BEYOND at Allenheads Contemporary Arts

Atop a steep hill, overlooking the rural Northumbrian village of Allenhead, you will find an old Victorian Schoolhouse. It is from here that Alan Smith and Helen Ratcliffe established Allenheads Contemporary Arts (ACA) back in 1994. As well as the Schoolhouse, ACA have an exhibition stroke studio space in the village centre’s old Post Office and Shop.

For Great Northumberland, however, ACA are looking to the future with BEYOND: a series of exhibitions, installations and live events serving to explore distances that provoke our grasp of the universe and open up wider philosophical discussions.

By definition, the word BEYOND lures us to a place that has not yet been arrived at or is further than we can currently reach. Through BEYOND, the Contemporary Arts initiative invites YOU to explore the ideas and practices of a variety of artists – as they venture to places not yet encountered.

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BEYOND takes advantage of the North Pennines Observatory, located on-site in Allenheads, offering visitors the chance to enjoy some of the best views in the country. Come along to one of the project’s midnight experiences: join artist, Sarah Sparkes and sound artist, Ian Thompson for Cosmic Pond, as they listen to the microcosm of pond life in the reservoir, whilst watching the celestial life of the cosmos through the telescope; journey beyond the edges, surfaces and boundaries that contain us alongside artists, Robbie Coleman and Jo Hodges at Far From Daylight.

If staying up late isn’t your thing, take a day-trip through the cosmos, with a series of exhibitions, installations and live events. Join Robert Good as he presents a live afternoon of the spoken and written word, exploring how language attempts to describe, explain and wonder at the act of stargazing. For Good’s event, The Astronomical Sublime, the artist has drawn upon sources as diverse as scientific technical papers, through to personal conversations with Astro-enthusiasts.


If you’re a night-owl, stay up beyond Midnight on Saturday 21 July or Sunday 22 July for a live midnight experience. Please note that pre-booking is required for these events.

From 2pm – 5pm on Sunday 22 July, enjoy a series of exhibitions, installations and live events, including The Astronomical Sublime.


 Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Old Schoolhouse, Allenheads, Northumberland, NE47 9HR

Book Your Tickets Now

Entry to the exhibition is FREE with no need to book. Pre-booking is required for the live midnight experiences. Please visit the website, below, for more information.