‘Baltic Remembered’ – Shipley Art Gallery’

Although not officially recognized as such, Jason Skill was the first artist in residence at Baltic.
He was commissioned by Gateshead Council to record his impressions of the interior and exterior of the derelict flour mill and also to paint the initial demolition of part of the structure and the arrival of the steelwork, prior to the building of the ‘cage,’ that held the walls in place whilst the new interior was fabricated. This required him to work with protective clothing, gloves, face mask, suit and hard hat, as the interior was covered in rat poison to rid the mill of its furry friends prior to construction work being carried out.
The Baltic, now famous as an international arts venue, was in its first stages of finding a voice when this exhibition was staged.
The resulting watercolours were shown alongside photographic imagery of the mill when in operation in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. This was intended to jog the memories of workers at the mill, who were asked to have their recollections recorded as a ‘sound archive’ from which snippets of speech were to be used in the first exhibition by Baltic to be staged later at the Shipley Art Gallery.
Much of this collection was sold to Gatehead Council where they hung in the chief executives offices with other key pieces sold to a private collector interested in the project.