‘Falling in love with the characters. Buying local from your community.’ – Ian Mood, Newcastle Common Artist in Residence

Ian Mood, a contemporary painter with an international reputation has undertook a two month residency for Newcastle Common, an initiative that commissions artists to transform vacant town centre shops.   Newcastle Common will look at the changing use of the town centre and will test and experiment with empty shops as spaces of culture and art.

Current artist in residence Ian Mood, has been based within the 23 High Street space where he’s been holding ‘meet the artist sessions’ but a lot of his time has been spent out and about in the heart of the town.  Now a familiar face and presence with the traders at the various market days on the stones, Ian has been capturing the everyday life and faces that make Newcastle such a special place to live.


Ian has held a number of ‘meet the artist’ sessions, his last being Saturday 31st July, 10am -3pm, at 23 High Street, where members of public are welcome to ‘drop in and doodle’ or simply have a chat about the project and hear about the inspiration he’s taken from the town and its locals whilst being in residence.



The sketches, which Ian has been regularly sharing with his social media following will form the basis of a new body of large paintings and studies that will culminate in an exhibition of the works created which will open to the public on the 15th August 2021, 10am – 3pm, at Newcastle Common.


Newcastle Common is headed up by Deborah Hilditch, the project manager, who supports the artists in residence, coordinates the spaces and helps plan the programme and promotion of the creative and cultural activities it will provide.  Deborah said, “We want people to feel welcome and connected to these spaces and the town centre as a whole again. Newcastle Common will provide a great opportunity for local creatives and the community as a whole to come and experience the arts, in an array of forms, in friendly spaces. Supporting local businesses through hopefully increasing footfall, whilst enabling people to make use of disused town centre spaces, is what this project is all about! Let’s re-imagine our high street and encourage a vibrant, creative and positive vision of what it could be.”

Newcastle Common is part of Appetite’s programme in Newcastle-under-Lyme that now includes the Familiar Faces outdoor exhibition by Adina Lawrence in partnership with GRAIN, a Town Centre Map by Chloe Breeze Illustration, and Every Other Seat with Dust Rising CIC. It also follows the tour of the Three Counties Cubes outdoor exhibition being located in the town centre.

Appetite, led by the New Vic Theatre, is a Creative People and Places programme for Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme. Funded by Arts Council England it has been enticing people in the area with accessible, high energy, spectacular work for the past 8 years. This year, Appetite continue to expand their programme into Newcastle with Newcastle Common.

For more details, visit appetite.org.uk or contact us at askus@appetitestoke.co.uk / 01782 381373.