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Firstsite art gallery in Colchester.jpg
Firstsite art gallery in Colchester
Firstsite is located in Essex
Location within Essex
Established 2011
Location Colchester, Essex, England
Coordinates 51°53′20″N 0°54′22″E / 51.889°N 0.906°E / 51.889; 0.906
Director Sally Shaw
Berryfield Mosaic. The mosaic, discovered on the site, is the gallery's only permanent exhibit.

Firstsite is a contemporary art gallery in Colchester, Essex, which opened in 2011.[1]

The building was designed by Rafael Viñoly. It is situated in Colchester's "Cultural Quarter" near The Minories, Colchester, fifteen Queen Street (a creative business hub), the Norman Colchester Castle, the Natural History Museum, Hollytrees Museum and Colchester's Roman Wall.

Its exhibits are on a rolling six-monthly basis, starting with Camulodunum.[2] It also cooperated with Essex University to show South American art until 2013.[3][4][5]

Firstsite is a registered charity under English law.[6]


Critical appraisal[edit]

The gallery's opening received a considerable evaluation in the press. The Guardian criticized the sloping walls and the architect, Viñoly.[10] It also examined it in terms of the economic expectations towards it and in comparison with other regional galleries.[11] However, The Independent praised the inaugural exhibition Camulodunum.[12] The Daily Telegraph has criticized the expense of the project.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "firstsite". Firstsite. 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  2. ^ "firstsite". Firstsite. 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  3. ^ "University of Essex to rehouse its Latin American collection". 2014. Retrieved 2016-06-11. 
  4. ^ "Works on Display". ESCALA University of Essex. Retrieved 2016-06-11. 
  5. ^ "firstsite". Firstsite. 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  6. ^ Charity Commission. Firstsite Limited, registered charity no. 1031800. 
  7. ^ "Gee Vaucher: Introspective", Firstsite. Accessed 22 July 2017
  8. ^ "Grayson Perry: The Life of Julie Cope: 1 January - 18 February 2018 10am - 5pm Tapestry of Essex Everywoman’s life caught at Grayson Perry’s Firstsite show", Firstsite. Accessed 9 January 2018
  9. ^ Mark Edwards "Tapestry of Essex Everywoman’s life caught at Grayson Perry’s Firstsite show", Ipswich Star, 12 December 2017. Accessed 9 January 2018
  10. ^ Rowan Moore (2011-09-18). "Firstsite – review | Art and design". London: The Observer. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  11. ^ Maev Kennedy (2011-09-22). "Colchester's Firstsite for sore eyes | Art and design". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  12. ^ McLean, Laura (2011-10-21). "Camulodunum, Firstsite, Colchester - Reviews - Art". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  13. ^ Art (2011-10-14). "firstsite gallery, Colchester: £25 million well-spent?". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 

External links[edit]