Artist Residency Callout - Present Tense, Future Perfect?

Deadline: 20/08/2020  |  Published: 13/07/2020  |  City: Derby  |  Region: Derbyshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Ruchita Shaikh

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Present Tense - Future Perfect? Artist Residency and Exhibition Opportunity at Artcore, Derby.

Residency: 28 September 2020 – 20 November 2020
Online Exhibition: 27th November 2020
Onsite Exhibition: To Be Confirmed

Post-pandemic, this will be our first physical residency at Artcore Gallery in Derby. Learning from the experience of our ‘Error & Power’ residency-from-home and online exhibition, ‘Together in Isolation’, our series of online exhibitions responding to the changing world we abruptly found ourselves living in when lockdown began, and our success in reaching audiences digitally, we would like artists to make work across both physical and digital platforms, recording and broadcasting both live and recorded material as the work progresses.

Through the residency, we want to give two artists the opportunity to make new work dealing with the tensions caused by the current uncertainty and looking forward to a brighter future.

The Residency Opportunity :
We are looking for two artists to take up supported residencies with Artcore, responding to the title ‘Present Tense – Future Perfect?’

‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’

The famous opening line of L. P. Hartley’s novel The Go-Between, published in 1953, speaks of the problematic nature of memory - personal and collective - and the subjective nature of history. Both memory and history entail the telling of stories which are at best half-remembered and at worst cynically misrepresented, especially when the voice is Western and its position one of assumed superiority, and the re-telling perpetuates systemic racism and prejudice. Statues have suddenly and unexpectedly become the focus of conflicting accounts of history, sharply illustrating the dangers of symbolically commemorating actors and actions that shaped a past that should be a cause for shame celebration.

But what of the future - is that, too, a foreign land, and will we do things differently there? In a very real sense we will become a foreign country in January 2021, as we finally sever ties with the European Union, so how should we break free from the mistakes of the past and what monuments to the future should we build?

Nothing changes, and at the same time, everything changes: since March we have lived in limbo, somewhere between the past we thought we knew and the present we were expecting, and now the future we dreamed of seems to have changed beyond recognition. In The Go-Between Hartley’s main protagonist and narrator, Leo looks back fifty years at the suppressed memories of his past.  He recalls the events of the year 1900 - the momentous turn from the Victorian past to the unimaginable upheavals of the 20th Century. The story of Leo’s lost innocence highlights the modern experience of broken time, a condition in which humanity is on one hand alienated from the past, yet on the other cannot be free from it.

Noam Chomsky says, “Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.” We believe that artists can and should take responsibility for creating a strategy for a better future, and we would like to hear your proposals for doing so.

We are offering each artist:

  • An Artist bursary of £1,000 to produce work for exhibition at Artcore Gallery and on-line
  • An Artist blog and digital platform throughout the residency to share the progress of the work
  • Residency space at Artcore
  • A chance to deliver artist talks at Artcore Gallery and online
  • Mentoring and curatorial support throughout the residency
  • A catalogue – both digital and physical
  • Publicity and marketing support
  • Online Exhibition on our Website
  • Onsite Exhibition at our Gallery


We welcome applications from artists working in any visual arts discipline, and with a cross-disciplinary practice. 

We expect artists to have a commitment to developing their practice, and to engage in dialogue with Artcore and our audiences, and the wider international contemporary arts and cultural sector. We welcome artists with an interest in how sharing online, using virtual space and working collaboratively can inform the development of their work.

Residency timetable: 

Deadline – Please send your submissions by midnight on Thursday 20 August.

Selection will be made by the end of August.

Residency start date: 28 September

Residency end date: 20 November

Exhibition dates: TBC

About Artcore:

Artcore is an international centre for contemporary art and creativity that is based in Derby, UK, and is home to Artcore Gallery, studios and work spaces as well as a shop and cafe. A vibrant hub for commissioning, production, presentation and debate, we offer opportunities for diverse audiences to engage directly with creative practices through participation and discussion. Here at Artcore Gallery we believe that contemporary art and creativity are central to the development of people and places. We have an extensive exhibition and residency programme which helps support early, mid-career and established artists to create work which deals with pressing social, political and environmental issues. Each year we welcome over 4000 people from all sections of the diverse communities of Derby to experience inspiring, innovative and high-quality exhibitions and events. Over 25 years we have developed links all over the world. This cement a global creative community and helps us support the aspiring artist into this contemporary world.    

Our Location:

Derby has a developing visual arts culture, with galleries at QUAD, Derby Museum & Art Gallery and at Artcore, a University with Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in the School of Arts, and much DIY activity across the City. Artcore has hosted two annual Visual Arts Summits and is the lead organisation in supporting the development of the visual arts ecology of Derby. The residency will take place at our Charnwood Street Building.

Make a submission Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
UK Artists.
When is the deadline?
Thursday, 20th August 2020
Are there payments to artists?
There is a bursary of £1000 for each artist.
Is there a private view / opening?
We will be confirming these dates before the residency begins.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Press and marketing support from our team, social media and email marketing, a dedicated artists' blog, a printed and E-Catalogue
Do I need to be present?
We expect the artists to be physically in residence during the residency period, however, we leave the time commitment up to the artist and only ask that we achieve deadlines in a timely manner.
How do you decide on proposals?
We will select based on:
- Innovation and originality
- The quality and creativity of the project
- The coherence of the project and how it will develop the career of the candidate
- The viability of the project and how suitable Artcore media and work spaces are for the proposed project
- The capacity of the artists' work to engage with local communities and Artcore's audience
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
You will be emailed by 25th of August.

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