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Firstsite

High Street | Lewis Gardens, Colchester CO1 1UF, England
+44 1206 577067
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Ranked #3 of 4 Shopping in Colchester
Type: Art Galleries
Owner description: Firstsite is a visual arts organisation based in Colchester, Essex. Firstsite's stunning golden building was designed by the Uruguayan architect... more » Owner description: Firstsite is a visual arts organisation based in Colchester, Essex. Firstsite's stunning golden building was designed by the Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly, and opened in September 2011. The gallery initiates world-class exhibitions by established and emerging artists, produces publications, and has extensive learning opportunities and artists' support initiatives. Over the last fifteen years firstsite has gained a strong reputation by presenting ambitious work to new audiences in the East of England and beyond. « less
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55 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Essex UK
Top Contributor
313 reviews 313 reviews
65 attraction reviews
355 helpful votes 355 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

I regularly pop in when passing & not just to use loo :) I think we are lucky to have such a great arts centre in Colchester. I'll admit some of the exhibitions may have limited appeal but the current Bruce McLean is very good. However, Firstsite is much more than just exhibitions, it's Free Family Saturdays, Dinky Disco, Live... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Thanks for your kind words Angel! We're really glad you enjoyed your visit to firstsite and look forward to seeing you around the exhibition or at a family event again soon. More

Woodbridge, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

This is a great gallery and a great piece of architecture. Went to see the Bruce McClean exhibition which was very interesting/challenging. The staff at first site are absolutely great,very knowledgable and engaging and happy to help,unlike some galleries these days. Plus the cafe /restaurant is also very good,good food good value .Highly recommended

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firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi Chris, So glad you enjoyed your recent visit to firstsite, we look forward to seeing you again soon! More

Colchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

Known for years in its planning as 'the visual arts facility' (VAF) 'firstsite' is billed as Colchester’s new contemporary art space." In the centre of the town’s 'cultural quarter'" (Queen Street?! - oh please). This claim ignores the fact that that the building has cost way over £20m for a gigantic white elephant. You might expect a VAF, which had... More

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firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi Alan, We're sorry you were disappointed by your visit to firstsite recently, we're keen to improve wherever possible and value your comments. firstsite doesn't have a permanent collection, instead exhibitions change every three months. It's a shame that you missed our display of Constable's cloud sketches in 2012, you can read about the exhibition and have a look at... More

Derby, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

not all exhibitions will suit every space, but this combination is fantastic. The giant paintings hung on the expansive walls can be properly appreciated, and the smaller objects , photos and information are easy to see in the cases and internal room. Look out for the paintings of swimmers, Gucci bags, and the ceramic jugs and then sit with a... More

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firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi Charbren, So glad you enjoyed your visit to firstsite, we hope to welcome you back soon! More

Norwich, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

We enjoyed our visit to an outstanding building.It's great that the Town has this iconic new building.The exhibition of Bruce McLean was excellent and well displayed. Let's see more great art here. It's good to be able to see art like this without having to go to London. We will be coming again. Firstsite is an positive addition to the... More

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firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi Martin, So glad you enjoyed your visit to firstsite recently, we look forward to welcoming you back soon. More

Essex, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
46 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

Our second visit (after a gap of more than a year) proved to be just as disappointing. Once inside, the first impression is "there's a lot of empty space, with very high ceilings and sloping walls, which couldn't be used for displaying anything of interest". The staff give the impression that the place is an embarrassment to them. Okay, so... More

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firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi Vic, Many thanks for your feedback and sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your recent visit to firstsite. Our Gallery Assistants are specifically trained to welcome everyone, so many apologies that this is not what you received during your visit. It's a shame that you didn't visit during our Sophie von Hellermann exhibition, in which we used the high,... More

Suffolk UK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

We visited Firstsite found it 'odd'. So much money for an art gallery that has very small galleries with large spacial corridors lined with walls that you cannot exhibit on cos they lean. I like contemporary design if it incorporates or reflects its surroundings but this is just a building, in isolation, soulless. Looks cheap. Sad really cos Colchester is... More

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firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi Sue, Sorry that you didn't enjoy your visit to firstsite. As I'm sure you're aware firstsite has a changing exhibition programme, with each exhibition the building and all it's spaces are used in different ways. I very much recommend that you return to firstsite from 14 May when our summer exhibition (a 40-year survey of Bruce McLean's work) will... More

London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
10 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

It's worth a trip just to see the building, we are so lucky to have something of this magnitude in Colchester. I enjoy the exhibitions and have seen some films there. There is just something lacking, a coherence that brings it all together maybe? I was there on day one when it opened and it was full of people and... More

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firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hi Alan, Thanks for your feedback and your ongoing support. As you know firstsite has a changing programme of exhibitions and we hope that if the exhibition you visited was not to your taste, perhaps a future one will be. We aim to work with MUSA café and the people who use the spaces outside to make the whole experience... More

London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

We thought we'd take a trip to Britain's oldest recorded city, Colchester. Having never been there before, it wasn't easy finding our way around. In fact we got lost twice! We visited the castle first, which wasn't open for visitors. Had a lovely walk around the grounds though. Then we asked someone for directions and ended up the Colchester art... More

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firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hello, Thanks for your feedback, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to Colchester. We are excited that our neighbours Colchester Castle will reopen this Friday 2 May, and of course, firstsite has a changing exhibition programme, so when you next visit Colchester make sure you pop in to see both! More

colchester
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
7 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Outside Firstsite is like a scene from Wayne's world ,loads of scruffy skate boarders ,not family friendly at all could be quite intimidating to a lot of people .the building looks quite futuristic ,not at all in keeping with Colchester . Inside two large jet engines art ?????? who knows !! .most of the walls seem bare, we were walking... More

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firstsite, Public Relations Manager at Firstsite, responded to this review

Hello, Thanks for your feedback and I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience at firstsite. We are working with Colchester Borough Council, who own the building and the surrounding space to work with the skateboarders and other people who use the outside spaces. Some of the young people have worked with firstsite through our Young Art Kommunity (Y.A.K.)... More

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