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.

Gallery Opening Times:

Monday – Saturday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 8pm

Transition 7
27 May – 16 July 2017

Transition is an exhibition slot created specifically to show the work of emerging and early career artists from our region. For some, it is their first exhibition opportunity and for this reason alone, it has become popular exhibition slot. In its seventh year, this year’s exhibition brings together artists Jackie Sewell and Mike Clay. With a shared interest in society’s commercial consumption and its subsequent production of waste, both artists have produced new work using recycled materials; making the ordinary into something extraordinary.

Main Gallery
Jackie Sewell

Jackie Sewell studied Fine Art at Northumbria University, graduating in 2013. Combined with 30 years of running her own Interior Design business, she uses the skills from both elements in her practice. She has sewn most of her life and has a deep-rooted passion for fabric and its structure. Reinventing craft based skills and found objects, she has created her own social fabrics. Found objects have become a strategic part of her work, the social, environmental and political elements, make her question aspects of today’s society.

As part of her exhibition, Jackie will be making work on site; a large scale multi-coloured proggy rug out of found, recycled and donated plastic carrier bags. It is six metres in length, of which two metres has already been completed but we need your help to finish the job. If you have some time, love a bit of proggy work and would like to help create a new art work call in to the gallery any Tuesday from 1-4pm to meet the artist and get involved.

If you are part of a group who enjoys a bit of hooky and proggy work, please do get in touch or if you are individual and just want to help…we need you!
Contact Gallery Learning Officer Lesley Guy Email:

South Tyneside Stories
Wednesday 14 June
11am – 4pm
As part of South Tyneside Stories we’ve teamed up with the Heritage Lottery Fund and groups across South Tyneside to celebrate with an extended session of clippy mat making and conversation in the gallery with Jackie.

Upper Fusion Gallery
Mike Clay

Mike Clay has worked in over 70 schools during the last 20 years and has recently worked in the field of narrative painting centred on the people and places of the North East of England, often depicting scenes of everyday life, popular culture and political satire. Alongside the paintings, a series of low reliefs explore concerns with consumerism, recycling and the corrosive action of society on the individual.

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