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Newcastle University Artist Fellowship

Requisition ID:  20163

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  16-Jun-2022

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


Salary: £31,406 to £36,382 per annum


Closing Date: 29 June 2022


The Role


Newcastle University and English Heritage have created a new partnership to offer an exceptional opportunity for an artist working in any medium and taking any approach to their practice to respond to Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. The Belsay estate consists of an empty, atmospheric, neoclassical country house; fourteenth century castle and grade 1 listed historic landscape that includes quarry gardens situated in the North East, 15 miles west of Newcastle upon Tyne, and managed by English Heritage.


The Artist Fellowship is an exciting, new opportunity for an artist to contribute to the teaching of Fine Art students at the ground-breaking Fine Art Department, where you will be based, and to research, and create significant new temporary artwork/s for Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens. A budget of up to £50,000 has been identified to produce the commission, which will need to include all production/project costs, installation, de-installation, technical equipment and /or specialist assistance etc.   We are open to all artistic approaches within the broad field of the visual arts so long as you are ready to creatively respond to Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens and to make artwork/s that will engage and excite its many visitors. You will work alongside the staff and students of the Fine Art Department and the English Heritage team at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens creating new artwork/s rooted in your own interest and practice. The Fellowship offers -


  • Your own individual studio/ workspace and use of the Fine Art department’s resources to produce the work
  • Access to experts in other disciplines across Newcastle University.
  • Mentoring and guidance in the development of the artwork/s and your teaching.


We believe that placing and commissioning contemporary art within heritage sites and historic contexts demonstrates the continued relevance of heritage in the 21st century. Both English Heritage and Newcastle University are committed to providing a platform through which to engage artists, creatives and cultural innovators with heritage sites and their audiences. This Artist Fellowship has been developed in the context of English Heritage’s new Creative Programme which will produce outstanding artistic commissions, interventions and projects for our iconic sites and collections, and imaginatively engage with England’s histories. Creative innovation at the intersection of visual art and heritage is a unique research strength at Newcastle University.


Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens offers an exceptional context for all artists to research and discover narratives or source material that could relate to (amongst other sources of inspiration) environmental change; ownership and class, global influence on architecture, botany and plant collecting, health and mental wellbeing, cultural and societal difference.  Today, the house, castle and its quarry gardens present a beautiful landscape that includes plants and fauna from all over the world within a unique microclimate and many visitors enjoy its stunning garden collections. This Fellowship is being offered at a momentous time for Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. The site is currently going through a major redevelopment, Belsay Awakes, which involves priority conservation, and enhances the engagement opportunities for visitors on site. The Belsay Awakes project will be completed in late spring 2023.


Whilst you should be able to demonstrate an enthusiasm for working with Fine Art students, experience of university teaching or research is not a requisite for this Fellowship. We will be considering applications primarily based on professional artistic practice and approach. The teaching element of the Fellowship will be one day per week (averaged over the year), and support will be provided if you have not taught previously. We see your teaching as being grounded in your practice, and we will particularly encourage you to develop innovate approaches to working with students that link with the heritage context of the Fellowship.  


Applications from all international and UK-based artists are welcome, but you will be expected to base yourself throughout the duration of the Fellowship within the North East region to allow regular access to both Newcastle University and Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. We welcome applications from artists from all backgrounds and with a range of abilities. We are committed to supporting development for artists from groups historically underrepresented in the cultural sector in order to ensure fairer access to creative opportunities in the arts. We remain committed to the belief that arts and culture have greater vibrancy, innovation, richness and quality when they include stories and perspectives of artists and creative practitioners from all backgrounds.


Your completed temporary artwork/s will be installed on-site at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens from August - October 2023.


Applicants must demonstrate (through formal or informal actions) a commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion and widening participation in their spheres of work. 


Further information about Fine Art, our taught programmes and staff research visit here.


For information about our research visit here.


For information about Belsay, Hall and Gardens visit here.


For more information about Belsay Awakes project visit here.


Please send examples of your recent work, either by including a website address or 10 images in a PDF, sent to


Please note that applications will be assessed against the criteria listed and it is important to respond to these in your application.  


This post is twelve-month fixed term, full time, starting September 2022 or as soon as possible after this date


Informal enquiries concerning the position can be made to Andrew Burton:


Key Accountabilities

  • Research, develop and produce significant artwork/s that connect to the history/environment of Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. This will happen through the development of a proposal for artwork/s that responds to and engages with the site. To support the installation of the work/s on site towards the end of the Fellowship
  • Contribute to teaching, research, and administration within Newcastle University Fine Art department, School of Arts and Cultures as agreed with the Head of Fine Art
  • Acknowledge and respect that placing a contemporary work at a heritage site must adhere to strict conservation rules and sensitive limitations (i.e., work will not be allowed to alter the fabric of an historical building nor physically alter/impact on historical landscaping)
  • Report at agreed milestones with Newcastle University and English Heritage colleagues, who will be responsible for supporting the artist when developing their proposal and artwork/s
  • Support through the Fellowship advocacy for contemporary art within historic sites
  • Liaise and communicate closely with English Heritage staff and volunteers at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens and with staff at Newcastle University to ensure a productive working relationship to create and present the artwork/s. To acknowledge that approval for the artwork proposal and completed work, before it can be sited lies with Newcastle University and English Heritage Fellowship Steering Group


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • A strong track record of achievements as an artist with an active creative practice and a ‘portfolio’ you can share
  • Interest in and commitment to producing artistic work within a heritage context for a diverse audience
  • Commitment to your professional development and to reflecting on your practice and an awareness of contemporary critical issues in and around visual art in its widest forms
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to contributing to the Fine Art community at Newcastle University, including working with our students to help develop their creative potential
  • Interest and curiosity in creatively working at a unique heritage site in North East England


  • Experience of engaging with national and international discourse, practice and research networks


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Ability to work with a range of people from the heritage and arts sectors and willingness to be positively challenged on the artwork/s you propose and produce
  • Empathy and sensitivity to the challenges of working with heritage sites
  • Capacity to be flexible and adaptable to changing situations
  • Demonstrate an ability to work to timelines in a safe and professional manner
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion and widening participation in the arts/art education
  • Able to travel regularly to Belsay Hall, Castle and Garden (NB, public transport to site is limited)
  • Willingness to base yourself within the region for the duration of the Fellowship in order to be near Newcastle University and Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
  • Be available to commit to undertake the Fellowship on a full-time basis between September 2022 and August 2023


  • A record of active participation in international research and/or practice networks.



  • Whilst academic qualifications are not an essential requirement, a demonstrable commitment to artistic practice and excellence is required. This includes previous projects, commissions, exhibitions and/or publications

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 20163