by disabled people in 1991 to address the inequality of disabled people in arts and culture, Arcadea is a user led organisation of Disabled People based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

We work to create equality of opportunity in arts and culture for disabled people in the North East of England. We do this by supporting and promoting the work of disabled artists, by enabling and facilitating disabled people to access all aspects of the arts, by assisting cultural venues to become inclusive and by presenting a programme of arts and cultural activity.

Venue: 2nd Floor, Commercial Union House, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE


B&D Studios aim to support a variety of creative graduates wanting to base themselves in the North East. The hope is to mix a diverse range of creative skills, whilst offering a variety of workshops for different youth groups in the area.

The combination of genres that B&D Studios will focus on are Painting, Sculpting, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Performance, Printmaking, Photography, Set Design, Animation and Film-making.

As a group B&D Studios believe it’s beneficial to mix creative types and not split them into categories. All of the group members have been chosen for their drive, determination and passion. B&D Studios are interested in a more diverse approach to studio practice and believe there are many exciting benefits to a group with varying skills. We also realise that the building is in an ideal location to do this as it is surrounded by other creative activities.

On the 29th of January B&D STUDIOS will be opening up its doors to the public at 7pm for yet another wild exciting evening as part of Block Party.

Showing in the B&D Gallery will be ‘Scarlet Fever’ by Darin Lambton a feast of red head beauties (and the occasional bombshell) on canvas - “Ive always loved to paint redheads more than any other. It is such a warm colour and I find red hair adds a touch of class to the image.”

Music, supplied via Antony Daly (Slippery People, Suono, Reverb). The owner of 586 Records, will also have a pop up store, selling vinyl, cherry picked from his shop.

And the majority of our members will be allowing YOU into their studios to have a look at what they do! Be it: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Venue: 3rd Floor, Commercial Union House, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE

B&D Studios

Broadacre House is the home for charities, social action and creativity in the heart of Newcastle. It is a unique space blending working for positive social change with a creative thread and a collaborative way of working. Broadacre House is a meanwhile (temporary) project, turning an empty office block into a thriving community space.

Venue: Broadacre House, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6HQ

Broadacre House

The aim of the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is to create an exciting and meaningful experience through immersion in a range of activities which nurture students existing abilities, introduce them to new skills, techniques, and ways of seeing the world. Students will develop high levels of critical thinking and creative interpretation. Through our work with Breeze Creatives we are able to offer students a unique opportunity to gain real insight and experience within the Creative sector while studying on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Partnership working with local Universities, Museums and Galleries will also ensure that learners are at the forefront of what is happening within the Art and Design sector giving them a distinct advantage with UCAS and University applications. Initially, students explore the main approaches and processes intrinsic to art, design and communication (including fine art, fashion, textiles, graphics, photography, video and 3D among many others) alongside a programme of drawing and investigation of contemporary art and design. This is followed by a concentrated period of focused work within the students own choice of specialism during which students are thoroughly supported and guided through their UCAS applications by dedicated, specialist tutors.

Venue: 4th Floor, Bamburgh House, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BH


As we welcome in 2016 Globe Gallery are delighted to be taking part in the Newcastle Creative Quarter Block Party. 19 organisations occupying venues in New Bridge Street West, Pilgrim Street and Market Street are opening their doors to the public from 7pm until 11pm on Friday 29th. At Globe you will be greeted with a collaborative installation curated and installed by our volunteers and interns, Namita Vijayakumar, Justas Bo, Marty Clement, Cheryl Batey, Helena Rogers, Yaman Shao, Genevieve Stone and Peter Cook. We will also be inviting you to participate in our We The Living project and presenting information about our upcoming programme for Spring 2016. Many thanks for your continuing support and look forward to seeing you.

Venue: 47 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE

The Globe Gallery

Greyscale is a Newcastle based international theatre company formed by a group of established directors, writers, actors, and designers interested in exploring the fringes and gaps in-between the ways we work. We aim to make carefully structured, powerfully live, political and anarchic theatre for a modern audience bored of being bored.

We work in a number of different ways but mostly like the idea that everyone should be able to provoke a process, not just the director and the writer.

We also tend to think that the audience shouldn’t get to sit in the dark snoozing, that you should enjoy our shows more than we do and that to get something out, you have to put something in.

