Shieldfield Art Works Exhibition

17 May – 6 July 2019

Shieldfield Art Works launched its new vision and celebrated the people of Shieldfield through a programme of events, an eponymous exhibition and publication.

Shieldfield Art Works seeks to further focus its work upon using art as a means of enquiry into the wider world, with a particular focus on art’s relationship to community activism. We are an artist-led organisation, primarily funded by the Methodist Church, and founded on values of seeking truth, challenging injustice, social activism and operating for the common good. Shieldfield Art Works also underlines our wholehearted commitment to celebrate the community of Shieldfield, an area a few minutes walk from Newcastle city centre, that has undergone rapid developmental change over the past few years.

Exhibition | 21 May – 6 July

Featuring portrait photography of local residents by renowned photographer Phyllis Christopher; a map imagining a future, greener Shieldfield by Mikey Tomkins and local residents; a 3D map which tracks the money used to fuel the rapid urban development in Shieldfield by Dwellbeing; films produced by local residents as part of North EastEnders and a Shieldfield Art Works publication, which features writing by academics, supporters and community members, exploring the success of our past projects, our transition period from Holy Biscuit to SAW and commitment to future action.

Photography by Matt Pickering

The Late Shows | Friday 17 May 2019, 7-11pm

This was the grand opening of the SAW exhibition.  Part of the evening was organised by Newcastle students as part of their studies called Strand. They devised an activity called ‘Having a Nosey’. There smell of treacle, hops and paint all relate to Shieldfield’s history. They created jars with different smells in and asked if any of these smells trigger memories of your own? What do your memories smell like, specifically for the area that you live in?

Shieldfield Art Works Launch Celebration | Friday 7 June 2019, 6-9pm with a kid’s party tea at 5.30pm

Introducing Shieldfield Art Works, a celebration of our new name and brand. Visitors enjoyed the delights of our re-launch exhibition which presented our current and future work, heard some readings from some of the publication writers on the night of its launch, enjoyed a feast of local Syrian food and dancing with a live DJ. It was a true celebration of our new vision.

Shieldfield Walks | 19 – 23 June 2019, 10-11.30am and 2-3.30pm

Participants took a walk around Shieldfield with Dr Mikey Tomkins who has worked with local residents to reimagine Shieldfield as an urban garden. This was an opportunity to explore urban green spaces and their opportunities within Shieldfield. There was a sign up for £1.66 on our eventbrite page at:

Discussion Evening | Friday 21 June 2019, 6 – 8pm

We delved deeper into our exploration of our Shieldfield Art Works exhibition and publication. Over a shared meal, we discussed the work alongside writers and artists involved. Soup and bread was provided.  

Mixing Bowl | Tuesday 25 June 2019, 6.30 – 8.30pm

An evening of ‘Toppings and Tales’ to celebrate the Mixing Bowl community. People came with a ‘tale’, (or poem, art piece, dance – anything goes) to perform or show for 3 minutes, PLUS people brought a savoury topping of their choice to share and enjoy with wraps. We also made fabric bunting to share something that we value or enjoy about Mixing Bowl.

Beach Trip and Closing | Saturday 6 July 2019, 10am – 4pm

A fun summer trip to Whitley Bay to eat, draw and explore together. One of our core values is to bear witness to our own stories and others‘ and what better way to signify this than a to journey a lighthouse. We drove to Whitley Bay and walked along the Promenade to St. Mary’s Lighthouse where we spent time relaxing, eating and drawing. We returned to SAW to take down the exhibition together, bearing witness to the transition from HB to SAW. There was a cost of £1 per person (bursaries available) to cover transport costs, this was paid on the day. We met at SAW at 10am and all brought our own packed lunch for the picnic.

PROCESS gallery

Read about ‘…Rest’, the exhibition on in the PROCESS gallery for this project.

Blog Posts

Read our blog posts reflecting on our Process time that led up to this launching exhibition: Process at HB, Four bars rest, Who is my neighbour and Cupcakes and Torture Chambers.