Gallery of Wonder


Project Info


  • Aideen Barry
  • Irene Brown
  • Mat Collishaw
  • Mark Fairnington
  • Tessa Farmer
  • Polly Morgan
  • Aura Satz
  • Quay Brother


  • Arts Council England
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Newcastle Institute for Creative Arts Practice
  • Berwick Visual Arts

Project Outline

Led by Arts&Heritage, the Gallery of Wonder referred back to the origins of museums – the collections of wonder and natural history/medical exhibits, shown within travelling caskets.

Delivered in collaboration with Irene Brown of Newcastle University, this contemporary Gallery of Wonder commissioned new work to engage new audiences in marvellous and magical contemporary art.

It toured Northumberland’s agricultural shows during the summer autumn 2015.

The Artist

Irene Brown is a sculptor and site–specific installationist. Her research and practice is engaged with wonder, focusing on the history and philosophy of science, specifically cabinets of curiosity (wonder cabinets), investigating the threshold between aesthetic and scientific realms.

In 2010 she established the Gallery of Wonder (GoW) as a discussion point and exhibition facility for research into the evocation of wonder through visual display. Building upon research outcomes of the GoW project, Irene continues to explore the potential of art to reinterpret and represent historical information in a manner that engages and stimulates ‘wonder’ in the viewer, producing new artworks for specific sites of historical and scientific interest.