PS² Freelands Artist Programme
2022- 23


Saturday 18 September 2021


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

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 neighbourhoods.

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.

You 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 artists.

How do I apply?

Please send us:  

●            your name and contact details (address, email, phone

●            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- 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).

●            a project proposal broadly describing how you will use
               the programme to develop and produce new outcomes
               (max. 500 words), no budget required.

●            a relevant and up-to-date artist CV (including
               graduation details, if applicable) of no more than two A4

●            up 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 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 submissions is
               18 September 2021

●           The shortlisted artists will be informed around
               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

●           On the selection panel are Kate Strain, curator   
               based between Graz and Dublin,
Ciara Hickey, PS²
               Freelands Artist Programme Curator 2021-23 and
               Peter Mutschler/ PS²

●           The five selected artists will be announced on
               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:; 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 religious beliefs.
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.

Information sessions

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 in advance.

To download this brief click here.

Video conversation

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.