OPEN CALL FOR EMERGING ARTISTS
PS² Freelands Artist Programme
Saturday 18 September 2021
OPEN CALL FOR EMERGING/ RE-EMERGING ARTISTS
PS² Freelands Artist Programme 2022 -23
Ends 18 September 2021
PS² Freelands Artist Programme 2022-2023
Call for Artists
PS² invites emerging or re-emerging Northern Ireland-based artists to apply for the PS² Freelands Artist Programme 2022-2023, a two-year creative and professional development programme for emerging artists funded by the Freelands Foundation. You can download the brief here.
Supported by ongoing peer learning and critique, curatorial support from the project curator, and additional mentoring, the PS² Freelands Artist Programme enables emerging/ re-emerging artists of any age to focus on, and develop, significant new work and research. The programme also includes the realisation of an exhibition/project at PS², research trips, a symposium, visits by external curators, and the possibility to show work in a curated exhibition at the Freelands Gallery (London).
Five artists will be selected to participate in the 2022-2023 programme. They will each receive:
● £5000 fee per annum for two years
● individual tailored curatorial support
financial support for materials/production and additional
● travel support
● access to PS² resources and workshop space
● the full commitment of PS²
is an artist led collective, based in the centre of
Belfast, with the aim of connecting art and society. We support artists through our studio resources and organise an
engaged arts programme in our project space and at outside locations and
This is the last call for artists forming the fourth cohort of the programme.
More information about the Freelands Artist Programme and our current cohort artists can be found here.
Who is eligible?
● must have a minimum of three years of demonstrable
high-quality artistic practice at the point of selection for
the programm [October 2021], either since the
commencement of their artistic career or since the
completion of any formal academic qualifications in the
● must be an 'emerging artist' in the process of forming/
establishing their career, or a ‘re-emerging artist' whose
career has been interrupted due to personal
circumstances (childcare, care for relatives, illness,
● can be of any nationality, age and background, work in
any medium, and will live and work in Northern Ireland
for the two-year duration of the PS² Freelands Artist
● must not be in formal education (this includes PhDs) at
any point during the programme period and able to fully
commit to the full duration of the programme (January
2022 – December 2023).
● must commit to taking part in this creative and
professional development programme and be open to
the critical advice and curatorial input, dialogue, and
peer networks offer.
If you have any questions about your eligibility for the programme, please check out our Q&A section further down this page, where we have answered some previously asked queries.
What will we be looking for?
We are aware that the terms ‘emerging’, ‘re-emerging’ and ‘artist’ are open for interpretation.
PS² has a broad understanding of art and therefore artists and recognises that even if you had some success as an artist at one stage, creative and professional progression is seldom linear. This programme is therefore open to emerging and re-emerging artists. There are no upper age limits, and we encourage anyone to apply who feels this programme fits them. We also accept applications from artistic duos.
You will be deemed ineligible if you already have a well-established (international) career, an extensive exhibition history, or have recently received a significant solo exhibition in a UK-based or international institution. We are not seeking finished project or exhibition proposals, nor budget lines. Instead, we are interested in fresh and imaginative ideas and considered potential developments for your practice based on your past and current work, projected into the next two years. We are looking for participants who will benefit the most from the programme’s creative and professional development opportunities.
are expected to be flexible and able to fully commit to the programme. This
will continue to be an exciting learning process for us and for the selected
How do I apply?
Please send us:
name and contact details (address, email, phone
and contact details (phone and email) of two
people who can advocate for you and your artistic
practice, should you be successful in your application.
artist statement- i.e. a description of what your work
is about, the relationship between your work and the
wider social/political and contemporary art context....
(max. 500 words).
project proposal broadly describing how you will use
the programme to develop and produce new outcomes
(max. 500 words), no budget required.
relevant and up-to-date artist CV (including
graduation details, if applicable) of no more than two A4
to seven images of previous/current
work or links to
websites, including film/vide /sound work uploaded to
YouTube/Vimeo/SoundCloud, or similar, and, if
necessary, password protected. When including links to
artist moving image work, please provide an edited
extract of no more than three minutes, as well as a full
version of the work. Please include short descriptions to
accompany all work and links.
Please send your completed
application in a single PDF file
no larger than 5MB to firstname.lastname@example.org
with your full name as the subject heading.
The application deadline for submissions is Saturday 18 September 2021, 11.59pm.
