What we do

CIRCA Projects is a non-profit arts organisation, active since 2009, that produces contemporary art exhibitions and events for audiences in the north east of England. We approach artists who want to take risks, developing new projects outside of the conventional gallery space and responding to the local context.

The public’s experience of a CIRCA project is unique – it cannot be experienced in the same way again elsewhere. This might be through an exhibition in a regeneration site which transforms over its duration (Space Release), a gig in the oldest social club in Newcastle (GIG) or a constructed pavilion which drives the viewer forward through a network of rooms filled with avatars (Benedict Drew: The Persuaders).

Through taking into account the people, places and histories that combine to produce the context for art, we aim to produce an experience of contemporary art that is different to how it is experienced elsewhere – stimulating new ways of thinking about how contemporary art is made and how it is shown. This approach in turn produces new audiences for contemporary art and new possibilities for what an art exhibition might be.


CIRCA Projects was founded in 2009 by Sam Watson and Adam Phillips, with curator Dawn Bothwell joining the organisation in 2011. Our team’s different areas of experience, expertise and interests, characterise and influence our programme and activities.



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CIRCA Projects’ office is based within The Northern Charter, a studio group and project space in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne. Please send all postal mail to this address. Please also note that our office is not open to the public on a general basis.

CIRCA Projects
Fifth Floor, 39 Pilgrim St.
Newcastle upon Tyne





Advisory Panel and Partners

Advisory Panel

Dan Holdsworth

Lucy Steeds
Editor, Afterall Exhibition Histories Series

Sean Nicolson
Executive Business Director

Pete O’Hara
FCA, Chartered Accountant

Alistair Robinson
Director, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

Programme Supporters

Arts Council England – Grants for the Arts
University of Sunderland

Programme Partners

Foundation Press

Previous supporters, partners and collaborators

An Endless Supply
AV Festival
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Beca de Artes Plásticas Fundación Botín
Bond Dickinson LLP
British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection, Central Saint Martins College of Art, London
Canon Bill & Jeanette Hall Fund
Channel 4
Clouston Group
Contemporary Art Society
The Elephant Trust
Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN)
Fountain Contemporary Art Projects
FRAME Visual Art Finland
Henry Moore Foundation
Gateshead Council
Matt’s Gallery, London
Network Rail
Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
Pavilion, Leeds
Pixel Palace
Serpentine Gallery, London
The Northern Charter
Tyneside Cinema
Whitechapel Gallery, London
Workplace Gallery
Wylam Brewery