Freelands Symposium 2022

The symposium in Belfast brings together artists and staff from the four partner organisations of the Freelands Artist Programme: Site Gallery, Sheffield, England; g39, Cardiff, Wales; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland; PS², Belfast, Notthern Ireland and the Freelands Foundation, London

Ends 16 September 2022

The Freelands Artist Programme brings together artists and staff from the 4 participating organisations in an annual symposium. This year it will take place in Belfast, and we are super excited about this.
In 2021, the symposium was held in Cardiff with g39 which hosted the event, the year before the gathering happened virtually in the cloud of Zoom for Covid reasons, and in 2019 everyone met up in Sheffield at Site Gallery.

We are expecting around fifty artists and staff in attendance and the symposium is being shaped in a way that fosters a relaxed and sociable atmosphere. It is a rare chance to bring everybody together to discover what is possible when we are connected. All sessions and shared meals will be opt-in. There will be artist talks, workshops, guided walks and several opportunities to meet and get to know artists from other cohorts and cities.

The theme of the 2022 symposium is City as Material. Belfast itself takes centre stage as we explore how artists and creatives work with the social ingredients of the city to make new work. In spaces across Belfast which are embedded in distinct neighbourhoods, Cultúrlann in West Belfast, Vault Artist Studios in the East, we will hear from a range of creative practitioners and explore the neighbourhoods through guided walks.

About the Freelands Artist Programme

The Programme is an initiative funded by the Freelands Foundation that supports creative and professional development for emerging artists based in Northern Ireland, and fosters long term relationships and collaborations between artists and arts organisations.

The Freelands Artist Programme was created to build and strengthen professional arts practice outside of London and support and enhance collaboration between 80 emerging artists and four arts organisations from across the UK. As with all the Foundation’s initiatives to date, the programme was established following extensive research into the current landscape of post-university support for emerging artists in the UK.

Alongside PS², Belfast, Northern Ireland, Site Gallery in Sheffield, England; g39 in Cardiff, Wales, and Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, were selected to participate in this 5 year long Programme [2018-2023].

The programme has three core objectives:
1. Supporting emerging artists in their creative and professional development, and bolstering their local networks with other artists and arts professionals.
2. Supporting regional arts organisations in their collaboration with artists, developing best-practice approaches to engaging with artists, creating new public engagement programmes and enabling the overall development of arts ecosystems.
3. Sustaining and strengthening arts ecosystems by attracting, developing and retaining talent – both artists and arts sector professionals – across the UK.


More details to follow.