On submission, you will receive a response confirming receipt of your application and a link to an anonymised Equality Opportunity Monitoring Form, which we would be grateful if you could complete.
● The application deadline for
18 September 2021
● The shortlisted artists will be
11 October 2021
● The interviews for shortlisted
artists will be on Friday
29 October 2021
● The interviews will be in person at
PS² or online via
Zoom if a personal meeting is not possible
● The five selected artists will be
01 November 2021.
Please contact us if you would like to receive this information in a different format, e.g. paper format, large print version. Email: email@example.com; phone: 07733457772.
Artists with specific access needs can submit an application in an alternative format and are offered in-person support.
We welcome applications from people
irrespective of disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status,
family responsibility, race, ethnic origin, nationality (subject to issue of
work permit, where required), trade union membership and activity, political or
In this final call of the programme, we encourage applications from those with less visibility in the arts, whose background and/or identity is as yet under-represented. This includes, but is not limited to, artists from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds, artists from lower socio-economic backgrounds, deaf artists, neurodiverse artists, artists with disabilities or long-term health difficulties, artists with LGBTQIA+ identities, artists with no formal art education and artists of older age. Self-definition is at the sole discretion of the applicant.
In-person Information sessions are on
Friday 20 August, 10.30-11.30am at CCA/ Derry/Londonderry and
Friday 27 August, 12-1pm in PS², Belfast.
In addition, we will hold a session on Zoom on
Thursday 02 September at 7pm.
If you are interested in any of the sessions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance.
To download this brief click here.
Click to see the Video Conversation
We thought it might be helpful for anyone thinking of applying to hear directly from artists who are currently on the PS² Freelands Artist Programme. Jan McCullough, Julie Lovett and Thomas Wells kindly agreed to talk about the programme and their experience with the application.
This video is 22:43min long.
00:40min- Can you quickly introduce yourself and what you do as an artist?
03:24min- What does the PS² Freelands Artist Programme mean for you?
07:53min- At what stage of your career did you apply?
12:25min- Do you have any advice for putting together the application?
20:42min- One last tip of encouragement?
Jan McCullough and Julie Lovett were part of the 1st cohort 2018-20, Thomas Wells from the 2nd cohort started in 2020.
We have collected some frequently asked questions and our answers from our recent advice sessions and previous open calls below.
If I only graduated 2 years ago, can I still apply?
If you graduated with a BA and don't have at least three years of demonstrable high-quality artistic practice before that, you can not apply, unfortunately.
The guidelines set by the Freelands Foundation state clearly that applicants 'must have a minimum of three years’ of demonstrable high-quality artistic 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'.
This would be slightly different if you would have just finished an MA of PhD and have three years of demonstrable high-quality artistic practice either before or after your BA studies. But you don't need to have a degree in art.
Can we apply as a group, producing work collectively?
Yes, you can if you are an ‘artist duo’ with a proven track record and outcomes in your collaborative practice, or a group with a clearly defined practice and vision, that meets all our other criteria.
Is the Freelands
Residency/grant open to artists from southern Ireland?
You can come from anywhere, but during the 2 year duration of the programme you have to live in Northern Ireland.
I have a job to earn my living. Is this still possible, because you write under 'Who is eligible' that applicants have to be 'able to fully commit to the full duration of the programme'?
Yes. We understand that you can't live off £5000 a year. Ideally, the funding might allow you to reduce your working hours (the Foundation knows that this amount might just be the equivalent of one day off per week of someone on a full employment wage) or to pay for childcare or assistance. 'Fully committed' isn't so much measured in hours but in terms of dedication to what you set out to do in your application.
I graduated from an MFA over two years ago and can demonstrate at least two years of high-quality artistic practice since completing the MFA. Before starting the MFA, and after completing a BA, I have over one years’ worth of demonstrable high-quality artistic practice. Can I apply?
Yes, if you have a minimum of three years of demonstrable high-quality artistic practice at the point of selection for the programme, either since the commencement of your artistic career or since the completion of any formal academic qualifications in the arts, and provided you meet our other criteria, you can apply.
I finished my PhD less than three years ago, but I have more than three years’ of practice between the end of my MA/MFA and the start of my PhD, can I still apply?
Yes, if you have graduated from a PhD within the last three years, but can demonstrate you had a high-quality artistic practice of at least three years after you received your formal academic qualification through an MA/MFA and before starting your PhD, and provided you meet all our other criteria, you are eligible.
This programme is funded by the Freelands Foundation.
PS² is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.