Cabin Fever - Callout for Artists in Residence

Deadline: 05/05/2021

City: Derby  |  Region: Derbyshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Artcore Gallery

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Cabin Fever - Callout for Artists in Residence/Exhibition Opportunity at Artcore, Derby

"Cabin fever (noun) a state characterized by anxiety, restlessness, and boredom, arising from a prolonged stay in a remote or confined place."

As a result of the first and now the second lockdown, many of us have had to spend time in isolation and confined in our homes, and we’d like artists to respond to this theme by literally taking up residence in our cabin in Derby City Centre.

Artcore’s Gallery, in the centre of Derby, faces Osnabruck Square, (named after Derby’s German twin town of Osnabrück) in which there are three 'cabins', small retail units that operated as a café, a flower stall and a newsagent. Working in partnership with Derby City Council we now have the use of the former newsagent, and a budget for artists to take up residence in it for a month at a time between January and June 2021. 

The Callout

We would like artists to propose projects and activities which they can work on in our cabin for a month at a time. We have some specific aims we’d like artists to address:

  • To creatively engage with members of the public
  • To run around four public workshops for members of the public during each residency
  •  To enhance and animate the area using your creativity
  •  To celebrate the people and communities of Derby

We’ve also suggested some themes that you can respond to, though we are open to suggestion if you have your own ideas

The climate emergency and Henry David Thoreau (More information)

Thoreau was an American naturalist, writer and poet (1817 - 1862). His most well-known book ‘Walden’ is about simple living in natural surroundings and self-sufficiency. In 1845 he built a simple 10-foot x 15-foot cabin with a fireplace, table, desk, bed, and 3 chairs. Living there, he read, wrote, walked, observed nature, talked with occasional visitors, and thought deeply; activities that fulfilled Thoreau and fed his soul. He spent 2 years 2 months and 2 days living in his cabin at Walden Pond and later wrote about his experience.

Good News for Bad Days – The cabin was a news kiosk, so we suggest using it as a small press, where people are invited to print (letterpress, silkscreen, etc.) posters, leaflets, broadsheets, but instead of focusing on bad news and big stories, we could focus on sharing positive personal stories as if they were the front page of the newspaper, so there is a participatory element and the work is distributed to readers.

Street Art - Enhancing the area - Using the outside of the cabins and the square, making it colorful and vibrant, engaging young and old to be a part of the project, maybe including street art and pavement art festival.

Format Photography Festival – The March residency coincides with FORMAT, the UK’s leading festival of International Photography. 

We are offering each artist:

  • An inclusive Artist bursary of £500 
  • An Artist blog and digital platform throughout the residency to share the progress of the work
  • Residency space at our cabin and Artcore Gallery 
  • A chance to deliver artist talks and workshops at Artcore Gallery and online 
  • Mentoring and curatorial support throughout the residency
  • Publicity and marketing support

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.

About Artcore:

Artcore supports and promotes the work of contemporary artists and uses art to bring about positive changes to the lives of people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds. Its main activities include exhibitions, residencies, screenings, talks and festivals alongside daily workshops for adults and young people, many of which have moved online during this and the previous lockdown.

Artcore is a visual arts charity with bases on Charnwood and Albert Street, working within communities locally, nationally and internationally. It endeavours to operate as a cultural hub, fuelling active engagement for a diverse range of communities in Derby, the East Midlands and beyond. Artcore’s long-term objective is to use arts and crafts as a vehicle to strengthen community cohesion, educate, raise awareness and provide a platform for development. Through its creative work it is committed to bringing change into the lives of people of all ages, abilities, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Artcore is also an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. 

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 three annual Visual Arts Summits and is the lead organization in supporting the development of the visual arts ecology of Derby.

We have recently taken on a large City Centre space, and Osnabruck Square, close to our new Albert Street building will be the residency venue with access to space and resources in the gallery nearby.


Residency slots are one month:

  • January 2021
  • February 2021
  •  March 2021
  • April 2021
  •  May 2021
  • June 2021


We will accept applications at any time but please apply by 23 December if you’d like to be considered for the January slot, and let us know if there is a specific slot you would prefer. 


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
All Artists.
When is the deadline?
We will accept applications at any time but please apply by 23 December if you’d like to be considered for the January slot, and let us know if there is a specific slot you would prefer.
Are there payments to artists?
There is a bursary of £500 for each artist.
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 and mentoring from our curatorial team.
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 flexible and up to the artist.
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's 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 as soon as possible after the deadline, and we may invite you to a Zoom interview or to meet in person if that is possible.

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