PS² Freelands Artist Programme
PS² artists, cohort 1: Janie Doherty, Michael Hanna, Julie Lovett, Jan McCullough and Emily McFarland; cohort 2 artists: BROWN&BRÍ, Jane Butler, Mitch Conlon, Jasmin Märker, Thomas Wells ; cohort 3 artists: Myrid Carten, Phillip McCrilly, Helouise O'Reilly, Robin Price, Jonathan Ross; cohort 4 artists: Jacqueline Holt, Susan Hughes, Dorothy Hunter, Tara McGinn, Christopher Steenson.
September 2018 - December 2023
The PS² Freelands Artist 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.
Selected from an annual open call for applications, the PS² Freelands Artist Programme artists work across a range of media including photography, painting, dance, film, sculpture, installation and performance, and represent the type of fresh, ambitious and publicly interactive approaches to art production found in Northern Ireland today.
Over a period of two years, each cohort will focus on and develop significant new work, supported by the PS² Freelands Artist Programme Project Curator, invited mentors, peer learning and critique. The programme also includes the realisation of projects in PS², research trips, a yearly symposium, the possibility to show work in the Freelands Gallery, London, and the use of PS²’s equipment and workshop space.
The PS² Freelands Artist Programme is a five-year initiative (2018-2023) and includes 4 arts organisations across the UK: g39 Cardiff, Wales; PS², Belfast/ Northern Ireland; Site Gallery, Sheffield, England and Talbot Rice Gallery Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Artist programme has three core interrelated 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.
Jan McCullough- Home Instruction Manual, 2015
Michael Hanna- installation image of Predictable Contact, 2017
Artists selected for cohort 1, 2018-20
Through an open call, a panel consisting of artist Alastair MacLennan; PS² Freelands Artist Programme Curator (2018-20) Alissa Kleist; and Creative Director of PS² Peter Mutschler, selected artists Janie Doherty, Michael Hanna, Julie Lovett, Jan McCullough and Emily McFarland.
For more information see
Cohort 1- Publication
Old Land New Waters
Edited by Edward Ball, published by Freelands Foundation, 2021, 288 pages. To order contact Freelands Foundation.
Old Land New Waters celebrates two years of activity by the first cohort of artists participating in the Freelands Artist Programme.f The publication follows each artist’s journey through two years of artistic practice, observing ideas unfolding or making tentative explorations with new mediums and processes. This richly illustrated book also includes material from the Freelands Artist Programme Symposium 2019. Artists in the publication include Kelly Best, Ian Watson, JenniferTaylor, Fern Thomas, Neasa Terry, Emily McFarland, Janie Doherty, JulieLovett,
Jan McCullough, Michael Hanna, Siân Williams, ZoyanderStreet, Yuen Fong Ling, Lucy Vann, Alison J Carr, Aideen Doran, RosieO’Grady, Tako Taal, Stephanie Mann.
Old Land New Waters- Publication
Publication- Old Land New Waters. Page: Janie Doherty
Cohort 1- Exhibition
part 1: Quicksilver
The first of two exhibitions at the Freelands Foundation in London with works by the first cohort of artists in the Artist Programme included: Kelly Best, Michael Hanna, Julie Lovett, Stephanie Mann,Jan McCullough, Rosie O’Grady, Jennifer Taylor, Lucy Vann,Siân Williams.
To go on a virtual tour or to hear more from the curator Edward Ball see.
Virtual exhibition view with work by: Kelly Best, Michael Hanna, Julie Lovett, Stephanie Mann,Jan McCullough, Rosie O’Grady, Jennifer Taylor, Lucy Vann,Siân Williams
part 2: Undertow
The second exhibition included: Alison J Carr, Janie Doherty, Aideen Doran, Yuen Fong Ling, Emily McFarland, Zoyander Street, Fern Thomas, Ian Watson.
Artists selected for cohort 2, 2019-21
A panel including artist Anne Tallentire; PS² Freelands Artist Programme Curator (2018-20) Alissa Kleist; and Creative Director of PS² Peter Mutschler, selected BROWN&BRÍ, Jane Butler, Mitch Conlon, Jasmin Märker and Thomas Wells, four artists and one artist duo, from an open call for applications.
