Thank you Arts Council England

ACA is overjoyed at being awarded a grant from Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund. This will enable ACA to adapt its facilities to comply with Covid 19 restrictions and prepare an exciting programme of events and exhibitions for 2021.


We look forward to safely welcoming back artists and visitors to ACA when we reopen our gallery, reactivate our residency programme and reboot our on-site observatory.  Thanks to this support, ACA will continue into its 26th year of working from the Old School House that overlooks the village of Allenheads in rural Northumberland and bring more challenging art and science to our remote dark skies location.

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.” 

also 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.

Nothing 20 stills (5).jpg

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.

Arts and Place course square.jpg

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:

Home Alone by Sharon Bailey

HOME ALONE_cSharonBailey.jpg

You are invited to experience this living room installation through the window of ACA Gallery, which highlights the real life experiences of older people living in the northeast region who are stuck at home for long periods of time, alone.


For eight months artist Sharon Bailey travelled across Newcastle, Gateshead and East Durham photographing and recording conversations with them, spending hours talking and listening. 


‘Home Alone’ brings these untold stories and images out of the houses and into busy public spaces.  The stories are important and they need to be told.  We all need to listen.  Our Social Care system is in crisis and things have to change.


The pictures you can see on the walls were taken in the older people’s homes and the living room has pictures and objects lent to the artist by those she visited. 


A specially commissioned monologue was written by Catrina McHugh MBE of Open Clasp Theatre to be performed by an actress within the living room, but this is sadly not possible at the present time.  The story was woven from the conversations I had with many people living in Newcastle, East Durham and Gateshead who I visited over an eight-month period. Nothing was made up and all the words come straight from them.


Associate Laura Lindow from Open Clasp directs the monologue piece and the performing actress is Barbara Heslop.  Original music for the production is by Tobias Bailey Tinwell and the project was funded by Arts Council England.