Venue: 2nd Floor, Bamburgh House, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BH

Greyscale Theatre Company

Inspired Support Ltd is an organisation that supports people with a learning disability or autism spectrum condition, to change their lives. Inspired Support are a provider who work with people in a new and inspiring way, enabling people to make the next step in life. Our approach to supporting people, is for people to have fun, to experience new and exciting opportunities and to be able to develop new skills, employment skills / experiences and to be able to bring to the table, talents that they could use to develop micro enterprises.

As part of The Creative Quarter Block Party, Inspired Support are holding a pre launch of their small bespoke live performance space – Inspired Records on Floor 7 in Bamburgh House. Come along and see this funky space with walls daubed in music genres, a performance stage, sound and lighting rig and amazing projections. Let Inspired Records take you on a creative journey of sound, visuals and artwork. Non alcoholic refreshments will be available from The Spired Inn as you take in live guitarists alongside tribute DJ artists.

Venue: 7th Floor, Bamburgh House, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BH

Inspired Support

Maker Space is a community owned and run workshop where an eclectic group of makers, creatives, programmers, scientists and engineers meet to collaborate and create. You’ll meet some real-life mad inventors and find out about their latest electrical, mechanical and craft projects. The 3D printer will also be in action, making some amazing creations.

Venue: 18 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AW

Maker Space

Moth Studios is one year old!

As a celebration, studio doors will be open late and every visitor will be greeted with a glass of fizz!

The evening will launch with a live entomology demonstration at 7.30pm followed by announcemnts of all 2016 course dates, including new 1 day small mammal taxidermy classes and custom special event packages. The Moth Studios pop up shop will be open so there will also be a chance to purchase artwork or have a chat about commission work.

Moth Studios celebrations are part of the exciting Block Party event. Venues and organisations of the Creative Quarter will be opening their doors late to create a block party with a vast array of culture on offer, all for free. Why not make a full night of it!

Venue: Ampersand Inventions, 4th Floor, Commercial Union House, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE

Moth Studios

Our Biggest Ever January Sale


NewBridge Project Space
Wednesday 27th - Saturday 30th January, 12-6pm

Big Sale Event: Friday 29th January 6-9pm

JAMBON are a dysfunctional art collective. Graeme Durant, Andrew Maughan, Mike Pratt and Andrew Sandercock graduated from Northumbria University in 2009 and sporadically organise events and exhibitions under the title JAMBON. Our Biggest Ever January Sale will present an opportunity for the everyone to buy artwork from some of the most exciting emerging artists in the UK at affordable prices. Cash only. Bring your wallet.

More info here.

Richard Dawson
An exhibition of collages

More info here.

NewBridge Books Saturday 30th Jan - Saturday 13th Feb

preview: Friday 29th January 6-9pm

The NewBridge Project

Venue: The NewBridge Project, 12 NewBridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AW

Parallel Cipher is a two screen video work in which Charles Danby and Rob Smith move through a forest in total darkness illuminating their way with camera flashes that fill the screen and spill from one screen to the other. These flashes imprint a sharp momentary image onto the retina and simultaneously fix it in the video as a single frame. The artists can be heard making their way through the darkness in an audio track that records their continual movement, while the forest emerges and retreats through fleeting moments of visibility. The forest they move through becomes the multiplied, plural site of folkloric metaphor, post-industrial lumber factory, cinematic fiction and romantic enchantment.

Alongside the two suspended screens, light sensors react to the flashes in the videos which in turn trigger flash units in the space. This parallel iteration of the work emits a sequence of flashes that are visible in the street through the windows of The Northern Charter, expanding the forest to encroach on the city.

The Northern Charter

Venue: 5th Floor, Commercial Union House, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE

Nosebleed Interactive is an independent game developer based in Newcastle upon Tyne; the heart of the North East of England. Our talented team has over three decades of industry experience between us, and we’ve worked on some of the world’s biggest selling and most loved franchises and on numerous award winning games.

At our core, we’re all gamers, passionate about playng and making great games and entertainment products. Our focus is on crafting unique, fun and inclusive experiences. We’re always striving to exceed expectations with what we do, and our ambitious attitude has helped us land our first contract with SCEE.

Since starting, we’ve also been awarded two rounds of funding from both University of Abertay’s Prototype fund, and won the PlayStation Mobile Pioneers competition.

Venue: Bamburgh House, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BH

Nosebleed Interactive

With a main focus on process, Praxis gallery was started within Ampersand Inventions in 2014. Since opening its doors in 2012 Ampersand Inventions has fitted itself firmly in the artistic community of Northern England, building an environment for up and coming and established artists to work and show in, as well as being a hotspot for lectures and workshops.

