Call for artists- for PS²’s Freelands Artist Programme

NOW CLOSED- Call for artists- for PS²’s Freelands Artist Programme. NOW CLOSED
Deadline: Friday, 14 September 2018, 5pm


for PS²’s Freelands Artist Programme


PS² invites emerging, Northern Ireland based artists and cultural producers, working in any media form, for a 2 year funding programme.
Five artists/creatives will be selected, enabling them to focus and develop significant new work, supported by peer learning and critique, a project curator and mentors. The programme includes the realisation of projects in PS², research trips, a yearly symposium and the possibility to show work in the Freelands Gallery, London. The selected artists/ cultural producers will receive £5000 per year over 2 years (with very reduced administrative conditions), financial help for production, individual curatorial support and the full commitment of PS².

The aim of the Freelands Artists Programme is to support emerging artists and local organisations to retain and grow talent in their region. PS²- as an artist-run organisation- has always worked with artists at the start to mid-career and encouraged risk taking and experiment, radicalness and difference, and resolve to site context. We have a strong belief of the social relevance of art and are keen to support community engaged and context specific projects (dialogical art).
For PS², the Freelands Artist Programme is an ideal opportunity to support artists at the start to mid-career level and to strengthen the arts ecology and the potential for contemporary Arts  in Northern Ireland. By the end of the 5 year programme, twenty artists will have participated, so please bear in mind that this call-out for emerging artists will be repeated every year until 2021. It is hoped that the Freelands Artist Programme will energise emerging artists and contribute to making the region culturally cool and exciting. 

Who is eligible?
artists and creatives

  • must be living and working in Northern Ireland (for the time of the 2 years)
  • should have a minimum of three years’ demonstrated practice at the point of selection for the programme, either since the commencement of their artistic career or since the completion of any formal academic qualifications in the arts
  • must not be in formal education at any point of the residency period (this includes Phd)
  • can work in any medium  
  • keen to take part in this programme and be open to critical advise and support
  • should be in the process of forming/establishing their careers. We are looking for artists who will benefit the most from the curatorial support, dialogue and networks on offer
  • are expected to be able to fully commit to the programme for the duration of the 2 year period (Sept/Oct 2018 – Sept/Oct 2020
    Please note – there is no upper age limit and applicants can be of any nationality.
    Please have a look at the research into the the situation for emerging artists by the Freelands Foundation here.

    What selected artists can expect
  • Fee of £5000 annually over two years
  • Access to resources of PS²
  • Curatorial assistance by the project curator
  • A project/ exhibition in PS²
  • Commissioned writing, specific to their work 
  • Studio visits, assistance and mentoring from visiting contributors  
  • Opportunity to take part in a symposium with other artists and alumni of the Freelands Artist Programme
  • Opportunity to show in Freelands Gallery, London
  • Programme period September/October 2018 – September/October 2020  

    What are we looking for?
    We are aware that both terms ‘emerging’ and ‘artist’ are fairly open for interpretation. PS² has a very broad understanding of art and therefore artists/ cultural producers (or creative groups).
    We encourage everyone to apply who feels this programme fits to them,
    except you already have a well-established (international) career. See Freelands Foundation's research into emerging artists, an analysis we fully agree with.
    You should be really keen and flexible to take part in this programme and open for critical advice and support. We are looking for artists who will benefit the most from the curatorial and practical support, dialogue and networks on offer. You are expected to be able to fully commit to the programme for the duration of the 2 year period (Sept/Oct 2018 – Sept/Oct 2020. This will be an exciting learning process both for us and for the selected artists. And again, this is a 5 year programme, so please bear in mind (and prepare) that this call out for emerging artists will be repeated every year until 2021.

How do I apply?
Please send:   

  • Your name and contact details (address, email, phone number)
  • Project proposal how you will use the funding and time to develop your work (max. 500 words) 
  • Artist statement (max. 700 words) 
  • Relevant and up to date Artist CV (including graduation details if applicable)
  • Max 7 images of previous/current work or links to websites,  including film/video work/ sound uploaded to Youtube /Vimeo/ Soundcloud… and (if necessary) password protected. Please include short descriptions to accompany all work and links.  
  • Names and contact details (phone and email) of two people who can advocate for you and your artistic practice. 

Please send all information in a single PDF (max 3MB), titled with your name to:
Unfortunately, applications that do not follow this format can not be considered.
PS² is committed to equal opportunities in recruitment and employment. We know that many artists struggle to capture their work and intentions in words. Please try to find your own way and terms to describe what you want to achieve in your work as honestly and clearly as possible.

Friday, 14 September, 5pm.
Interviews for shortlisted artists will be on Friday, 21 September 2018, in PS².
Shortlisted artists will be asked to give an 8 min presentation of their work and plans (in any preferred format) followed by a QA session.  

If you have any queries regarding the programme, the application process and format, please contact or phone 07733457772.

Frequently asked questions
If I only graduated 2 years ago, can I still apply?
Give it a try. Artist’s careers/ developments are very different. If you can show you have a strong momentum and ride on a creative wave, it would make sense to support you. The guidelines say should not must [so the selection panel has some digression] have a minimum of three years’ demonstrated practice….

If I am shortlisted but can’t come to the interview, can there be a skype session instead?
Not ideal but yes.

My PHD finished less than a year ago. Can I apply?
It is often difficult to go back to an artistic practice after completing a PHD and we are aware of the problem. If you can demonstrate your determination to your artistic work and it is- or has the promise-to develop into something outstanding, please give it a go.

Can we apply as a group, producing work collectively?
If you are an ensemble with one outcome and not many individual ones, why not.

Do you require a detailed project budget in the 'Project Proposal' ?
We do not require any budgeting. The funding could cover anything you require to make great work, from food, rent, petrol, material, equipment, travel...

What should the 'Artist Statement' provide
The statement should be about your work and ideas, motivations, ambitions, background and outlook.

What do you understand with 'PS² has a very broad understanding of art'?
Contemporary art incorporates many other media forms, like film/video, sound, performance and has expanded (or come back) into theatre, craft, dance, architecture, science, programming... and fields we don't yet know of.

You can download this page as PDF here.

This programme is funded by the
Freelands Foundation.
The Freelands Artist Programme was awarded to 4 organisations across the 4 Nations of the UK. Alongside PS², Belfast/ Northern Ireland are the Site Gallery, Sheffield, England; g39 in Cardiff, Wales and Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland. The programme was designed to foster emerging artist talent across the UK and will support 80 artists across the four organisations over the next 5 years.

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