Catalyst: Creative residencies in Cumbria
A brand new project in Cumbria to showcase world class creativity is looking for three artists to make new artwork. Poets, visual and digital artists, writers, theatre and film makers and composers are encouraged to apply for one of three £25,000 opportunities.
From Wordsworth to Ruskin, Percy Kelly to Conrad Atkinson, Cumbria has stimulated and inspired artists for generations. “Catalyst: Creative Residencies in Cumbria”, the title of this new project, will continue this legacy.
Catalyst is delivered by three Cumbrian organisations: Art Gene, Cumbria Arts and Culture Network and the University of Cumbria thanks to £75k funding from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Artists from across Cumbria and the UK, from any discipline – visual and sound art, music, writing, theatre, film and digital media – are invited to apply for one of the residencies based anywhere in Cumbria.
This is an exciting career-enhancing opportunity for early-or mid-career artists, who can show a strong and authentic commitment to Cumbria, spend time developing their practice in the county and create a substantial new piece of work or artistic event.
Maddi Nicholson, Co-Founder & Director at Barrow’s Art Gene, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for artists. The brief for the artwork is wide open: we ask that it should respond to modern-day Cumbria, its industries, landscapes, issues or communities. The work will raise the visibility and profile of Cumbria as a unique, innovative and creative place to live, work, visit and develop a creative career.”
Selected artists will need to be based physically in Cumbria during their residency. As well as making and presenting their own dynamic new work, they will contribute in a tangible way to the thriving artistic community that already exists in this extraordinary place.
Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of Cumbria LEP, said: “The LEP recognises and appreciates the importance of culture, heritage and arts in place making and place shaping and we formed a Creative and Cultural Sector Panel some time ago to support the future development of the sector.
“We want artists within the county and across the UK to apply and interpret the county in whatever way they wish. The purpose of these residencies is to promote the entirety of the county, its nature, industry and heritage by creating a great piece of art or new experience. “
The three artists will be supported by, and have the opportunity to collaborate with, a network of cultural organisations that are already embedded and thrive in Cumbria.
Colette Conroy, from the University of Cumbria’s Institute of Education, Arts and Society, said: “We’re looking for art that celebrates Cumbria as a place and that interprets and explores what is uniquely different and distinctive about it. We welcome ideas that disrupt and inspire, make people sit up and take notice of Cumbria, or that catalyse and unlock new opportunities.’
As well as collaborating with one another, each artist will be assigned a lead contact and an artist mentor as sources of additional advice and support.
Chair of Cumbria Arts and Culture Network (CACN), Kate Parry, said: “Cumbria is an exciting place for creative practice. At CACN we’re really looking forward to supporting the commissioned artists to make the best of the opportunity. We’re standing by to share what the artists are creating and learning with others across our sector and beyond.”
- The Catalyst residencies will take place between May 2024 and February 2025.
- Work will need to be complete and available for the public to experience by February 2025.
- A fee of £25,000 is available for each selected artist. This is to include all costs incurred during the residency,
including living and travel costs, any materials and making costs, as applicable, and fees relating to shows or performances.
- The closing date for applications is 3 March 2024.
For further information about the residencies, including the full brief for artists and details of how to apply, please visit: www.art-gene.co.uk/catalyst #CatalystCumbria
Contact for further details about Catalyst: Creative Residencies in Cumbria:
Maddi Nicholson (Art Gene): 07769 915631
Kate Parry (Cumbria Arts and Culture Network): 07884 386206
Laura Bell (Cumbria LEP): 07912 550867