The Vasseur Baltic Artist’s Award — Joanne Coates: Middle of Somewhere

Wed – Sun, 10am – 6pm

Preview 10 May, 5 – 8pm

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Working-class photographer Joanne Coates tells stories of rurality, hidden histories and inequalities relating to low income.

Joanne Coates is a working-class visual artist working in the medium of photography who lives and works across the North East of England. Her work explores rurality, hidden histories and inequalities relating to low income through photography, installations, and audio. Coates uses photography to question the concepts of power, identity, wealth, and poverty, by exploring the social histories of land, gender, and class to narrate stories that have long been forgotten – or simply never told.

This exhibition builds on themes around class, gender, inequality and the rural explored in Coates’ previous exhibitions Daughters of the Soil and The Lie of the Land. As before, Coates has collaborated with participants to explore parallels between people and places, asking questions around climate change, the cost of living crisis, disparities of wealth and the impact on low-income communities.

Participation and working with communities are an important aspect of Coates’ work, and in 2022 she was announced the winner of the Jerwood/Photoworks award. Coates then collaborated with 12 women identifying as working-class to produce The Lie of the Land, a series of portraits that represent the individual lived experience of the women in a rural, agricultural setting.

Over the years Coates has worked with various groups and organisations to investigate themes of class, inequalities, rurality, and community cohesion. While in residence at The Maltings and in collaboration with Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) and institute for Creative Arts Practice, she developed Daughters of the Soil which explored the role of women in agriculture in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.

‘Coates embarked on a new body of work that in many ways picks up where [Franki] Raffles left off’ —Charlotte Jansen, The Guardian ★★★★★

South Shore Road Gateshead NE8 3BA

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Until 17 November 2024

FREE, donations welcome

  • Wed 10am – 6pm
  • Thu 10am – 6pm
  • Fri 10am – 6pm
  • Sat 10am – 6pm
  • Sun 10am – 6pm
  • Level access
  • Lifts to all areas
  • Hearing loop
  • Large-format print
  • Walking aids
  • Mobility scooters
  • Accessible toilets
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Adult changing facilities
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