Side Gallery


Open: Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm (Thursday until 7pm), Free

Sunday, 12 noon - 4pm, Free

Closed bank holidays

Since opening in 1977, the gallery's been committed to documentary in the tradition of the concerned photographer - our own production/commissions in the North of England and the historical and contemporary work from around the world, which continues to inspire us. Talks are organised around most of the exhibitions. The gallery sells a range of photography books, posters, postcards and prints, along with Amber films on DVD. It is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 5pm (until 7pm on Thursdays), Sundays, 12 noon to 4pm, and admission is FREE. It's closed on bank holidays and during exhibition changeover weeks.

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Kai Wiedenhöfer

18 October – 21 December 2014

In 1989, as a first year student, Kai Wiedenhöfer witnessed and photographed the fall of the Berlin Wall in his hometown.

He saw this historic moment as the most positive and exciting political event of his lifetime.

He believed that this would be the end of walls as a political instrument, and that they would be put on the garbage heap of history as an anachronistic tool.

25 years later he has been proven wrong.

Border walls went up in the US, Europe and the Middle East in the aftermath of political, economic, religious and ethnic conflicts.

With a large format panorama camera, Wiedenhöfer has documented walls in Belfast, Ceuta and Melilla, Baghdad, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Mexico–United States border, Cyprus and Korea, as well as the remains of the Iron Curtain.

This comprehensive six year project about borders worldwide stresses that walls and fences are no solutions to today's global, political and economic problems.

"The Berlin Wall was the best proof of this - peace begins where walls fall, not where they are erected."

 Ciara Leeming: Eighteen-year-old Jiri (‘Small Jiri’) has trained to be a motor mechanic
A fence and watch booth in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, separating it from Morocco, March 2009. © Kai Wiedenhöfer

 Ciara Leeming: Eighteen-year-old Jiri (‘Small Jiri’) has trained to be a motor mechanic
Construction of the border fence between the US and Mexico, Arizona. April 2008. © Kai Wiedenhöfer


Newcastle Photography Festival Brochure by Kerry Side-Gallery

The Good News!

Side Gallery Redevelopment

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded Amber £1.1m for a three year project The AmberSide Collection: Access & Engagement. Side Gallery access... bigger and better gallery spaces... reduced need for thermal underwear... a study facilities with digital access to the collection and a library... better collection housing... lots of digitisation... lots more online and a really ambitious website... a whole host of projects in communities and schools... We're talking serious Christmas, here!

And in case you're wondering, the illustration doesn't mean we're going for a glass wall in the alleyway - although we were tempted. Created by xsite architecture, as part of their design, it reveals the re-imagined interior.

Read the press release here

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Help Support Amber's Unique Collection

Murray Martin
Murray Martin, founding member of Amber

Amber has launched a new development plan that will secure its unique film and photography collection and, where possible, make it accessible online and/or on site at Side Gallery. It involves a major programme of digitisation, interpretation, web development, digital/physical access development in the gallery and improved exhibition facilities. If you would like to know more, click here.

Your help and support is important. If you would like to make a financial contribution, CLICK HERE. Volunteers will be able help with the fundraising campaign and with the programme of work. If you would like to become involved or if there are other ways you think you can support these developments, please contact us.