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Dear God...
“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Shieldfield Art Works

Shieldfield Art Works (SAW) is an arts organisation based in Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne.

SAW believes art and creativity are integral parts of human life, and with art’s unique ability to articulate, question and enquire, we can enact positive change in our communities and the world.

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.

We are deeply committed to the community of Shieldfield and its wellbeing. Shieldfield, an estate in the east end of Newcastle in which we are located, has so often been left off the map.

We work in solidarity with community members and organisations to give a platform to voices that have not yet been heard. We feel it is important that we place ourselves explicitly within the context of Shieldfield and commit ourselves to explore the issues faced by this community.

SAW’s broad programme includes:

Developing a high quality art programme of exhibitions and events, using art as a tool and means of enquiry into the world and the injustices our communities face. This includes theological reflections on the themes of our programme and creating spaces for open discussion about how these fit into our world views.

Supporting emerging artists by providing opportunities for development, curatorial support and exhibition opportunities

Sharing skills and knowledge through workshops where each participants skills are valued (non-hierarchical learning)

Conferences and publications to disseminate learning 
Using art and growing activity to support positive mental wellbeing, increase friendships, make art accessible for all and build forums for creating positive change in our local communities; seeking to embody the justice of our just God.

This includes our groups Shieldfield Grows, Painting for Fun and Craft Action Collective.
Painting For Fun - a free session that runs twice weekly. Here participants explore their creativity through water-soluble oil paints. Many participants in this group experience health issues, are not in work and face social isolation or have experienced challenging life experiences such as trauma, so this is a key area of wellbeing for them. 
Shieldfield Grows - a gardening group that promotes sustainable food production, fair land usage and community flourishing. Residents who do not have an outdoor space (such as those living in flats) are given access to plots in the SAW community garden and learn to grow fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Craft Action Collective - a group that gives people a voice by providing a forum where different opinions are heard, futures are imagined, and activism can ripple out. Through art, participants seek to think deeply and respond to injustices gently and carefully, commonly known as Craftivism. 
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