For the PS² Freelands Artist Programme


Friday, 05 July 2019, 5pm

Call for Artists

Open Call for emerging artists for the PS² Freelands Artist Programme 2019-2021

PS² invites emerging Northern Ireland based artists to apply for the PS² Freelands Artist Programme 2019-2021, a two-year creative and professional development programme for emerging artists funded by the Freelands Foundation.

Supported by ongoing peer learning and critique, curatorial support from the project curator, and mentoring, the PS² Freelands Artist Programme enables 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 2019-2021 programme. They will each receive £5000 per annum over two years, financial support for production, individual tailored curatorial support, access to PS² resources and workshop space, and the full commitment of PS².

Who is eligible?

  • 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.
  • Must be an 'emerging artist' in the process of forming/establishing their careers
  • Can be applicants of any nationality, working in any medium, who will live and work in Northern Ireland for the two-year duration of the PS² Freelands Artist Programme.
  • 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 (September 2019 – September 2021)
  • Must be keen to take part in this programme and be open to the critical advice and curatorial input, dialogue and networks on offer.

What will we be looking for?

We are aware that the terms ‘emerging’ and ‘artist’ are fairly open for interpretation.
PS² has a very broad understanding of art and therefore artists. There are no upper age limits and we encourage anyone to apply who feels this programme fits them, except 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 proposals, but we are looking for fresh ideas and a promise of exceptional new work and development. We are looking for participants who will benefit the most from the programme’s creative and professional development opportunities.
You are expected to be flexible and able to fully commit to the programme for the duration of the two-year period (Sept 2019 – Sept 2021). This will continue to be an exciting learning process for us and for the selected artists.

How do I apply?

Please send us:  
  • Your name and contact details (address, email, phone number).
  • Names 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.
  • An artist statement (max. 500 words).
  • A project proposal broadly describing how you will use the funding (no detailed budget required) and time to develop your work (max. 500 words).
  • A relevant and up-to-date artist CV (including graduation details, if applicable) of no more than two A4 pages.
  • Maximum 7 images of previous/current work or links to websites, including film/video/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 3minutes in length, as well as a full version of the work. Please include short descriptions to accompany all work and links. 

Now finished

Please send your completed application as a single PDF file, no larger than 5mb, to using the heading ‘Freelands application’.

The application deadline for submissions is Friday 05 July 2019, 5pm.

You should receive a response confirming receipt of your application and a link to an equality monitoring form, which we would be grateful if you could fill out.

We welcome applications from people irrespective of disability, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family responsibility, age, race, ethnic origin, nationality (subject to issue of work permit, where required), trade union membership and activity, political or religious beliefs.


Closing date for applications 
Friday 5th July 2019, 5pm

Notification of shortlisted interviewees
Wednesday 17th July 2019

Panel interview
Friday 26th July 2019 at PS², Belfast 

Start date of programme
September 2019

Please contact us if you would like to receive this information in a different format (e.g. paper format or large print version). If you have any questions regarding this application process or accessibility at PS², please get in touch at or phone 07733457772 and we will be happy to discuss more suitable alternatives with you.

We will have two information sessions about the Freelands Artist programme and this new round for applications at: 

PS², Belfast
Tuesday 25th June at 6pm

CCA, Derry
Friday 28th June from 2-4pm

Alissa Kleist, our project curator for this programme, will be on hand to provide an overview, answer any questions, and offer one-to-one feedback and curatorial advice about your application or about your work in general.

To book in a 15-minute feedback slot between 2:30 pm and 4 pm, please send message to or email

Who will be on the selection panel?
Your application will be seen and scored by 3 people: Alissa Kleist, PS² Freelands Artist Programme curator, Peter Mutschler, organiser of PS² and as external chairperson Anne Tallentire, artist.
All three will also be on the interview panel


From last years experience we collected some frequently asked questions and our answers below.

If I only graduated 2 years ago can I still apply?

Unfortunately not. The guidelines set by the Freelands Foundation state very 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. However, this funding and our open call is around for another two years, in 2020 and 2021.

If I am shortlisted but can’t come to the interview, can there be a Skype session instead?

Ideally we want to interview shortlisted artists in person, but if you are shortlisted and cannot attend the interview we can arrange for a Skype session instead.

My PhD finished less than a year ago. Can I apply?
If you have graduated from a postgraduate course (MA/MFA or PhD) within 3 years, but have taken gap after a BA that totals 3 years or more when combined, and provided you meet all our other criteria, you are eligible. That is: as long as you can demonstrate 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. However, this funding and our open call is around for another two years, in 2020 and 2021.

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.

About the Freelands Artist Programme

The Freelands Artists Programme supports emerging artists and local organisations to retain and grow talent in their region. As an artist-run organisation, PS² has always worked with artists at the start to mid-career and encouraged risk taking and experimentation, radicalness and difference. We strongly believe in the social relevance of art and are keen to support community-engaged and context-specific projects.

For PS², the Freelands Artist Programme is an ideal opportunity to support emerging artists and to strengthen the arts ecology and explore the potential for contemporary art in Northern Ireland. This programme is now entering its second year, with the 2018-2020 cohort artists Janie Doherty, Michael Hanna, Julie Lovett, Jan McCullough, Emily McFarland and project curator Alissa Kleist.

More information about their work can be found here.
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. We hope that the Freelands Artist Programme will energise emerging artists and contribute to making the region culturally cool and exciting.

The Freelands Artist Programme was awarded to four organisations across the four nations of the UK. Alongside PS², Belfast/Northern Ireland are Site Gallery, Sheffield, England; g39 in Cardiff, Wales; and Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland. This 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.

You can download all the information as PDF here.

This programme is funded by the Freelands Foundation.

PS² is supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.