Cot Valley: Dark Skies, Wild Seas, Ancient Places

Deadline: 30/05/2023

City: Cot Valley, St Just, Penzance  |  Region: Cornwall and Isles of Scilly  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Joanna Mayes

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Dark Skies, Wild Seas, Ancient Places: Cot Valley Group Artist Residency (November 12th - November 16th 2023). A fantastic opportunity to spend time with like-minded people in the awe-inspiring location of Cot Valley, Cornwall, nestled within the UK's most Westerly peninsular. This fascinating arts-science-heritage opportunity is curated to inspire art practitioners, researchers and thinkers alike.

About the Residency

We reside at Lands End YHA, a wild, natural setting with views down the Cot Valley of the vast Celtic sea. This remarkable building boasts 1920s-period features, a cosy open fire and plenty of indoor and outdoor space, and lowlight nights for stargazing and footpaths leading from the hostel to the coast and the village of St Just.  10 minutes walk to the unusual prehistoric site of Ballowall Barrow which overlooks the Atlantic. Lots of coastal flora and fauna to explore. 

We welcome all art forms with lots of outdoor space for site-specific working and an abundance of ancient sites and creative walks to fuel inspiration. 

We encourage creatives, researchers and enthusiasts of all disciplines; if you know anyone you think would be interested in the residency, please encourage them to apply.

Our residencies have a relaxed environment with plenty of time to immerse yourselves in your practice or research. We encourage everyone to share enthusiasm and relevant research; our overview project theme 'Dark Skies, Wild Seas, Ancient Places' is connected to star stories, astronomy, geology, and local heritage.


We invite you to showcase your work through our networking channels and contribute to our online blog; this will be shared across our social media platforms. 

Participants will also be invited to join the Mayes Creative artists network (for a small subscription fee), designed to continue working relationships and collaborations, provoke conversation and discussion, and offer informed advice on funding, project development and working in the arts-science-heritage cross-section.


This hostel offers communal spaces, both indoor and outdoor. We will be adhering to all current Covid-19 regulations and government guidelines. Check out our FAQs and don't hesitate to get in touch using the enquiry form.

The hostel has a well-equipped self-catering kitchen. Many rooms enjoy stunning sea views. There is a lovely local pub serving food known for its curry and a great artisan deli and pizza offered nearby in St. Just for people to eat out or order in, as well as places to purchase groceries.  

Further Details:

Taking the theme of 'Dark Skies, Wild Seas' we consider the stories of stars and the wild coastline of the Cornish peninsular, looking at how people have lived and worked this special landscape since prehistory using and enjoying the ancient night skies and sea connectivity that we can experience today.

Highlights during the residency include:

**A mix of art, science and heritage discussions

**Informative and inspiring walks including St. Just to Tregeseal

**A group visit to the Kurt Jackson gallery in St Just

**Phytograms and alternative film development using plants with artist Joanna Mayes

**Visit the 'Ancient Ballowall Barrow', followed by an ancient sites talk with Carolyn Kennett

**Enjoy a sunset and low light opportunities (weather dependant)

£299 - full price per person (£199 if you are staying in your own accommodation). 
2 x £99 concessionary rate places are available to Cornwall residents in need of support. These will be chosen by need, enthusiasm and artist portfolio and/or statement. There will be the opportunity to apply for this within the application form.

Prices include shared accommodation for four nights in this stunning location and full use of the hostel. 

You will be sharing a  large dorm room at the YHA with same-sex participants. We will discuss details with you prior to your stay to make sure you are comfortable with the arrangements.

If there are spaces free at the end of round one, there will be a second call announced.


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Artists, creatives, thinkers, researchers
When is the deadline?
The first round of submissions and the initial deadline for all applications is midnight on 30th May 2023
A second round, if all places are not filled, will be announced shortly after the above date.
How much does it cost?
£299 per person for a 4-night residency/retreat at Cot Valley YHA with full access to the hostel and residency content and activities.

£199 for a non-residential space (you stay off-site in your own accommodation)
Food, drink and travel are not included.

£99 per person supported places (Cornwall residents, see below)
Two concessionary rate places are available to Cornwall residents in need of support. This will be chosen by need, enthusiasm and artist portfolio and/or statement.
Are there payments to artists?
Does the location have disabled access?
Please see YHA accessibility webpage for details.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Any work which is created from residency themes will be shared online via Mayes Creative's social media and web channels. Additionally, if taken up, each artist will have a section on the Mayes Creative website dedicated to their work on this residency.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
We will let you know that your proposal has been chosen and we will send you a link to our bookings site.
What kind of proposals are you looking for?
Those who show an interest in the residency themes and also participants who would be potential future collaborators. We are especially keen on meeting people with a related research interest.
What are the selection criteria?
We have wide selection criteria for this residency - so long as this residency is relevant to your practice/you have a creative reason to attend. We are also looking for a mix of creative practices so that everyone can benefit from considering alternative approaches to the thematic material.
What happens in the case of a national lockdown or a Covid-19 related complication?
We will be following current government guidelines relating to covid-19 regulations. We will also respect the participant's decision to socially distance themselves.
In the event of a national lockdown, we will reimburse all payments made to participants.
Cancellation Policy
A 100% refund will be made for places which are cancelled before 30th July 2023
50% refund will be made for cancellations received 20 days before the date of arrival. No refund thereafter, unless we can fill your space.

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