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.
  • Upper and Lower Fusion Galleries – 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

Banner Image: Sabina Sallis, Voynich Series, 2017

Please join us on Friday 17 November from 6-8pm for the preview of our new exhibitions:

Drawing Close – Voynich Series
Sabina Sallis
18 November 2017 – 30 March 2018

Sabina Sallis has a multifaceted approach to arts provision- as a researching, collaborating and exhibiting artist and as a curator. Sabina uses drawing, video, performance, sculpture and narrative in a multimedia transdisciplinary approach that interweaves fact and fiction.

The Drawing Close – Voynich Series exhibition at The Customs House is an expansion and an iteration of new and previous works that use drawing and the Voynich Manuscript as a particular method for creating visionary alternatives.

The Voynich Manuscript is a medieval illustrated codex that has been written in an unknown language and is an object of continuous research and multiple hypotheses. In Sabina’s work The Voynich Manuscript and the process of drawing is used as an opening to the possibilities of alternative ways of thinking, and alternative states of being with the world.

As well as attempting to decipher and imaginatively interpret the Voynich Manuscript, Drawing Close – Voynich Series also attempts to bring forward knowledge and thoughts that are enmeshed with life processes and invites the audience to decipher their own meaning.

Upper Fusion Gallery
Drawn Thread Work – Samplers & Specimens
Paddy Killer
18 November 2017 – 30 March 2018

Paddy Killer draws onto all manner of materials; from paper to silk. This exhibition includes works from the last decade to new pieces produced especially for the show at Customs House Gallery.  The new works are made on glass and silk and are more experimental and based on research and fascination with historical lace from 16th, 17th and 19th Centuries, including samples left from her grandmother’s lace collection. The drawings on silk are life-size and snippets of actual pieces of work made with machine embroidery that Paddy has produced over the last 30 years.

Lower Fusion
320 Drawings

As part of the Creative Age Challenge organised by Equal Arts, the Customs House weekly drawing group, Drawn Together have set themselves the challenge of creating 320 postcard sized drawings – enough to fill a wall in our Lower Fusion Gallery.

Join us on Friday 17 November to see if they’ve achieved their goal! 


The Gallery Exhibition Programme is not currently accepting proposals.

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.

You can contact Lesley Guy, Gallery Learning Officer by emailing or calling 0191 427 3731.