Blue Futures Exhibition


Suitable for all ages

Our latest exhibition Blue Futures explores our relationship with water and the coast in South Tyneside.

The exhibition is inspired by challenges around climate change and the natural environment. It brings together three projects BE THE SEA, Renewable Blue, and Sound Dig. Artists have worked with engineers, environmental teams, former miners, residents and young people to explore our past, present and future relationship with our marine environment and waterways.

BE THE SEACreated by artist Louise Mackenzie and composer Hayley Jenkins

This immersive sound installation explores our connection to wildlife and the ocean through sound and listening. Visitors are invited to listen to sounds of sea creatures interacting with their environment and imagine living in the sea, waterways and rockpools, they can also create their own soundscape too.

Renewable Blue – Created by artist Paul Dolan

Renewable Blue considers how heat connects people, technology and nature. Paul’s project uses infrared camera equipment that captures heat rather than visible light to go beyond the limits of human senses to better understand the climate crisis.

As part of the installation, visitors can take a postcard and touch to reveal an image – the postcards use black thermochromic paint to hide parts of the image until they are touched or exposed to heat.

Sound DigCreated by Shelly Knotts, Prof. Caroline Mitchell and Robin Daniels

Explore sound from the past, present and future of Whitburn and discover whether we can hear through time. The installation has been developed working with residents in Whitburn.

Visitors can listen to sounds collected as part of the Whitburn Sound Dig, take a look at 3D scanned artefacts from the Whitburn Community Archaeology Dig, create new sound mixes of the village, as well as listen to soundscapes created by young people from Whitburn Church of England Academy inspired by the sounds and stories of Whitburn.

The space also includes graphics from Zoë Allen which asks questions around our perception of sound, water and energy.

The exhibition opens on Thursday 20 July and runs until Sunday 3 December.

Blue Futures is a collaboration between South Tyneside Council, CoLab Sunderland, University of Sunderland, and SeaScapes, a Tyne to Tees project aimed at better-connecting communities with the ocean. Curated by Dr Suzy O’Hara, Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, University of Sunderland.

With support from South Tyneside Council’s energy network scheme and the regional Stronger Shores project team.

The installation connects to the Year of the Coast 2023.


If you have a disability of any kind or you require special assistance, please contact us on 0191 427 1818.