Dedicated to contemporary visual art, firstsite occupies a striking crescent-shaped centre designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly – a work of art in its own right.

Sitting directly above Roman remains, the site is a fusion of old and new. One of the first things you notice on entering is the Berryfield mosaic, set into the floor below glass, which was originally part of a Roman townhouse. It's the only permanent item on show, as the centre has no art collection of its own. Instead, the three gallery spaces, radiating off a sweeping internal promenade, host a series of changing exhibitions and commissions from both local and international artists. Artists to have exhibited include Lubaina Himid, Grayson Perry and Ai Weiwei.

Firstsite also hosts a wide selection of events, film screenings and courses, with a particularly strong focus on activities for children and families – in 1996, it became the first visual arts organisation to dedicate an entire gallery to schools’ art, and community engagement is at the heart of its programming.


Firstsite

Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH

01206 577 067

Website

Opening times

Tue – Sun, 10am – 5pm


Exhibitions nearby

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