The Port of Tyne Gallery at The Customs House showcases the very best of national, international and regional contemporary arts practice.

With a changing programme of around six exhibitions a year in our Main Gallery and the same number in our other exhibition spaces, it is the only contemporary gallery space that serves audiences in and across South Tyneside and is a key contributor to the Visual Arts Sector in the North East.

Gallery Exhibition Programme

We have four spaces where we show contemporary art:

  • Main Gallery – focuses on a programme of exhibitions by artists with established practices.
  • Fusion Gallery – shows work by emerging and early career artists as well as work from community projects and regional groups and bodies that we have developed relationships with.
  • The Stairwell Gallery – has been set up for work by young people and local amateur groups, who are passionate about their creative hobby.
  • The Green Room – shows work by artists who have an interest in commercial practice. As this is our bar and restaurant, it is the perfect space to show this form of art work.

Main Gallery
Worn – Mandy Pattullo

2 December 2016 – 29 January 2017

mandy-pattullo-imageMandy Pattullo re-cycles and reuses very old and often disintegrating materials, refashioning them in to new patchworks. She cuts up and unpicks well-worn North Country quilts and antique garments, creating a palette of fabrics which have the shadows of other women’s stitching and the stains and marks of use. These are used to construct new textile collages which are embellished with hand stitchery and sometimes words mixing up her own family’s history with the story the quilt tells.  Her work relates to the thrift and ‘make- do and mend” culture of past times, in particular utility patchworks and quilts made by women in domestic settings and home dressmaking. Mandy’s collages, large wall quilts and garments bring together precious fragments to form evocative compositions. The viewer is invited to re-examine fabrics that have become flawed through wear and tear, to find in them, a new beauty. Mandy Pattullo published a book “Textile Collage” in September 2016 which details the thinking behind her thread and thrift aesthetic as well as demonstrating techniques for working with garments, book making, portraits and collages.

Upper Fusion Gallery
Hi Vis – Textile Art by men from Bamburgh Clinic

2 December 2016 – 22 January 2017 

hivisThis exhibition is textile collage work made by men working in a secure setting within the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.  Artist Mandy Pattullo worked with the Arts Project Team to facilitate workshops in which garments were deconstructed and remade into collages embellished with stitch.




Lower Fusion Gallery
Map Works – Yvette Hawkins

2 December 2016 – 29 January 2017

yvette-hawkins-image-1In Forty Three Houses and a Ford Escort, a series of folded and stitched maps portray a biographical chronology of the artist’s homes and temporary abodes spanning two nations.  The use of map folding references the act of locating and placing, linking the paper artefact to the physical world. Hawkins traces real and imagined journeys through layers of folds in carefully crafted new lands. Two dimensions become three in Hawkins’ large scale landscapes, playing with familiarity and encouraging closer survey.

Yvette Hawkins is a visual artist of British-South Korean origin working across installation and sculpture. Her work explores themes which encompass hybridity, tradition, migration and preservation which relate to ‘the cultural other’ and specifically about her mixed race heritage and nomadic upbringing of occupying forty five homes across two nations. Craft also plays an important role in the making of work, often involving traditional skill centred techniques such as bookbinding, embroidery, natural dyeing and printmaking. Yvette studied Textiles at Glasgow School of Art and graduated from a degree in Fine Art at Newcastle University in 2007.  This small viewing of Hawkins work is a taster of a larger solo exhibition to come in 2017 as part of the Year of the Artist where we will celebrate her young practice to date.

The Gallery Exhibition Programme is booked a year in advance and is developed through a direct working relationship between the Gallery Curator and artist(s).

If you are interested in being part of our Gallery Exhibition Programme, please send a detailed proposal demonstrating why you would like to show with us, a selection of images of current work, an up to date CV and any relevant material to support your application, addressed to the Gallery Curator.

Gallery Learning Programme

Our Gallery Learning Programme includes activities events and projects for all age groups and abilities. We work with both the local community and formal education sector, hosting activities that range from artist talks, gallery tours, a drawing club and a series of creative masterclasses. We have recently received funding from The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The Community Foundation to develop YI, a programme of visual arts activities for 14-19 year olds. If you are an artist or educator and wish to work with us, please send your CV with details of the relevant teaching experience to our Gallery Learning Officer.

For the Gallery Exhibition Programme please get in touch with Esen Kaya, Gallery Curator

For Gallery Learning, please get in touch with Lesley Guy, Gallery Learning Officer