12 exhibitions in 12 months | An alternative resolution

The new year is the perfect time to set a goal for yourself. 'New Year, New Me' resolutions just aren't for me and I'd much rather set a goal which I'm going to enjoy so this year I've decided I'm going to get out and see as many exhibitions as possible.

12 exhibitions in 12 months | An alternative resolution

I didn't set foot in a gallery until my early 20s. Growing up in a former mining village in the 80s and 90s, it wasn't really the done thing to visit exhibitions and galleries. Did they even exist in the North then? I'm not sure and my memory is rather sketchy. I still remember the first time I set foot in a gallery (the Baltic) as a young adult and it was intimidating and to be honest, I'm not actually sure I enjoyed that first experience. I kind of thought that I didn't belong, that I didn't have a clue what was going on and that I wasn't the type of person who should be walking around an art exhibition or that my opinion wasn't really valid.

12 exhibitions in 12 months | An alternative resolution

But I persisted (galleries are often free to visit and it's a cheap day out) and over the years, I've grown to love the arts and walking around a gallery or exhibition always inspires me, gives me a chance to clear my head, allows me to see/think about the world from a different perspective and is basically a form of escapism. I've learned over the years that you don't need to know a thing about art to view it and just walking around somewhere with different ideas can give you a different perspective on life. It's refreshing, stimulating and although it's cliché to say this, it really does open your mind and allow you space to think.

12 exhibitions in 12 months | An alternative resolution  - Baltic

I really want H, H and J to grow up loving the arts too and I reckon they've already viewed 50+ exhibitions in their lifetime. Exhibitions are usually accessible to all, child-friendly and they're a great way to chat with your kids about miscellaneous topics and inspire their imagination. We always each pick our favourite exhibit when visiting together and let each other know why we like it.

In the North East, we're super lucky that we usually have a constant stream of new exhibitions on show. Not just art either, we have science exhibitions, costume displays, sculptures, light displays - all sorts. Visiting an exhibition is also a great way to keep your mind ticking over and continue learning as an adult too.

12 exhibitions in 12 months | An alternative resolution  - Heart Exhibition

My absolute favourite type of exhibition is modern/contemporary photography but this year I'm going to try and see a bit of everything. Sometimes I'll be bringing the kids along, sometimes it will be with Steve and other times it will be just little old me. I'm not an expert at all and don't get me wrong, sometimes I can leave an exhibition and be clueless to what it was all about but I usually really enjoy visiting and on the odd occasion, when you feel a real connection to something, it feels like magic and really is food for your soul!

So in 2019, I'm aiming to see at least 12 new exhibitions and share them all in this post. I'll update as and when and re-share across Social Media when I visit somewhere new. As a working-class girl who did not step foot in a gallery as a child, I really want to share how this kind of day out really is accessible to all and hopefully inspire a few of you to get out and see what's going on in your local area too.

Would anyone like to join in and challenge themselves to see 12 new exhibitions this year?

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out the following: 

January 2019 

Plans: I'm kicking off the year with not one, not two but three exhibitions! We're heading to Behind the Seams at Preston Park at the weekend (ad) - an exhibition featuring costumes from TV and film, then I really want to see The Age of Love by Heather Phillipson at The Baltic which looks pretty challenging (and features a raving cat) so I can't wait to see what I think of that and finally later this month I'm hoping to head to Laing Art Gallery to see Exposed : The Naked Portrait which is basically a bunch of naked people so should be erm....interesting! All of these exhibitions run until the beginning of March. I'll report back on how I find them soon.....

Exhibition One | January 12th 2019 - We visited Behind the Seam's at Preston Park (ad) 

I am working with Preston Park on a full blog post about this exhibition and I'm so pleased we had the chance to visit. I loved seeing costumes from TV and film up close and learning lots of fun facts from the exhibition guides. Jenna Coleman's dress from Victoria and a dress which was worn in The Great Gatsby were my favourites. This exhibition is pretty small with 35 costumes on display across 2 rooms but there's lots of very interesting displays to read and lots of detail to see in the costumes. I'd say the exhibition is a must-visit for movie fans and is definitely worth a trip. Expect to spend 30 minutes-1 hour in the exhibition and then allow more time to explore the rest of the museum and grounds. This exhibition continues until 3 March 2019 and costs £5 per adult + regular museum admission (£2.50 per adult for an annual pass). Find out more here. 

February 2019 

Plans: In February 2019 I am taking Heidi and Jack to Sunderland Winter Gardens where we're going to see 'Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing' (ad). This is a rare opportunity to see 12 of Leonardo's drawings in the flesh. Entry is just £2.50 per adult and under 16s are admitted free. This exhibition continues right through to 6 May. You can find out more here. 

Please let me know if you spot any exhibitions when out and about that you think are worth seeing. Thanks xx


  1. I used to go to exhibitions all the time while doing my MA but I fell out of the habit since leaving uni. I'd really like to go see Behind the Seams too, it looks really good.

    1. I hope you manage to get there - we're visiting tomorrow and can't wait x

  2. So inspiring - love this idea! I've barely set foot inside a gallery and have never been to Laing, actually i don't think I've properly been to the Baltic either (I get straight into the lift and head up to Six for the food and views!) so if you need a buddy for any of your visits I'd love to come along to something and give it a go!

    1. Oh yes, we'll definitely have a mate-date at a gallery this year. Wonder if there are any cake exhibitions coming up! haha x


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