ACA Observatory

The North Pennines Observatory, now run by Allenheads Contemporary Arts, continues its programme with 2 events in partnership with the professional stargazing team AstroVentures.

We are delighted to announce the new date for this event after postponement due to Storm Eunice. Our expert astronomer this time will be Dr. Martin Kitching who will guide us through the night sky both in the observatory and in the warm classroom at ACA.


The moon has been the subject of study by astronomers, artists and poets since humans first gazed up into the sky thousands of years ago.

Moonwatch evenings are specifically aimed at showcasing the fascinating features of the moon using our powerful telescopes. We'll also try to stargaze as much as possible, seeking out double stars, clusters, planets, galaxies and nebulae.

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Moon photographs taken from ACA Observatory

ACA's  gallery window exhibitions continue with Chantal Bron's

When you have become quite wild


Bron’s work is inspired by nature and fiction and linked to her lifelong biological interest. Fascinated by interdisciplinary explorers and outdoor researchers like Charles Darwin, she dwells on the magic of other life forms, exploring different beings and creating new ones through drawings, paintings and etchings.


When you have become quite wild shows works inspired by the artist’s expeditions through woods, hills and valleys where she watches wildlife and collects wondrous objects. By assembling her finds she creates small dioramas and shrines which point out the fragility and intensity of our relationship with the natural world.

Bron’s works awaken childlike moments of awe and wonder. Immersed in nature we are freed from human identity and become one with our fellow creatures, connecting us in life and death.


The title of the exhibition is inspired by a quote from the linguist, ethnologist and novelist Jaime de Angulo, “When you have become quite wild, then perhaps one of the wild things will come to take a look at you, and one of them may take a fancy to you, not because you are suffering and cold, but simply because he happens to like your looks. When this happens, the wandering is over, and the Indian becomes a Shaman.”


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Nothing by Alan smith


Nothing evidences the importance of casting a net with no anticipated catch, or predetermined focus. On the 17th January 2020 I began capturing videos every day, three per location and each for 20 seconds. Using my phone I captured the Nothing videos from wherever I happened to be and with the exclusion of human presence and no limit to the number of video sets per day. For the film, a sequence was constructed with a new video appearing every 2:3 seconds and remaining visible for 19:07 seconds, (19:07 is apparently the average length of time someone looks at an artwork in a gallery) the videos sequentially roll through time covering a period of one year ending on the 16th January 2021.


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Call Centre an experimental  response to COVID-19

Visit the Call Centre blog  and the Call Centre Facebook group

ACA is a network host for Dartington Arts School's radical new MA, Arts and Place.

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Open to practitioners and curators working in any art form, MA Arts and Place helps artists develop personal and collaborative practice in response to an expanded understanding of place.


In the current circumstances we are increasingly confronted with complex challenges that require new ways of experiencing place and of adapting our practice. This course enables you to develop your creative and professional practice, build up your knowledge of the sector, and gain really practical skills while networking and working with others.


Applications: We are accepting applications on a rolling basis until the course is full.


Apply: via the application form on the course page: