Cherie Federico started Aesthetica Magazine ten years ago. It is now one of the UK’s leading art and culture publications. Aesthetica Film Festival is an international film festival taking place across 15 diverse venues in the historic city of York, where the magazine is based. Cherie gives us her nomination for Brilliant Britain: The BALTIC centre for contemporary art.
As one of my favourite public galleries in the UK, BALTIC has recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Housed in the old Baltic Flower Mill in Gateshead, BALTIC is a fantastic example of how the arts regenerated certain areas of the UK from the 1990s onwards; creating a major social and economic impact. Not only is the building awe-inspiring as it towers next to the Tyne Bridge, the gallery has hosted world class artists and exhibitions such as Janet Cardiff, Mark Wallinger, George Shaw, David Shrigley, Martin Parr, Anselm Kiefer, Cornelia Parker and John Cage among others.
The building is a reflection of Britain’s industrial heritage, but has been transformed into one of the world’s leading galleries. In 2011, BALTIC was the first venue to host the Turner Prize outside of London that was not a TATE venue. This was an incredible accolade for the gallery, and the exhibition was one of the finest Turner presentations I’ve seen to date. I think to achieve this level of success, and to have attracted in excess of 4.5 million visitors from across the world is a real testament to the gallery and the team who run it. The team at BALTIC has even opened Baltic 39, a new cultural hub for contemporary art located in Newcastle to support young and emerging artists from the region. As a gallery and contemporary art space, BALTIC has been raising the bar for contemporary art and innovating programming in the UK for a decade and has done so with landmark success.