Situated on Pilgrim Street, Praxis brings you off the busy streets of Newcastle onto lush faux grass floors and tempts you to think of artistic practice not just in terms finished product but the actions and skills that got it there.

With a key place in the Newcastle art scene Praxis has the perfect approach to pushing new ideas and concepts without being lost in the sea of mainstream galleries, working close with artists to make sure that we are at the forefront of challenging the conventional and the expected.

Venue: Ampersand Inventions, 4th Floor, Commercial Union House, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE

Praxis Gallery

Unique in the UK, Space2 was created by NE1. Its primary objective is to secure jobs for young people from Newcastle and the surrounding area. Space2 is paid for by businesses and is a response to the economic and social costs of chronic youth unemployment.

Members of Space2 come from all socio-economic backgrounds and all parts of the region. NE1 is able to link them directly to city businesses. This largely accounts for the cost efficiency of Space2 and the numbers of young people it has been able to place.

Venue: Ground Floor, Commercial Union House, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE

Space 2

The producers of FRESH North East are launching their new brand Moving Art Management, a new producing company for dance artists in the North East. A celebration evening of live performance, film and delicious refreshments, located at and in association with Space Six.


Space Six

Venue: 6th Floor, Commercial Union House, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE

John Akomfrah

The Gallery, Tyneside Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne

Preview and talk: Friday 29 January 2016
18.00: John Akomfrah & Elisabetta Fabrizi in conversation, followed by a preview of Peripeteia at The Gallery, refreshments will be served

The Gallery at Tyneside Cinema presents the first exhibition in the North East by John Akomfrah OBE. Akomfrah’s influential works are characterised by their investigations into memory, post-colonialism, temporality and aesthetics and often explore the experience of the African diaspora in Europe and the USA. A founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, he came to prominence with Handsworth Songs (1986), a film exploring the events surrounding the 1985 riots in Birmingham and London through a charged combination of archive footage, still photos and newsreel. Since then, Akomfrah has developed an outstanding body of work spanning installation, film, photography, Television work and documentary.

Peripeteia (2012), on show in The Gallery, takes as its starting point two drawings by the sixteenth century artist Albrecht Dürer. The portraits - one of a bearded black male, the other of a black woman wearing a close fitting bonnet - are among the earliest Western representations of black people, their existence now as described in the film “lost to the winds of history”. These elusive characters evolve into the film’s ghostly protagonists, wandering in a contemporary moorland landscape, the past insinuating itself into the present.

The film is a compelling meditation on diaspora and disappearance drawing loosely on themes from Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych, The Garden Of Earthly Delights (c.1500-1505). Using a wide range of images from nineteenth century photography, Peripeteia is an exploration of histories untold. The work is the first part of a trilogy that creatively looks at the traces, appearances and disappearances of early African life in Europe.

John Akomfrah’s exhibition at Tyneside Cinema will coincide with the showing of Vertigo Sea (2015) at Arnolfini Bristol, 16 January - 10 April 2016. The work, first displayed as part of Okwui Enwezor’s exhibition ‘All the World’s Futures’ at the 56th Venice Biennale, was financially supported by The Gallery at Tyneside Cinema. In January Akomfrah will also exhibit new work at Lisson Gallery, London, 22 January - 12 March 2016.

A film season of Akomfrah’s titles will also take place at Tyneside Cinema, for details of dates and times please visit

Peripeteia is co-produced by The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and Carroll/Fletcher.

Venue: Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne,NE1 6QG

Tyneside Cinema

¡VAMOS! Social is a city centre cultural space open from Wednesday to Saturday from 12pm to 12am. Offering food and drink events, live music, DJs on (Friday/Saturday nights) and very soon, film screenings, talks, workshops, exhibitions, classes, library, markets, hot desking and much more!

Venue: Bamburgh House, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BH

¡VAMOS! Social

Vane has three solo exhibitions open to view on the night of the Block Party

Oliver Braid: The Nude Ignity
Work led by attempts to answer a question first posed by writer, raconteur and gay icon, Quentin Crisp in 1981: how, if at all, may an object express its maker?

Jock Mooney: Who Are You and What Do You Want?
An elaborate tableau of sculptural objects, drawings and sound, that functions as a personal reflection on the artist’s life.

Flora Whiteley: Present Continuous
New paintings that continue Whitelely’s investigation into filmic and stage-like spaces, combining layers of source material to create enigmatic, suggestive scenes.

Venue: Vane, First Floor, Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6QE

Newcastle Creative Quarter Block Party | 29th January 2016