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extra{ordinary} exhibition comes to Blyth

Council News County Council News

A major exhibition of photographs, made in hundreds of locations across the UK over the last two decades, will be exhibited in Blyth this summer.

extra{ordinary} is a national touring exhibition of over 100 colour photographs taken between 2000-2014. Selected from The Caravan Gallery’s huge archive of images, extra{ordinary} offers an insight into the reality and surreality of everyday life in 21st century Britain, seeking out and celebrating the curious, the unusual, the typical and the absurd.

The exhibition is being held across four venues in Blyth, creating an exciting art trail for visitors to explore across the town this summer. Astutely observed, thought provoking and often hilarious, The Caravan Gallery’s images focus on the extraordinary details of everyday life and are a unique record of social change since the millennium.

The exhibition is part of the £70m Energising Blyth regeneration programme. Energising Blyth is revitalising the town over the next five years delivering new jobs and learning opportunities. It includes a programme of events, festivals and cultural activities aimed at attracting local people and visitors to Blyth and helping to drive the green energy revolution in the UK.

Through the extra{ordinary} exhibition photographers and artists Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale want to offer a more candid, realistic view of Britain, which shows the good, alongside the bad and the ridiculous, celebrating how extraordinary ordinary, everyday life is. Their photographs show some strange and incredible scenes from the British cities they have visited.

"We want to be thought-provoking and get people to look at their environment and the world around them a bit more," explained Jan Williams from The Caravan Gallery.

The exhibition can be seen around the town at RePUBlic Gallery at The Kings Head, the Phoenix Theatre, Headway Arts and at Blyth Library. The official opening of the exhibition will take place at RePUBlic Gallery on Thursday 11 August, 6 – 8pm.

The extra{ordinary} exhibition is part of a wider Energising Blyth commission of The Caravan Gallery who recently visited Blyth to talk to local people to find out what makes Blyth special and invite them to get involved in a large-scale participatory exhibition, the Blyth Pride of Place Project, which will take place in Keel Row Shopping Centre in late September and October this year. To find out more about how to get involved join the Blyth Pride of Place Facebook group.

For more information about The Caravan Gallery and extra{ordinary} exhibition, go to 

A beautiful hard-backed extra{ordinary} exhibition catalogue will be available from participating venues.

Venue Addresses and Opening Times:

RePUBlic Gallery: The Kings Head, 85 Bridge Street, Blyth, NE24 3AE
Open Tuesday – Saturday 8am-4pm, entrance through The Kings Head Café.

Phoenix Theatre: 37A Beaconsfield St, Blyth NE24 2DS
Open during box office hours: Tuesday, Friday, Saturdays 10am - 12:30pm when shows or films are running.

Blyth Library: Bridge Street, Blyth NE24 2DJ
Monday 9am – 7pm, Tuesday – Friday 9am – 5pm, Saturday 9:30am – 12:30pm. Sunday closed.

Headway Arts: The Old Church, Waterloo Road, Blyth NE24 1BY
Open daily 3-5pm. Other times available by arrangement with the venue.

Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, Cabinet Member for Business with Northumberland County Council, said: “The Energising Blyth programme is vital to developing Blyth from a business, educational and cultural perspective.

“The Caravan Gallery project, including the extra{ordinary} exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for the community and visitors to come to venues in the town and experience a thought provoking exhibition which has toured all over the country, it really is not to be missed.

“This is only the start of our culture and placemaking programme we have planned for Blyth; the public can expect a lot more cultural pursuits in the coming months and years adding to all the fantastic things already on offer throughout the year. It’s a very exciting time for the people of Blyth.”

Blyth Town Council, Mayor Warren Taylor, said: “It's fantastic to see such a prominent exhibition from the Caravan Gallery visiting us, we would love to see the community and visitors to Blyth enjoy and get involved in this fantastic exhibition in the great venues we have across the town.”

The Culture and Placemaking Programme is one of two major cultural regeneration projects that are being delivered as part of the £70m Energising Blyth regeneration programme.

Alongside the Blyth Culture Centre and Market Place project, the Blyth Culture and Placemaking Programme will provide a complementary programme of events, festivals and cultural activities aimed at attracting local people and visitors to Blyth, as well as improving perceptions of the town through a high-profile communications campaign.

More information is available at