Lunch Break Culture


Taking a break from your desk at lunchtime means you can stretch your legs, clear your head and unwind for a brief while before heading back for the rest of the day in the workplace

But, all too often, we just grab a sandwich and are back at our desks without having a proper break or we wander aimlessly round the shops spending money we do not have.

Well, if you work in Middlesbrough, why not take advantage of some lunch hour culture right on the doorstep? Here’s a handy run through of five things – all free – you can enjoy during your working week.

Mondays can be tough with a full week of work ahead. Well, if books are your bag, number one on your bite size culture smorgasbord is Fahrenheit Bookshop. The recently expanded store, run by a local workers co-operative, is about far more than just books and can now be found at 47-49A Wilson Street, Dundas Arcade, TS1 1SA.

Head inside and you can lose yourself in shelves of tomes, magazines, radical badges and pamphlets. Browse through fiction and non-fiction covering everything from art to architecture, politics to philosophy, history, literature and much more.

Fahrenheit Books is also home to Teesside Socialist Clothes Bank and donations are always appreciated. The shop is also an arts space and they are also looking to host regular evenings where poets, activists, musicians and artists can meet to perform, collaborate and share creative ideas.

On Tuesday’s lunch break why not take yourself to mima and check out the latest exhibitions. Following form the hugely successful Localism show, you can now see Teesside born Basil Beattie’s ‘When Now Becomes Then: Three Decades’ exhibition. Beattie is well known for his abstract paintings featuring architecture, doors, tunnels and steps and you can see his work until 12 June.

mima is also showing work by  Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise – a group based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Co-produced with the Institute for Human activities, the exhibition features sculptural portraits – each one moulded from clay and then reproduced in Belgian chocolate through technologies such as 3D scanning. Money made from the sale of these works are directed back to the plantation workers.

Revel in the joy of comics with Wednesday’s cultural bite. Throughout March, the Constantine Gallery at Teesside University is hosting ‘Women in Comics’, curated by Fionnuala Doran, a lecturer in comics, graphic novels and sequential arts.

The exhibition features works by Gillian Hatcher and award winning illustrator Jess Ruliffson. Women in Comics acts as a sister piece to Comix Creatix which is currently being displayed in London’s House of Illustration highlighting pieces by emerging female talent in the international comic industry.

Walk down Linthorpe Road and get yourself to the Dorman Museum on Thursday. So often, when a fantastic facility is right under your nose, you don’t always see it, use it or appreciate it. The Dorman Museum houses a huge collection of items celebrating the area’s throughout natural history and geology to social history and Victorian Arts and Crafts. The 20th Century Woman gallery provides a fascinating insight into how the major social and political changes of the last century affected the lives of the women in Middlesbrough. You can also check out the other permanent galleries including, earth in space; four corners; Linthorpe Art Pottery; Town in Time and The Nelson Room.

Arts and crafts feature heavily in Friday’s cultural offering. Take a look in Gallery TS1 at 57 Corporation Road. This treasure trove of a space exhibits and sells crafts and arts by emerging and established local artists. The walls are adorned with original artworks and prints and you can also find jewellery, cards, ceramics, glassware and turned wood objects.

So there is a snapshot of just some of the places you can visit, for free, during a lunch break. Of course there are loads more – head to Middlehaven Dock to appreciate the scale of Temenos, look at the buildings as you walk around to see some of the stunning architecture and building facades. Middlesbrough Central Library is a joy to be in and a browse in the reference library is sure to throw up a wealth of information. In short, there is no end to the opportunities for some lunch hour culture. Enjoy!

By Emma on March 8, 2016

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