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Winner of the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021, Firstsite is an international gallery and creative community space, open all year round, for free, for everyone. See the world differently – experience the very best art and culture from around the world that inspires, empowers and opens your mind.
Throughout our exceptional artistic and cultural activities, enjoyed by all in a fun and inclusive environment, from exhibitions to community events, talks and lectures to holiday fun activities, we provide a programme that celebrates the diverse and radical people of East Anglia and invite everyone to be part of our creative community.
Our unique and curved building, designed by Rafael Vinoly, creates an environment like no other. Its dramatic frontage leads through to stunning gallery and studio spaces and has a unique versatility which makes it perfect for events as well as a fun and inspirational space to immerse yourself in art, culture and creativity.
Until April 24
Featuring over 40 paintings by Norfolk-based artist Claire Cansick, the exhibition depicts a spectrum of climate-related catastrophes, including wildfires, floods, droughts, historic storms, snowfall, war, deforestation, erosion, the proliferation of tornadoes, and the alarming warming of the Arctic.
Each artwork tells a compelling story of nature's relentless struggle against human actions and inactions.
Noble & Webster have created a remarkable group of anti-monuments in their 24-year career, mixing the strategies of modern sculpture and the attitude of punk to make art from anti-art.
Their work derives much of its power from its fusion of opposites, form and anti-form, high culture and anti-culture, male and female, craft and rubbish, sex and violence.
This series of light sculptures reference iconic pop culture symbols represented in the form of shop-front-type signage and carnival shows inherent of British seaside towns, Las Vegas and Times Square. With the aid of complex light sequencing these signs perpetually flash and spiral out messages of everlasting love, and hate.
Stocking a wide variety of design-led and affordable products, the Firstsite shop is fully accessible and located in the gallery foyer adjacent to the Welcome desk. Our team will be available to help you with your purchase Monday to Sunday
Relax in our light and airy café with outdoor balcony seating.
Firstsite is open for free, for everyone.
- Disabled access
- Wheelchairs available
Booking & Payment Details
- Free Entry
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Picnic site
- School Trips
- Coach parties accepted
Map & Directions
By bike Cycle racks are available outside Firstsite. Helmets and equipment can be left in our free cloakroom in our Welcome Area. To view the Colchester cycle map and find out more information about cycling in Colchester, visit the Cycle Colchester website. Walking Firstsite is just a short walk from Colchester’s High Street and can be reached via a walkway off Queen Street, by the Curzon Cinema, or via Lewis Gardens.
By car There is good access to Colchester from all parts of the country via the A12, A120, M25 and A14. To reach the town centre by road, exit the A12 at junction 27 and follow signs to the town centre. Firstsite offers parking for disabled visitors only; there is no on-site parking. Disabled parking bays are allocated on a first come, first served basis – please call 01206 713 700 when planning your visit so we can ensure easy access. Outside the building entrance is a drop-off point for cars and coaches and special access for disabled visitors, this is accessible from Lewis Gardens. We are a short walk from all Colchester’s town centre car parks, the nearest car parks are Priory Street and Britannia. Find out more about parking in Colchester town centre.
Public Transport Directions
By bus The High Street, Queen Street and East Hill are well served by many local bus routes with bus stops just a few minutes’ walk from Firstsite. Queen Street Stop Jc, just by the Curzon Cinema, is our nearest bus stop. This is served by bus routes 64, 64A and 65. Firstsite is also just a 10-minute walk from Colchester’s bus station on Osborne Street. For bus times, check Network Colchester’s website or phone 01206 877620 and Essex County Council’s Interactive Bus and Train map. By rail Journey time from London Liverpool Street to Colchester is approximately 50 minutes on Greater Anglia services with trains running every hour. Firstsite is a few minutes’ walk from Colchester Town Station via Queens Street. Walking from Colchester mainline station takes approx. 25 minutes or short a bus ride. Taxis are also available from outside the station. For more information or to plan your route, please visit National Rail Enquiries. Park and Ride Alight at the High Street stop, Firstsite is just 5 minutes’ walk long the High Street and onto Queen Street. Find out more about Colchester’s Park and Ride. By coach A drop-off point for coaches is situated outside the front of the building – this is accessible from Lewis Gardens. The Colchester Borough Council run car park on Sheepen Road can accommodate coaches. Accessible by Public Transport: Colchester Town station is 1 mile away.