Shieldfield Art Works (or ‘SAW’) is an arts organisation based in Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne. SAW is an artist-led organisation committed to creativity, theological critique and community engagement. As a project of the Methodist Church, we are built upon Christian foundations of seeking truth, challenging injustice, social activism and operating for the common good. Anyone, of any faith or none, is welcome to participate in our programme.
HOSPITALITY: Through the artistic practice of creative hospitality we seek to make our space open to all. We give space for conversations, different perspectives and encounters covering all aspects of life; including art, faith and wider society. We believe that many of these topics are best explored in community and in the context of supportive relationships.
ART & ENQUIRY: Through a programme of engaging and challenging art, with a strong focus on socially engaged practice, we are committed to asking questions about art, faith and community. We use art as a mode of enquiry to explore all of life, including different viewpoints of theology, church practice, society and politics.
COMMUNITY ACTIVISM: Through the use of art and enquiry, we seek positive change for the welfare of the city, its community and its individual inhabitants. We are interested in all the challenges of life, in order to seek out ways of supporting and enabling social transformation. We are particularly committed to collaborating with local communities to seek good for our area of Shieldfield in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Building on long-term, community responsive strands of activity such as growing, cooking, making art and imagining a positive future, our Covid-19 response programme encourages socially-distanced community communication and sharing, to build positive memories, connections and actions during the unprecedented lockdown.
Draws Together is an all-ages challenge to get drawing, imagining our hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future of our gardens, landscape and community. Drawings will be displayed in SAW’s online gallery. Post-lockdown, these drawings will be transformed into a communal artwork.
Cooks weekly online cooking demonstrations using those back-of-the-cupboard ingredients of households around Newcastle, providing us all with some culinary inspiration.
Grows a collective growing effort (spearheaded by community group Dwellbeing) to encourage windowsill growing of vegetables, contributing to food security.
Narrates a collective recording of everyday life during lockdown through writing (in any style or language), photographs, audio and video.
A Shieling for Shieldfield (in collaboration with Dwellbeing)
Shieling is a multi-faceted project which seeks to help improve public understanding about urban development processes, learn from Shieldfield’s experience, and raise awareness of ecologically and socially sustainable alternatives. As part of our collaboration with Dwellbeing we aim to do this through:
- Providing opportunities for the sharing of food, hospitality and discussion
- Community food growing with the support of an artist gardener, exploring issues such as food security, hospitality and community space
- Engaging in community activism through guerilla gardening, arts activities and community training