News, updates and artist opportunities


We’ve been busy since our last newsletter in July and we have some updates to share with you about the Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough programme and upcoming artist opportunities including new Tunnel Gallery commissions and bursaries with Stellar Projects for Nightfall 2021.

Read on to find out about our latest exhibition opening in The Masham this Saturday. We’ll be introducing the recently appointed Exchange Artist in Residence Layla Khoo and sharing an insight into the heritage around Exchange Square and how that will lead to some new developments and research as part of Middlesbrough’s Heritage Action Zone.

We hope to see you soon.

Vicky Holbrough 
Co – Founder & Director, Navigator North

Exchange – Past, Present & Future
11.09.21 – 27.11.21

Join us for the opening of our next exhibition at The Masham, Middlesbrough this Saturday from 10am.

As part of a national programme of Heritage Open Days we’ll be highlighting the buildings, people and activities in Exchange Square – featuring archival material, images and artefacts revealing the past, present and future of this area of Middlesbrough’s Historic Quarter.

Exhibits focus on the former Royal Exchange building, which once stood in the heart of the town’s Victorian commercial and financial district as well as Commerce House and the soon to be a 140-year-old statue of Henry Bolckow.

Part of the Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough programme, this exhibition introduces Layla Khoo, Exchange Artist in Residence and an outline of the new research to be carried out by Tees Valley Arts exploring the hidden heritage narratives of Exchange Square. 

Plans for future developments include Exchange Square and the work being done to preserve and reinvigorate use of buildings and public spaces as part of Middlesbrough Heritage Action Zone.

The exhibition is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am – 4pm
The Masham, 27 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 1RG

Image shows – Layla Khoo, Change in Attitudes at Nunnington Hall. 
Image credit – National Trust, Anthony Chappel Ross
Image above shows – WAX commission from 2020, Albert Road billboard
Photo credit – Anthony Chambers

The Tunnel Gallery – Artist Commission Call Out

Navigator North are inviting commission applications from visual artists on behalf of The Tunnel Gallery as part of Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough.

We are looking for an artist to research and respond to the hidden heritage narrative that exists within Middlesbrough and in particular to Middlesbrough Winter Garden and the High Street Heritage Action Zone.

An initial period of research will result in work which engages with the public and can be sited on the Albert Road billboard underneath the A66 road bridge and virtually via the online gallery. Activities as part of this should aim to connect with communities to uncover and celebrate heritage stories in a meaningful way.

The commission will take place in October/November with the completion of work and install by the end of November 2021.

£2000, artist time based on 8 days work at £250/day
£750, material/production costs
£500, costs associated with research/engagement activities

Deadline for applications 9am Thursday 30th September

For further information and the artist brief visit our website

Image shows – Middlesbrough Winter Garden advertisement
Image credit – Teesside Archives 

Nightfall 2021 Artist Bursaries

Working in partnership with Stellar Projects we are offering 4 bursaries to artists to take part in a professional development programme as part of Nightfall 2021.

Selected artists will work on in response to the Nightfall theme, ‘A Stellar Rainbow’ and will develop and deliver creative workshop activities aimed at children and families. 

This opportunity would suit an artist who is looking to develop or strengthen their participatory practice and will involve professional development sessions in the lead up to delivery of workshops during Nightfall which runs 2-5th December.

The bursary fee is £600 plus materials.

Deadline for applications is midday on Friday 1st October

For further information and the artist brief visit Stellar Projects website

Interactive Research Day with Beth Hunton

As part of her ongoing commission for The Tunnel Gallery we hosted recent Northern School of Art graduate Beth Hunton at The Masham at the end of August for a day of interactive creative research.

Visitors were invited to meet Beth, find out about her inspiration for the commission led by Platform A Gallery and have a go at some hands on activities including shadow casting. Beth also produced illustrations of some of the heritage features of Middlesbrough to colour in and take home.

Thanks to everyone who joined us in the space for this and we look forward to seeing how this shapes Beth’s work to be sited in Middlesbrough Railway at the end of the month.

Images below, photo credit – Matthew Ward