North East’s biggest contemporary art festival will take over Middlesbrough from 30 September to 3 October 

More than 50 artists will showcase installations, immersive experiences, performances, workshops and activities inspired by Middlesbrough’s industrial heritage during the fourth annual Middlesbrough Art Weekender.  

The festival will begin on 30 September with an art trail highlighting artworks displayed throughout Middlesbrough town centre, followed by a series of exhibitions at six pop-up venues as well as established venues such as The Auxiliary Project Space,  The Masham, MIMA, Pineapple Black and Platform A.  

The programme features ten North East artists, including Newcastle-based painter Jill Tate, who were chosen from an open call that received 112 applications. For the first time ever, work by US artist Gordon Matta-Clark will be shown in the North East, including the UK premiere of a revised edit of his seminal work, Day’s End. Jimmy Cauty’s dystopian immersive experience Municipal Disaster Zone Estate, which has previously toured in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, will be at Centre Square for the festival and remain at The Auxiliary Project Space for the following three weeks.   

Local heritage has inspired many of the artists and there will be works exploring Boulby Mine and Dorman Long Tower Reimagined, a virtual reality experience that explores the potential of the recently saved iconic Brutalist building in Redcar.  

Anna Ridler, an artist and researcher who works with systems of knowledge and how technologies are created in order to better understand the world, is showing two works at the Infrastructure Exhibition at 32 Albert Road. Myriad (Tulips) (2018) is a stunning installation of thousands of hand-labelled photographs of tulips, while Mosaic Virus (2019) is a three-screen video installation of a single tulip that is controlled by the price of bitcoin to explore the role of capitalism in our lives.  

Festival co-founder, Liam Slevin, said: “This year’s Middlesbrough Art Weekender programme is an extraordinary collection of the very best contemporary art from the North East and beyond.  

“The last 18 months have tested the infrastructure of our lives like never before and these artists explore how the physical, social and technological structures of our world have changed and strengthened.  

“This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with some truly unique artworks and to explore areas of Middlesbrough visitors might never have seen before.” 

Middlesbrough Art Weekender is free to attend, family-friendly and accessible. The full programme is available at https://middlesbroughartweekender.com