For more information see
Thomas Wells/Array Collective, As Others See us, 2019
Jane Butler, and yet, 2015
Aggregate- publication. Image: The-Book- Photographer
Aggregate- publication. Page Jasmin Märker. Image: The-Book- Photographer
Participating artists: Becca + Clare, Brown&Brí, Jane Butler, James Clarkson, Mitch Conlon, Freya Dooley, Rebecca Gould, Maud Haya-Baviera, Jenny Hogarth, Rhiannon Lowe, Victoria Lucas, Jasmin Märker, Will Roberts, Conor Rogers, Sarah Rose, Rae-Yen Song, Eothen Stearn, Neasa Terry, Thomas Wells, Joanna Whittle, Mona Yoo.
The exhibition that brings together the work of 21 artists in the Freelands Artist Programme working across the UK, including artists based in Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh and Sheffield. Sculpture, sound works, textiles, print, written word, film and installation, painting and site-specific interventions offer an insight into new approaches to making and the most urgent topics being considered by artists today. This exhibition is interspersed with artworks that invite moments of contemplation, encouraging a re-examination of our own positions within contemporary cities and systems.
Artists selected for 2021-22
A panel including artist and curator Michele Horrigan; PS² Freelands Artist Programme Curator 2020-22 Ciara Moloney and Creative Director of PS² Peter Mutschler, selected Myrid Carten, Phillip McCrilly, Helouise O'Reilly, Robin Price and Jonathan Ross from an open call for applications.
For more information see
Helouise O'Reilly, Untitled, 2016, photograph
Robin Price, This is Not A Table, "Capturing Craigavon,"
Exhibition Cohort 3
In the Same Breath
23 March- 29 May 2023
Artists selected for 2022-23
A panel including curator Kate Strain, PS² Freelands Artist Programme Curator 2020-23 Ciara Hickey and Creative Director of PS² Peter Mutschler, selected five artists from an open call for applications. They are: Jacqueline Holt, Susan Hughes, Dorothy Hunter, Tara McGinn and Christopher Steenson.
For more information see.
Christopher Steenson- Bird Spikes (Connolly Station), 2020; 35mm photograph
Susan Hughes- here not here dark, 2021; 118 x 84x 15cm
The PS² Freelands Artist Programme will have a total of three curators in a 2 yearly rotating model.
The 2018-2020 Curator is Alissa Kleist.
The second Curator for 2020-2022 is Ciara Moloney.
The third curator for 2021-2023 is Ciara Hickey.
Cohort 1 and 2 meeting in December 2019. Image. N.Sim
Sheffield group site visit during the 2019 Freelands Artist Programme symposium
The Freelands Artist Programme
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 the Freelands Artist Programme. This new programme from the Freelands Foundation provides funding totalling £1.5 million over a five-year period. Each institution will curate a series of two-year programmes with five artists annually, allowing those artists to receive much-needed creative and professional development support.
The winning institutions taking part in the programme were chosen by a selection panel including Elisabeth Murdoch, Freelands Foundation Founder & Chair; Simeon Barclay, Artist; Sacha Craddock, Curator and Writer; Polly Staple, Director of Chisenhale Gallery; and Mark Wallinger, Artist.
g39, Cardiff, Wales
Site Gallery, Sheffield, England
The artists selected by the partner organisations for the first cohort (2018-2020) and second cohort (2019-2021) of the Freelands Artist Programme are:
G39 (Cardiff, Wales)
Site Gallery (Sheffield, England)
Talbot Rice Gallery (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
PS² (Royal Avenue), Belfast
As an artist-run organisation, PS² has always worked with artists at the start to mid-career and encouraged risk-taking and experiment, radicality and difference, and resolve to site context. We have a strong belief in the social relevance of art and are keen to support community-engaged and context-specific projects.
PS² was awarded this funding just after the volunteer-run arts-collective heard that it had surprisingly lost its annual funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland due to funding cuts. To make the situation worse, PS² had also lost its premise in North Street due to the regeneration process in the city centre area. Despite this grave situation for the organisation, the artists and the Board decided to struggle on.
The Freelands Artist Programme award came just at the right time and was seen as a cheerful recognition by the Freelands Foundation of the many projects with emerging artists which PS² has supported over the years.
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 art in Northern Ireland. By the end of the five-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.
This programme is funded by the Freelands Foundation.