As an artist-led, voluntary organisation, PS² fulfils two functions:
As a studio-resource and network provider, offering affordable, adequate and longer term working space for currently 11 professional artists and 3 yearlong residency programmes for:curator/s; critical writing and a collective.
As an organiser and initiator of an engaged and year-round arts programme in our project space or at outside locations and neighbourhoods. Our project space is seen as an extension of the studios and offers an open, temporary workspace and showroom for invited or selected project artists, enabling encounters for the general public to see, enjoy and participate in art.
This tandem approach underlines our core aim: to support artists in their development and to connect art with society in an inclusive way and to a high artistic standard.
We try to achieve this through
Projects are initiated and organised by the small team of PS² together with the artists, who always have the final say. From the beginning Ruth Morrow has acted as curatorial adviser and support. In recent years external curators have been invited to curate and organise projects and to refresh and deepen our programme.
Currently PS² is on a transition process from volunteer to a paid position led organisation, securing continuation and a more sustainable future. To counteract any institutionalisation, a rewilding process is happening in parallel.
We are always curious and open for proposals from artists and cultural producers as well as curators. Please send project ideas with a short outline and few images or links to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS² is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and receives funding for specific projects by Belfast City Council.
Since 2018, we are one of four recipients of the Freelands Artist Programme, funded by the Freelands Foundation, alongside Site Gallery, Sheffield, England; g39 in Cardiff, Wales and Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland. This new programme will provide 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 support across both creative and professional development. This will enable us to work and support 20 Northern Ireland based emerging artists of all ages and backgrounds.
Paragon Studios Ltd is a company limited by guarantee, company number NI029491 and is recognised as a charity by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC102460.