The Tunnel Gallery is an exploration of public art in Middlesbrough. It is led and programmed by four of the Middlesbrough Cultural Partnership independent arts organisations, including Navigator North, Tees Valley Arts, Platform A Gallery and The Auxiliary Project.
From Autumn 2020 the project has expanded out from the original location of the gallery in the pedestrian underpass in Middlesbrough Railway Station to include a billboard under the A66 road bridge on Albert Road and most recently the creation of new virtual galleries on the website.
Between September 2020 and April 2021 as part of a pilot project, we ran 5 commissions with Sara Cooper, WAX Photography Collective (Amy Owens, Rachel Deakin, Antony Chambers and Jason Hynes), Connor Clements, Annie O’Donnell and Dan Cochran of North East Statues.
This series of commissions aim to investigate how artists and communities can respond to the hidden heritage of Middlesbrough through a series of artist commissions offered in partnership with Historic England through Middlesbrough High Street Heritage Action Zone.
As part of their research and in developing new works the artists have worked with archival material and collections held in public institutions, such as Teesside Archives and The Dorman Museum as well as from individuals. Activities have included public call outs for photographs and associated material, online discussions, site surveys, group walks, drawing sessions, artist talks, ‘how to guides’ and the sharing of memories and stories connected to the towns heritage.
The development of this online virtual space for The Tunnel Gallery allows each of the commissions to be shared anywhere in the world 24/7, acting as exhibition space, archive and resource.