A Voyage Through Friendship

Friday 21 April, 6-8pm: Preview

A Voyage Through Friendship

Exhibition: 22 April – 20 June 2023

Opening Times: Tue, Wed, Thur, 11am-4pm. / Sat 22 April, 13 May, 27 May, 10 June, 1-4pm.

Closed on Wed 21 June.

Friday 21 April, 6-8pm: Preview

Bring your own picnic to enjoy together and explore the exhibition.

In a world which increasingly feels lonely, A Voyage Through Friendship explores what friendship means and looks like in 2023. It’s an invitation to think about friendship’s role in our own lives and society through art, painting, illustration and discussion.

We will explore questions like: What place does friendship hold in our society and in our personal lives? How can friendship speak into and help with our growing global experience of loneliness and isolation? Can friendship half our sorrows and double our joys? What are the dangers in friendship? What are the different attributes of healthy friendship? How do we celebrate, mark and restore friendship’s importance?  


Some friendships grow from shared activity and interests so we wanted to highlight some of the activities and groups we run at SAW which are great places to meet new people and make friends.

Craft Action Collective: A group for anyone wanting to creatively challenge and respond to injustice, in gentle, careful ways. We talk and make together, using the medium of craft (with thread, paper or drawing) and print to stand alongside others and respond to different issues. Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6.30-8pm.

Painting for Fun: Free oil painting sessions for anyone – whether you have painted before or not. All materials are provided, just come prepared to have lots of fun. Sessions run every Tuesday, 10am-12pm & 2-4pm.

Shieldfield Grows: A collaboration between Dwellbeing Shieldfield and SAW. Come and learn how to grow seasonally together. Weekly growing sessions in the SAW garden every Wednesday 10am-12pm.

There is lots of other activity in and around Shieldfield and you can find out all about it in Who’s in Shieldfield.


Every Thursday between 12.30-1.30pm (27 April; 4, 11, 18, 25 May; 1, 8, 15, 22 June) bring your lunch to the SAW garden (or gallery if it is raining) to  enjoy eating and chatting together. The SAW staff team will be lunching together so come and join us!

Friday 21 April, 6-8pm: Preview

Bring your own picnic to enjoy together and explore the exhibition.

Tuesday 4 April & Tuesday 2 May, 6.30-8pm: Craft Action Collective

Weaving friendliness Our everyday interactions can brighten each other’s lives. Whether it’s saying hello to a shop assistant or talking to a stranger about the weather, all these small interactions combat loneliness. By making spirograph string art, we’ll think about the importance of these small interactions.

Tuesday 16 May & Tuesday 6 June, 6.30-8pm: Craft Action Collective 

News, friendship & common ground In a world at odds, how do we talk to each other about the news, avoid being an echo chamber and disagree well with our friends? We’ll use thread, weaving and zine techniques to work out how we can find common ground. 

Friday 19 May, 7-11pm: Late Shows 

A special late night exhibition opening and activities, part of Newcastle & Gateshead’s annual culture crawl: The Late Shows. Come and enjoy the exhibition, help create our 15 foot friendship bracelet, handcraft your own tea bags to give to a friend and add your own friendship memories to our giant North East friendship map.

Thursday 1 June, 6-8pm: A party to celebrate friendship

Make friendship bracelets, enjoy good music and eat together. Please bring something to add to the bring and share dinner. We will form this event around the answers to the question posed to visitors of the exhibition ‘what would a celebration of friendship look like?’

Saturday 17 June 10am-4.30pm: A SAW Reflects day on friendship

This will be a challenging day to think through and discuss and reflect on  what voyaging through friendship has meant and what it looks like in 2023. How do we restore and celebrate the place of friendship, especially in a world which increasingly feels lonely? This practical day will be full of discussion, thoughts on theology, and creative aids. Three speakers will help us think through: the Christian definition of friendship and its value and how we cultivate friendships of depth; the importance of intergenerational friendship; and recovering a vision of friendship that goes beyond utility, proximity and likeness. Local resident Tigist Tegegne will also be leading us through a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. There will be opportunities throughout the day to enjoy the exhibition. Lunch will be provided. This event costs £15 per person and tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-saw-reflects-day-on-friendship-tickets-586986381067

Tuesday 20 June & 4 July, 6.30-8pm: Craft Action Collective

Tue 20 June: Imprinted Clay Bowls (Part 1 – forming & shaping) We’ll make clay bowls imprinted with the weaving we’ve made over the last few sessions, to remind us of the importance of connections. You can also bring along fabric, textures or small objects, which remind you of friends, to imprint your bowls with. Booking required for this session – Please email gemma@saw-newcastle.org

Tue 4 July: Imprinted Clay Bowls (Part 2 – painting) We’ll finish the imprinted clay bowls we made last session by painting and decorating them further. Booking required for this session – Please email gemma@saw-newcastle.org

Booking – All events are free (unless stated)

To book into Craft Action Collective, please email gemma@saw-newcastle.org. Workshops suitable for adults.

For all other events that require booking, please email lydia@saw-newcastle.org to book.