Take Over Opportunity

Exhibition opportunity: February & March 2023 at Shieldfield Art Works

Deadline for applications: 9am, Monday 5 December 2022

Take Over is an opportunity to take charge of the gallery and stage a short exhibition in order to try new ways of curating and exhibiting outside of the studio context. Your exhibition will be open to the public, and you will be able to gain valuable feedback from a wide range of visitors. We’re looking for three artists or groups to each stage an individual exhibition during February / March 2023.

Take Over is part of SAW’s commitment to support and encourage both students and emerging artists*. To complement SAW’s own programme of exhibitions, we have two months dedicated to Take Over. We work specifically with exhibition proposals which we feel demonstrate the talent of emerging artists and reflect SAW’s ethos.  

The SAW team will offer support throughout the process, but this must be coupled with an enthusiastic level of commitment from the successful artist/s. It is expected that applicants will have a pre-existing body of work, which will form the majority of the exhibition, but we are also open to  additional work that is developed in the run up to the show or event. We welcome both group and individual applications.

2023 dates:

Slot 1: 30 January – 16 February 2023 

Slot 2: 20 February – 9 March 2023

Slot 3: 13 March – 30 March 2023

  • One or two exhibition periods will be allocated to students or emerging artists who have not had the opportunity of a university arts education. These are free of charge.
  • One or two exhibition periods are allocated to emerging artists. These are at the highly discounted rate of £200.
  • We accept both group and solo proposals.
  • Dates are inclusive of install (Monday) and deinstall (Thursday) dates

Application deadline: 9am, Monday 5 December 2022

Interviews will be held Thursday 8 December, via Zoom

Support from SAW:

SAW commits a significant amount of staff time in order to support Take Over artists by offering advice, curatorial guidance and spearheading discussion evening planning. We also design and pay for printed publicity, which will be jointly headed under the ‘Take Over’ strand of SAW’s work. We also encourage peer to peer support between Take Over artists – for many it will be their first exhibition, and we encourage conversations between artists at different stages of their practice.


This opportunity is free for students (and emerging artists who have not had the opportunity of a university arts education) and has a highly discounted cost of £200 per slot for emerging artists.

Shieldfield Art Works is a charity, and although we aim to support projects by giving staff time, it is necessary that individuals and groups submitting proposals will have their own funding in place to cover the costs of their exhibition.


Successful applicants must commit to:

  • Preparatory meetings with the SAW team and contact throughout the exhibition
  • Installation (usually a Monday) and deinstall (usually a Thursday), within SAWs guidelines (this will be discussed at the preparatory meeting, and is mainly an agreement to treat SAW’s building with care and respect).
  • Provision of invigilation, predominantly Saturdays, when the gallery is open.
  • Involvement at the Take Over discussion evening (dates tbc). Previous Take Over artists have found this a valuable time to discuss and explore their work more deeply with a varied audience.
  • Supplying images and text for promotional purposes. Although the four exhibitions will be individual, promotion and events will be jointly headed under the ‘Take Over’ strand of SAW’s work.
  • A photograph (or quote or different visual iteration of the work) of their work being featured in SAW’s Process outdoor gallery space alongside other Take Over exhibitors. The creative development of this can be discussed after the application stage.

*Emerging artists: At SAW, we have a very broad definition of an ‘emerging artist’, which we class as anyone within the first ten years of their artistic practice regardless of education, age or artistic exposure (whether you have had an exhibition before or not). Whilst we do work with universities and art schools to provide opportunities for their students, we acknowledge there are barriers to accessing formal arts education. We encourage all artists to participate in our programme and opportunities, regardless of arts education experience.

Any Questions?

If you are thinking about applying, but have questions or queries you can:

How to Apply

If you would like to apply for a Take Over 2023 slot you can send a proposal between 8 November and 9am, 5 December 2022 that will be reviewed by our programme team. No proposals will be accepted after 9am, 5 December 2022

Interviews will provisionally take place on 8 December 2022 either in person or on zoom.

We will let you know the status of your application by 14 December. 

Proposals should be sent to: gemma@saw-newcastle.org 

Submitting a proposal

Before submitting a proposal, we would suggest artists familiarise themselves with SAW’s ethos, programme and gallery space.

What is a proposal?

A proposal is a document of no more than 500 words which includes:

  • A clear, concise explanation of what your project/exhibition is about and what you want exhibit and/or do
  • Who you are and why you want to exhibit at SAW
  • Your preferred Take Over slot dates
  • No more than 15 photographs of your artwork or project (sent as attachments or embedded within the document), or a link to your website. Please include dimensions of work.
  • Students: Please also send proof of your eligibility as a student – for example, a scan of your Student ID.
  • Format: A Proposal document in PDF form is preferred, as this will retain your formatting. Please do not send overly large file sizes (i.e a long video piece) which email systems may find hard to cope with. Vimeo or Youtube links are preferred for video works.

Gallery space sizes & limitations

  • Our gallery space is a square room with walls 8.5m metres in length. The wall height is 3.5m, with the ceiling rising to a peak of 4.6m.
  • There is a raised (a height of two steps) stage area 5.9m long and 1.5m wide on the south wall
  • There are two windows with blackout blinds
  • Wooden flooring throughout
  • Due to the height and accessibility issues associated with the triangular ceiling, no artwork can be suspended or hung from the ceiling
  • The exhibition must meet health and safety requirements which will be set by SAW (i.e. installations must not block fire exits & electrical devices must be PAT tested).

last updated 8 November 2022