Circling the Square – Visions of an Unmade City

Deadline: 10/01/2021  |  Published: 07/12/2020  |  Venue: Artcore Gallery  |  City: Derby  |  Region: Derbyshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Ruchita Shaikh

Paid opportunity

Report this?
The deadline for this opportunity has passed, and no more submissions are being accepted. Click here to have a look at other opportunities listed on CuratorSpace.

Circling The Square - Visions of an Unmade City - Artists' Callout

Circling the Square – Visions of an Unmade City: Artist Residency and Exhibition Opportunity 

Residency: 8 February – 10 April 2021 

Exhibition: 16 April – 1 May 2021 at Artcore Gallery 

Online exhibition during the residency period and beyond.

Deadline for submissions: 10 January 2021

Artist’s Fee:  2 artists will get £1,000 each.

"The truth is that man has an uncanny faculty of adapting himself to new conditions. He learns to admit and even, in a sneaking sort of way, to like new and strange forms. The new form is at first repugnant, but if it has any real vitality and justification it becomes a friend."

Frederick Etchells, from the introduction to Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture

We are looking for two artists to take up supported residencies with Artcore responding to the title 'Circling the Square – Visions of an Unmade City'.

Artcore's Gallery faces onto a public space called Osnabruck Square, named after Derby’s German twin town of Osnabrück. The twinning is commemorated by a stone monument presented by the people of Osnabrück, which displays the distance between the two cities - 800 kilometers or 500 miles.

Strictly speaking, it isn’t a square at all, but a tapering triangle which widens out as it wraps around two sides of the Market Hall, which bounds it on two sides, with Albert Street and Tenant Street on the others. It has an area of some 2200 square metres, most of it paved and is close to the bus station, the main shopping district & INTU, the council house and the river gardens. Intriguingly, the Markeaton Brook runs under it, hidden out of sight in a culvert, joining the River Derwent next to the Council House.

The current design of the square includes three dated 'cabins' - used as small retail units - a bus stop, seating, trees and some other planting. There are plans afoot to redevelop it (and other public spaces in the City) along with the regeneration of the Market Hall, and we’d like artists to playfully, provocatively, radically and collaboratively propose how the City’s public space could be unmade and remade, radically reconstructed to create a vision of what public space might mean in an age of social distancing. Perhaps ironically, given that we are now almost at the point of leaving the European Union and restricted in our social interactions, the square is likely to be renamed 'Friendship Square'. 

We are interested in work that critically interrogates the situation that is Derby: 'situation' meaning a set of conditions in time and place - a convergence of site, non-site, place, non-place, locality, public space, context, past, present and future time. What is the purpose of public space in the City Centre in a post-retail world, where social gatherings are a thing of the past, and where indoor social spaces are out of bounds? 

We are interested in psychogeography, Situationist strategies, the dérive, in destabilizing preconceptions of site and meaning, in intervention, in discovery, surprise, awe and humour, in cartography, maps and charts, in interactivity, and in friction rather than rapprochement. 

Learning from the experience of our 'Error & Power' residency-from-home and online exhibition, 'Together in Isolation', a series of online exhibitions responding to the changing world we abruptly found ourselves living in when lockdown began, and building on our success in reaching audiences digitally, we would like artists to be physically in residence but to make work across both physical and digital platforms, recording and broadcasting both live and recorded material as the work progresses. 

About Artcore:

Artcore is a visual arts charity based on Charnwood Street, working within communities locally, nationally and internationally. Our aspiration is to operate as a cultural hub, fuelling active cultural 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 two annual Visual Arts Summits and is the lead organisation in supporting the development of the visual arts ecology of Derby.

In August 2019 we opened a large two-story City Centre space, and this residency will use the upper floor of our new building, placing your work in a prominent new visual arts space right in the heart of Derby.

The Residency Opportunities:

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 Gallery 
  • 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

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 make your submissions by midnight on Sunday 10 January 2021

Selection will be made by the 15 January

Residency start date: 8 February 2021

Residency end date: 10 April 2021

Exhibition dates: 16 April – 1 May 2021


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
UK Artists.
When is the deadline?
10th January 2021
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 as soon as possible after 15 January

You must have an account to send a message to the curator of this opportunity. Registering only takes a few moments. Once registered you'll be able to keep track of all of your submissions and get updates on upcoming opportunities.


Already have an account? You must log in to send this curator a message.