Hartlepool students given exclusive access to Gateshead’s BALTIC Centre

Students from Hartlepool College of Further Education have a great time exploring the BALTIC
Students from Hartlepool College of Further Education have a great time exploring the BALTIC

CREATIVE students have been given exclusive access to capture the heart of one of the country’s most prestigious art galleries.

A unique partnership has been formed between the School of Art & Design at Hartlepool College of Further Education and Gateshead-based BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

Students from Hartlepool College of Further Education have a great time exploring the BALTIC

Students from Hartlepool College of Further Education have a great time exploring the BALTIC

Students have been granted exclusive ‘access all areas’ privilege to document previously unseen areas of the iconic gallery, including the director’s corridor, the control centre, staff only areas and the rooftop.

The college’s head of art and design Keith Bradley said: “It’s such an exciting opportunity for the college and the students. We feel incredibly privileged to have this exclusive access bestowed upon us.

“It’s an honour to be treading the same secret pathways as some of the world’s modern creative greats and Turner Prize nominees.”

He said he was “humbled that the opportunity has been given to us”.

Before the students’ first visit this month, only four people have ever been privileged enough to walk on the Energy Centre rooftop at BALTIC, and three of those were merely there to check the safety elements to ensure a safe passage for the students. The other was head of building services, James Johnson.

With the aid of ropes and harnesses the students were allowed to enjoy virtually uninterrupted views across the Tyne and beyond.

Vicky Sturrs, schools and colleges programmer at the BALTIC, said: “Working with Further Education students is an important part of BALTIC’s education programme and we’ve been delighted to welcome the students of Hartlepool College to the gallery. The students were asked to respond to a commercial style photography brief to capture the covert or hidden side of BALTIC.

“This included giving students access to private or hard to reach parts of the building. Across a number of visits they have been having a fantastic time taking photographs inside lift cages, exploring the energy plant and even gaining access to the roof.”

The project culminates in a presentation of the students work in 2015. The photography project is the first of many creative works between the two establishments over the academic year and beyond.