Artists Open Call: Trespass

Deadline: 14/04/2023

City: Bath  |  Region: Somerset  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Stacey Pottinger

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Behind the walls and fences of private land lies the truth - enclosure of common land, exploitation of resources and dispossession of people and public rights in exchange for profit.* What does trespass mean to you?

Whilst many argue that there isn’t enough space in England for immigrants and new arrivals and as we struggle to find enough land to build new houses on to alleviate the housing crisis or house Gypsy, Romany & Traveller [GRT] communities, the reality is that the vast majority of the country is entirely unknown to us because by law of trespass. We are excluded from 92 per cent of the land and 97 per cent of its waterways, blocked by walls whose legitimacy is rarely questioned **

The exploitation and enclosure have included not only land, but the bodies of human beings in England and stolen territories of the British Empire; especially the working class, women, GRT communities and enslaved/descendants of enslaved people.

In a religious context, to trespass is to go beyond the boundaries that God has set. In other words, it is sin, but, alongside the British Royal Family the Church of England is one of England's major landowners which has reinforced the Church’s influence on society.

Communities who still work together, living on and sensitively managing common land live sustainable lives, rarely take more than they need or damage the natural resources around them. But where land is bought, exploited and enclosed the ecology and natural balance has been lost.

If we could reclaim land for common use how would it affect our combined future as humanity? If we could reclaim our bodies what would it mean to us? Is the invention of land ownership the root of racial & social inequality and the climate crisis?

What does trespass mean to you?

The co-curators would like to invite you to consider how you respond to the theme of trespass through any artform.

Co-curated by Simbah Pilé and Stacey Pottinger

Simbah Pilé is a contemporary Barbadian artist living and working in the UK. She graduated from Barbados Community College with a Fine Art Degree in 2009 and she curated her first exhibition in 2011 focusing on Contemporary Illustrations in Barbados. Later that year she represented the Caribbean and in the Wasanii International Artist Workshop “In Conversation”. Her work includes painting, murals, collages, drawing, mixed media, printmaking, video, illustrations, and digital art. She has exhibited in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

Stacey Pottinger is a spoken word & page poet and an accidental visual artist who lives in a small village in the North East Somerset Coalfields. She graduated with a first-class degree in Film and Drama from University of Reading in 2001 with a focus on political, feminist and physical theatre. Her work explores contemporary politics, social inequality, motherhood and mental illness.

*Paraphrased from The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us by Nick Hayes

** Direct quote from The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us by Nick Hayes

If selected, we ask artists for a £20 contribution (like crowdfunding) and/or to give some of their time, as we are all volunteers. 

Fringe Arts Bath

Fringe Arts Bath (FaB) Festival provides a platform for early-career and emerging Curators & Artists to test ideas beyond the gallery-based arts scene. There are 17 other exhibition call-outs forming the FaB Festival programme, coming to Bath, UK, from 26th May to 11th June 2023. Discover them all here:


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Anyone is eligible to apply - everyone is an artist!
When is the deadline?
14th April at 23h59 GMT 2023
How many works can I submit?
As many as you like, we might not have space to select them all but we would welcome submissions with multiple pieces.
When is the delivery date?
TBC but approximately 19 May 2023
When do I need to collect my work?
11th June 2023
How much does it cost?
If selected, we ask artists for a £20 contribution (like crowdfunding) and/or to give some of their time, as we are all volunteers.
Are there payments to artists?
Is there a private view / opening?
Yes - date to be confirmed.
What are the exhibition opening hours?
To be confirmed.
Does the location have disabled access?
Venue yet to be confirmed.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Magazines and adverts around Bath, promotion via social media and Fringe Arts Bath website.
Do I need to be present?
Not necessarily, but support with hanging/display and invigilation is very welcome.
Where will my venue be listed?
To be confirmed.
How do you decide on proposals?
The show curators meet with the fellow Fringe Arts Bath curators and organisers to talk through proposals and to decide on suitable spaces and pieces for the exhibitions.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
We will let you know and you will be sent a form to complete, accepting the terms and providing further information about yourself[s] and your artworks. We will contact you again to let you know dates and plans for prepping the space and hanging the exhibition.
What kind of proposals are you looking for?
Surprise us! We are looking for anything that you feel fits under the theme of trespass. It might be to do with the body? The land? Access to public and private land? Sustainability? Social media? Computer malware?....... You might have an idea but not have made it yet, that is also fine!

Let us know what your idea is or what your piece[s] is/are and how it relates to the theme!
What are the selection criteria?
We are open to all proposals, but you will have to be able to get your pieces to us in order to hang / set-up before the exhibition. If you are proposing a performance you will need to be available during the two weeks [for at least one performance].

If you have a film or audio recording we will need it at least a week before in as high res as possible.

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