Housed in a building once known as Shieldfield Methodist Church, Shieldfield Art Works is an arts organisation that is part of the Newcastle Central and East Methodist Circuit. Methodist minister Rev. Rob Hawkins and Ramy Zack, the owner of a large commercial art gallery nearby called The Biscuit Factory, shared a vision for bringing local regeneration through a creative new use for the Methodist church’s building. The refurbishment of the building into a gallery and community space was provided by The Biscuit Factory in 2010, and was reborn as ‘Holy Biscuit’. In 2019, after taking a sabbatical from our exhibition programme for several months to review and refocus our vision, HB relaunched as ‘Shieldfield Art Works’ or ‘SAW’ to reflect our ongoing commitment to putting our local neighbourhood of Shieldfield on the map.
Building on the rich history of the Methodist Church in the North East, SAW continues in this heritage of social involvement by programming exhibitions, events and workshops that investigate purpose, belonging and belief and their relationship with artistic practice. SAW is not a traditional church organisation but as a creative project of The Methodist Church curates and supports exhibitions, workshops and discussions as part of a contemporary arts programme which examines aspects of faith along with other social, political and cultural strands and themes.
SAW works with schools and universities, charities, churches, community groups, artistic collectives and other partners to deliver our vision and promote social cohesion through creative projects. Various groups meet at SAW to take part in creative activities or to come together for discussion. All are welcome to the Painting for Fun group, Discussion Evenings, the Mixing Bowl community as well as many other activities and events which are produced as part of our programme.
SAW is a project within Newcastle upon Tyne Central and East Methodist Circuit and is funded by The Methodist Church of Great Britain.