Laing Art Gallery seeking two freelance artists/creative facilitators for schools project

12 April 2024

Background to the brief

The Fighting Temeraire

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Schools Projects: Art, Industry & Nostalgia, freelance Artists/Facilitators

The Laing Art Gallery is one of twelve partners to be loaned a masterpiece in celebration of the 200th birthday of the National Gallery. In May 2024, Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire (1839), will be the centrepiece of an exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery, which explores the rise of steam power and industry in Britain. This is of particular relevance to the North East, with ship building still very much part of the identity of the region.

The exhibition, Turner: Art, Industry & Nostalgia will include over 20 works by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), one of Britain’s greatest and most prolific painters. The Fighting Temeraire, one of the artist’s best-known works, is a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire, which played a distinguished role in The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The painting shows the final journey of the ship as it is towed along the river Thames by a modern paddle-wheel steam tug in 1838, towards its final berth in Rotherhithe to be broken up for scrap. It is significant for the North East and its industrial heritage that the two steam tugboats that pulled the Temeraire in reality – the Samson and the London – were manufactured on Tyneside. 

In addition to bringing together over 20 works by Turner, Turner: Art, Industry & Nostalgia includes other important pieces by artists including Tacita Dean, Chris Killip, L.S. Lowry, and James McNeill Whistler. The exhibition will include sections exploring Turner’s life and career, the role of the Temeraire itself, Turner’s depiction of steamboats and industrial subjects, and the continuing story of the industrial landscape in art. 


We are looking to recruit x2 artists/creative facilitators to each lead an exciting creative project with Primary school students and teachers from the river Tyne area of Newcastle, between May – July 2024, using the Turner: Art, Industry & Nostalgia exhibition and its themes as a springboard.


Deadline for submission of proposals

Midnight on Friday 26 April 2024.


The brief

The recruited freelancers will each work with a primary aged group from a school in close proximity to the river Tyne on a creative arts project, using the Turner exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery as a springboard.

Each project will consist of x6 workshop sessions (at least one of which, should be held at the Laing Art Gallery so that participating students can view the exhibition first-hand), and should encompass themes within the exhibition; the rise and subsequent decline of industry, and ship building as part of the region’s identity and the changing local industrial landscape, especially within living memory. How the impact of these industries is felt to this day, and the contribution that these same industries have had on the current climate crisis. 

We are also keen that ideas around sustainability and of repurposing materials should also be involved in the projects; The Fighting Temeraire, depicts the ship on its final journey to be broken up for scrap, and while coal defined the North East’s identity in Turner’s day, the region has become a very different place, in terms of the new energy sector.

The workshop sessions should aim to culminate in a creative output, produced by the participating pupils, which can be presented in any relevant form/medium.

Who might you be?

We are open to looking at a wide range of specialism and disciplines for these roles.

You must have:

  • Experience in leading creative workshops with primary schools, or similar groups,
  • Have knowledge, and understanding of Newcastle’s industrial and ship building heritage,
  • Organised, and able to project plan and schedule accordingly,
  • Able to champion sustainable creative practice, particularly around repurposing of materials,
  • Prepared to support evaluation, documentation, and reporting as required,
  • A satisfactory Enhanced DBS Disclosure will be required prior to taking up appointment of this role. Comply with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, and V&A guidelines for safeguarding, health and safety.
  • Must be able to provide a copy of their valid Public Liability Insurance certificate in a sum of not less than £5 million prior to commencement of the contract, and be responsible for paying all tax and National Insurance arising on the fees. We will need to check your Employment Indicator Status (EIS).


  • Ideally works, lives, or has links to the Newcastle area. Where possible the selected freelancer/s must be willing to travel to and around the area over the course of the project, 
  • Experience in working with teachers/educators
  • Awareness of differentiating teaching styles to communicate with a variety of students. 

When will we do this?

  • Procurement: call-out April 2024, successful applicants notified Tuesday 30 April 2024.
  • Planning and development: May 2024 (in consultation with Learning Officer & teachers).
  • School delivery: x6 workshops (per project) May – July 2024. Session dates/ timings tbc. 


The deadline for submission of proposals is midnight on Friday 26 April 2024.

Successful applicants will be notified via email on Tuesday 30 April 2024.

Quotation assessment

There is a fixed price (inclusive of VAT) for this work, including all time, travel, subsistence and other costs.

There is a separate materials budget of £400 per project.


2 days’ planning and preparation (per successful applicant) at £250 per day = £500

6 days’ delivery/ facilitation (per successful applicant) at £250 per day = £1,500

TOTAL (per successful applicant) = £2,000

The schedule of this time will be decided in consultation with the Learning Officer at the planning stage.


Based upon the information we have provided and the outputs we have stipulated in this brief, explain how you would propose to undertake this commission and outline the programme for delivery.

Please provide details of how you propose to deliver this work, including:

  • How the commission will be delivered,
  • How you will communicate and collaborate with the Learning Officer and the teachers,
  • Your experience of work relevant to this commission.

Please email your proposal, on no more than 2 sides of A4, outlining your suitability for the role to: If you would prefer, you can submit a video proposal. All proposals must be received by midnight Friday 26 April 2024. Please note, successful applicants must provide evidence of satisfactory DBS checks and must provide a copy of their valid Public Liability Insurance certificate in a sum of not less than £5 million prior to commencement of the contract.


If you have any questions or would like an informal discussion about this work, please contact: to arrange a call.

This brief can also been downloaded for offline use:

Freelancer call-out - School projects Art, Industry & Nostalgia (Word, 28 KB)