March 2017

The Fifth Size Book Adventure!

Are you an artist with the ambition to build a creative career? Then this new programme based in Newcastle Central Library may be exactly the launch pad you have been looking for.


Jane Shaw of Durham Creatives has developed this new programme in partnership with Newcastle Library and is delighted to announce that Arts Council Funding has been secured to deliver it. The programme is for visual artists, writers, performers, makers, dancers and musicians who are based in the region.

Participants will:
•    Create new work
•    Learn from commercially successful artists
•    Have access to bursaries
•    Participate in professional development workshops
•    Host a private view
•    Exhibit their work

Fifth-Sized Books
Deep within the Newcastle Library archives is a rarely seen collection of ‘Fifth-Sized’ books that few know the existence of. These outsize books cover all sorts of subjects and their size alone is what brings them together in their small corner of the building. They are wonderful objects that deserve wider appreciation and will provide the inspiration and the context for participants to develop and exhibit new work.

Contributing Arts Professionals
The project team includes artists and performers who have built successful careers through creating enquiry-based work. They will share their insights about how success is achieved and act as mentors to participants. They will also create their own new works in response to the books, providing participants with live opportunities to see and discuss work in professional work in development. An arts curator with many years experience will oversee the development of the private view and final exhibition, and a creative business development specialist will ensure that participants build the commercial know-how that will help make their careers sustainable.

The programme will start in May 2017 with a residency where participants will investigate the fifth-sized book collection, meet the curator and partner artists. As the programme continues through the summer the artistic team will mentor participants and the enterprise workshops will take place. The programme concludes with the final exhibition in November.

What we’re looking for from artists
Participants will be committed to producing new work for the final exhibition and to developing commercially-focused creative careers.
We want participants to collectively generate a diverse body of artworks for the exhibition so whatever medium you work in or whatever response you’d like to make, be it an artefact, a performance or a participatory workshop, if you feel excited by the idea of drawing inspiration from the fifth-sized books then we’d love to hear from you.

Making an application
The programme is limited to 20 participants. Because we expect a lot of interest, we will be inviting applications to participate. To help you decide if this programme is for you, we are hosting two information events at Newcastle Library where you’ll get full details, meet some of the team and receive application details. This process will not be onerous and has been designed with artists at the early stages of their careers in mind.

Information Events
If you'd like to attend one of these events, please click the link to take you to the bookings page.

14th March 10.30am-12.30pm
20th March 5.30pm-7.30pm

If you are unable to attend either of the days please email Jane for further information at (with 'fifth-sized books' in the subject line please).

When: 14 March 2017 / 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Where:Newcastle Library

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Funded By

Durham County Council Altogether Wealthier