Berwick Visual Arts AiR

Berwick Visual Arts AiR

Berwick Visual Arts is pleased to announce its fifth annual residency opportunity for visual artists, in partnership with the Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) at Newcastle University, which specialises in teaching and research on rural development. The residency is an opportunity for an artist working in any visual art form to respond to rural issues within the context of Berwick-upon-Tweed and Northumberland, to draw on the resources offered by the CRE to inform the production of new work, and to bring new approaches to rural research at the Centre.

The residency opportunity is open to artists based in the UK and EU or artists who already have permission to work in UK. The residency opportunity requires the applicant artist to have been out of college (BA graduate) for a minimum of 3 years. Those who have completed an MA and / or PhD are also welcome to apply. Applicants should be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to their artistic practice through a track record of creating new work through projects, exhibitions and commissions. Applicants must be able to work under their own initiative, be able to plan and deliver an outcome for the residency within the budget and timescale available and have the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of people including research staff at CRE.

The theme of the residency is Materials and Materiality. The residency is for a 6 month period and the artist is required to produce an outcome for public display in Berwick-upon-Tweed at the end of the residency period, though this does not have to be gallery based outcome. The artist is expected to begin the residency in early October 2017 and to live and work in Berwick for the residency period. Berwick Visual Arts provides a small studio for the artist in The Maltings Theatre & Cinema and also a one-bedroom flat in the town for the duration of the residency. The CRE will provide hot desk space for the artist and access to the library and facilities at the University to support any research activity. It also has strong links with the School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University enabling access to the Fine Art Department and Culture Lab at Newcastle University. The successful artist is expected to engage with staff at the CRE and join (or organise) discussions and seminars where appropriate.

Monthly meetings will take place at Newcastle University with CRE and BVA staff to inform and support the development of the artwork, and to ensure that the artist is well embedded in research and academic networks. However, this activity will also need to be balanced with the importance of maximising the artist time in Berwick-upon-Tweed and developing relationships with those who live and work within the town. The artist in residence will also be expected to provide up to 4 talks / presentations about their work during the period of the residency both in Berwick and Newcastle.

The fee available for the residency is up to £7,500. This figure is based on a residency period of 6 months spent living and working in the area. This figure is inclusive of artist’s commission fee, material costs and production costs for the final outcome. There may be options to apply for further funds through Newcastle University for additional aspects of the residency programme, if this supports specific strands of research and /or encourages public engagement in university research. Berwick Visual Arts can also offer advice and guidance to develop further artist-led funding applications to support the development of any outcomes from the residency period. The funding available remains the same when applied to artist collaboration, where 2 or more artists work as one practice.

Artists are asked to submit their proposals by completing the application form provided by 29th May. Applications not using this form will not be accepted. Applications will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Eligibility
  • Artistic merit of examples of previous work submitted
  • Strength of written proposal – including concept and response to themes.
  • Impact and benefits to artist’s own practice.
  • Impact and benefit to Berwick-upon Tweed, Berwick Visual Arts and Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University.