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Posted on Wed 14 Oct 2020

Open Call for our Spring Residencies Programme

Calling Bristol based artists! An opportunity to develop artistic ideas that explore technology, environmental emergencies and possible futures.

Image of Ella Good and Nicki Kent at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, photo by Robert Keller, Satori Photos 2019

Ella Good & Nicki Kent at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah © Robert Keller, Satori Photos 2019

Thanks to the grant that Watershed received this week from the Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund we are delighted to re-start our artist residency programme by announcing an open call for our funded Spring Residencies. We are looking for Bristol-based artists interested in technology, environmental emergencies and possible futures.

Human activities are accelerating climate-related change, rising sea levels, extreme weather, soaring pollution, spread of diseases, loss of biodiversity, challenges in food production and much, much more. To create a sustainable future, we need to change how we think about growth, wealth, consumerism and progress. We believe creativity can play a vital role in reimagining existing constructs. What possible futures are there?

Neil Gaiman wrote in his book Art Matters:

“It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that society is huge and the individual is less than nothing. But the truth is individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.”

Our Spring Residencies offer two Bristol-based artists (you can apply as individuals or groups) from any discipline, career stage and background the opportunity to imagine, to positively speculate and develop concepts that jolt deeply rooted societal perspectives.

We want to hear your ideas for artworks that challenge the things we take for granted and reimagine the frameworks through which we see. We’re not asking you to solve immediate problems, but come up with ideas that provoke imaginations, ask questions, explore possibilities and consider what could happen if we change our angle of view.

Victoria Tillotson, Watershed Talent Development Lead, said:

“We’re living in a time of huge uncertainty. How we live, and the constructs we operate within are unsustainable. COVID-19 has also upended ‘normality’, making it harder than ever for artists to find space and support to develop new ideas. We’re delighted to launch an open call which responds to this context, inviting practitioners based in Bristol to imagine, to take a wide view on ‘now’ and conceive of possible futures. We’re also thankful to be in a position to invest in our local ecology at this precarious time and can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Interested? To find out more about the programme and the application process, please head over to the opportunities page to download the Spring Residencies brief.