Residencies form the core of Delfina Foundation’s work. They support and facilitate the professional development of cultural practitioners at all levels of their career, from emerging to established art professionals, and provide the residents with a platform to incubate their ideas and showcase them to their international peers and the general public. Residents are selected to take part in programmes for up to three months at a time. Since the physical expansion in 2014, they are able to host 6 to 8 residents at any one time. Based near Buckingham Palace in the heart of London, the property includes flexible space for living and working.
The residency programme is largely thematic, focusing on critical issues in contemporary art, as well as everyday life. The programmes bring together practitioners from around the world exploring common ideas and practices. They do not currently have a geographical remit; however they have established deep relationships with the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia that they continue to expand on.
Delfina Foundation currently only offers residency opportunities at their home in London. However, previously they have worked with a range of partner institutions to create residency opportunities for cultural practitioners abroad. Such residencies have taken place in São Paulo (Brazil), Halabja (Iraqi-Kurdistan), Damascus (Syria), Granada (Spain), Bethlehem (Palestine), Muscat (Oman), Dubai (UAE), Beirut (Lebanon), Cordoba (Spain), and Ramallah (Palestine).
The selection process varies depending on the specific residency programme, partner, funder, and place. The residents are selected via:
- Open calls for applications, which are reviewed competitively by a jury of art professionals.
- Solicited proposals or nominations from liked-minded institutions, artist networks, or organisations, which are assessed by a selection panel based on availability. Here you can read more about it.
Delfina Foundation’s premises consists of two Edwardian houses that have been amalgamated into one property. It is located in Central London, only 100 metres from Buckingham Palace and walking distance to many of London's iconic landmarks. Delfina Foundation can accommodate up to 8 residents at any one time. With interchangeable spaces of domestic size, the house is an ideal base for research and developing ideas. They also consider the entire house, from the kitchen to the gallery, as 'studios', rather than having dedicated spaces solely for work. The organizers prefer to host a mix of residents with a range of backgrounds, from sculptural to curatorial practices; therefore, the facilities are not equipped for specific practitioners. London does, however, offer an immense amount of resources that can be accessed for specific needs, from darkrooms to kilns.
The house includes an event and exhibition space of 1,650 square feet, where they host talks, exhibitions, screenings and other activities. The property also features a communal kitchen area, an outdoor terrace and courtyard, the foundation's offices, and a library/resource room, which includes reference books, magazines, and other archives that can be accessed by residents and the general public upon appointment.