Gallery Changeover: We’re Getting Ready for Something New!

Published: 19th April 2018

The Customs House Gallery might not be looking it’s best right now as we are doing some work to improve the space. This is in preparation for The Takeover Open Competition which opens on the 28th May 2018. An open art competition for young artists from the North East of England. For more information see:

In the meantime, if you visit the gallery our adult drawing group ‘Drawn Together’ are using the space as a studio. Take a moment to look at their work in progress. This is part of their second creative challenge. They are aiming to complete hundreds of circular artworks.

We are also in the process of installing David Wilkinson’s exhibition in our Upper Fusion gallery, details of the preview coming soon!

And make sure you take a look at Newcastle Prep School’s exhibition in the Step Up Gallery on the stairs next to our cinema.

Brave and Bold: School’s Explore Arts Award Project

This exhibition presents the work of year 6 from Newcastle Preparatory School , one of our many partner schools. These young artists worked with our learning officer Elizabeth Kane and their art teacher Miss Bell over several sessions to complete an Explore Arts Award project. Arts Award develops young people’s art and communication skills.

The young artists began their project with a visit to see The Customs House pantomime The Lambton Worm. The children were asked to take special note of the costumes including the armour worn by the character, ‘The brave and bold Sir John’. At school, after hearing about their fantastic theatre visit, the children started their Explore Arts Award. They looked at examples of armour and developed their tonal drawing and collage skills.

Later, the children revisited The Customs House. They closely examine some of the costumes worn in the pantomime. The young artists noted how detailed they were. Paul Shriek designs our pantomime’s costume and set. The Children found out about Paul’s work and then created their own piece of costume, a breastplate. The young artists were encouraged to think about shape, decorative motifs and texture.

Paul’s designs are of national importance. In April we learned Paul’s won a prestigious National Pantomime Award for his costumes. His work was considered against costumes seen on stage at The London Palladium and Sheffield Lyceum. To see Paul’s designs why not book tickets for Beauty and The Beast this year’s pantomime?

We hope you enjoy the children’s exhibition and look forward to David Wilkinson’s forthcoming show alongside The Takeover Open.

To find out more about our school learning programme email