What we do

CIRCA Projects is a non-profit curatorial organisation, active since 2009, that produces contemporary art projects from our base in the north east of England. We approach artists who want to develop new artworks for a specific site of display: this could be a printed publication, an online domain, a transmitted audio broadcast, a building, a region or a de-centred, multi-national business.

Through taking into account the mediums, people, places and histories that define ‘site’ and produce contexts 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.

This might be through an exhibition in a regeneration site which transforms over its duration (‘Space Release’, 2012-13), an improviser’s concert in the oldest social club in Newcastle (‘GIG’, 2014) or a photo-book documenting a fictitious rockfall in Wales (Richard Rigg: ‘N’, 2016).

In Autumn 2016 we began a collaborative mode of working, in which all of our public and private activities are collaboratively shaped with the artist Giles Bailey for a period of 2 years. ‘Giles Bailey & CIRCA Projects’ looks to examine our organisation, its relationship with the local area. Within this programme, CIRCA and Bailey’s personal and professional interests will inform new artworks, alongside localised research and production. Bailey and CIRCA’s three members Dawn Bothwell, Adam Phillips and Sam Watson will work together, corrupting their roles and exploring the potential of ‘de-organisation’.


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