As Above So Below - Artists' Residencies

Deadline: 08/04/2016  |  Published: 06/03/2016  |  Venue: ACA, Old School House  |  City: Allenheads  |  Region: Northumberland  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Helen Ratcliffe

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ACA is offering residency opportunities for artists to join its current arts, research and education programme, As Above So Below (AASB).

We are offering 2 types of residencies:

1. Artists in Residence

Up to three artists will be offered a two week residency working in any one or more of the AASB strands.

Artists will be expected to:

  • Develop their work (in any medium) relating to AASB
  • Contribute to our ongoing programme of educational and public engagement events

We will offer accommodation, studio, exhibition or presentation opportunities and a fee of £750.

A limited budget will be available for production/travel/event costs.

2. Emerging Artists in Residence

For artists of any age who have graduated or restarted their practice in the last 3 years or those who can otherwise demonstrate how this residency would benefit the development of their practice.

Artists will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop their work (in any medium) relating to AASB
  • Contribute to our ongoing programme of educational and public engagement events
  • Receive mentoring
  • Gain work experience in the diverse work of delivering projects at ACA.  

The residencies can be full or part time and can last between 1 to 3 months.  

We will provide accommodation, studio space, exhibition or performance opportunities and a weekly bursary of £100 (based on full time).  We can be flexible and agree a mutually convenient schedule with a 50/50 split of the working day between ACA work and the artists own work. 

AASB Project Description

The inspiration for AASB stems from the human condition of curiosity and ambition which prevent us from resting on what we see, understand and achieve – pursuing the potential of what might lay beyond recognisable horizons.  In the belief that more is to be found, we advance our ability to navigate and travel, constantly scrutinising expanding distances above our head and below our feet.

We are looking for artists to engage with this enquiry, to gather information and inspiration from experts in other fields, to develop their practise in new ways and to create work that engages wide ranging audiences.

ACA is working in partnership with The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) who are offering expertise, resources and funding to building an observatory on our premises.

The Arts and education programme is underway and will generate a series of events including exhibitions, workshops, performances and conferences that will culminate in the launch of the observatory planned for October 2016.

AASB Programme

The programme has three strands:

  1. Above: Dark Skies – taking advantage of ACA’s location within a designated Dark Skies Site and the planned observatory and planetarium facilities on ACA premises. 
  2. Surface: the Skin of Our Planet – exploring the significance of being on and navigating the rotating orbiting sphere we call Earth, from our base in England’s highest village at the geographical centre of the U.K.
  3. Below: Hollow Earth – considering human subterranean endeavours such as mining, caving, undersea explorations, mythology and more.

Lead Artist and others involved so far:

We have appointed Pat Naldi as Lead Artist. She will be creating new work and contributing to the development of the programme with ACA curators.  Sound artists Bennett Hogg and Sabine Vogel have initiated their above and below ground sound recordings and Bill Aitchison is working on performance and creative tour of Allenheads.

We are collaborating with experts from other fields who are already contributing to our programme. These include Dr Peter Edwards & Jurgen Schmoll -Astro Physicists from Durham University, conservationists working with AONB and mining historians from Killhope Lead Mine Museum.  We’re looking for people from diverse backgrounds to expand this list.

Links for further information:

Contact the curator
Who is eligible for the two week residencies?
Experienced artists working in all areas of the contemporary arts who can demonstrate a strong track record and a real interest in the project.
Who is eligible for the emerging artist residencies?
Artists of any age who have graduated or restarted their practice in the last 3 years or those who can otherwise demonstrate how this residency would benefit the development of their practice.
What will be involved in the ACA work experience for emerging artists?
You could be involved in a wide range of activities including marketing, event preparation, educational work, general administration and project assistance.
When will I know the outcome of my application?
Selection meetings and interviews will take place shortly after the deadline of April 8th and applicants will be notified by April 29th.
Can I apply to take part both residency types?
No. Please choose the residency most appropriate for you.
When will the residencies take place?
The dates are flexible but we would like the two week residencies to be spread between May – July with the possibility of artists returning in September/October to present work.
Emerging artists can request the month or months they choose to be at ACA between May and November.
Will I be expected to complete a finished piece of work during the residency period?
Not necessarily. The residency period can be treated as a time for research and experimentation.
You will be expected to complete your work to present at the exhibition/conference/event in October 2016 as part of the launch of the ACA Observatory. (Date to be confirmed).
What astronomical equipment is available at ACA prior to the opening of the observatory?
We currently have a large inflatable planetarium with projector, a portable Newtonian telescope and as well as other stargazing equipment and software.
What are the living/working facilities at ACA?
The artists in residence will be offered a private bedroom, shared living space and use of a studio which may at times be shared depending on the requirements of the artist and the number of other artists at ACA at any one time.
For informationon on accommodation, studios and facilities visit:
Who will be on the selection panel?
ACA Curators & Directors Alan Smith and Helen Ratcliffe and Lead artist Pat Naldi.
What time does the deadline close?
The deadline closes at 11.59 GMT

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