Dartmoor Autumn Residency - creative inspiration from an ancient landscape

Deadline: 24/06/2024

City: Bellever, Dartmoor National Park  |  Region: Devon  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Joanna Mayes

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Dartmoor Autumn Residency – Creative Inspiration from an Ancient Landscape. Sunday 3rd November – Thursday 7th November. A fantastic opportunity to spend time with like-minded people in the inspiring location of Dartmoor (Postbridge) YHA nestled on the edge of Bellever Forest in the centre of Dartmoor National Park. This fascinating opportunity is curated to inspire art practitioners, researchers and thinkers alike.

About the Residency

This group artist residency offers an opportunity to spend time in the heart of the outstanding Dartmoor National Park.

We reside at the Dartmoor (Postbridge) YHA, set centrally within Dartmoor National Park. The hostel is surrounded by the open moorland and forest of Dartmoor National Park, with easy access to a network of off-road routes for walking and exploring the ancient sites in neighbouring Bellever Forest.

YHA Dartmoor is a comfortable rural retreat which boasts cosy features including a woodburner and exposed stone walls.

The famous Dartmoor ponies often pay the hostel a visit from the nearby open moorland. There are lots of flora and fauna to explore.

With a dedicated wildlife garden within the hostel grounds. We can also make use of the grounds for camping if preferred.

We welcome all art forms, with the residency providing an opportunity to immerse in the story of the ancient Dartmoor Landscape, with a large amount of ancient Bronze Age remains on the doorstep.

The skies will be dark, and there will be the opportunity to stargaze. Carolyn Kennett FRAS, our archaeo-astronomer, will be on hand to answer any questions you may have..

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 of ancient Dartmoor landscape which is connected to star stories, astronomy, wildlife, geology, and local heritage.

We are excited about spending creative time at this location as we have access to an indoor classroom with tables for desk-based work and a large camping barn, which we can use for making and film processing, etc.

There is plenty of room to make work - we will discuss practicalities at our pre-residency Zoom meeting.


We invite you to showcase your work through our networking channels and contribute to our social media platforms. Additionally, if taken up, each artist will have a section on the Mayes Creative website dedicated to their work on this residency.

This residency will be led by Dr Joanna Mayes and Carolyn Kennett FRSA.

Joanna Mayes will be bringing:

*16mm & standard 8 cameras and film for hand processing

* Clear film & found footage to share for drawing and writing on film in the evenings

* Phytogram materials

* Alternative/plant film development & tinting skills/research interest

* Simple developer materials – coffee, washing soda, vitamin C

Carolyn Kennett will be bringing:

* Expertise in ecology, astronomy and the prehistoric (we will be thinking about properties of materials, cycles, alignments and the story of human engagement with sky and landscapes)

* Naked eye and telescope star-watching


This hostel offers a range of communal spaces, both indoor and outdoor. We will adhere 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. There are no ensuite rooms in this hostel. 

There are some facilities in the nearby Princetown, including a pub and two cafes and a village store. There are good supermarkets 15 miles away in Tavistock.

The nearest rail station is Newton Abbot which is 16 miles away and the nearest bus stop is within 100 metres of the hostel. There is a daily bus service which runs to this stop.

An access statement is available on the YHA website, but clicking on *more* under Hostel Facilities.

Planned Residency Schedule:

This residency is focused on immersing in Dartmoor’s landscape and heritage whilst having time to make research/artwork. All activities are optional.

Sunday – 17.00

- Arrival and welcome meeting at 19.00 where you all get a chance to introduce yourself and your practice.


- 10.00-13.00 Ancient worlds on our doorstep walk, exploring the forest of Bellever looking at the ancient sites adjacent to the hostel
- Afternoon personal research time.
- Evening talk about the prehistory of Dartmoor/stargazing.

Tuesday – 10.00

- Visit to Grey Wethers Circle either by foot or carshare.
- Afternoon -, personal research time.
- Evening - stargazing


- Morning visit to Merrivale and Kings Tor
- Afternoon - personal research time
- Evening - Group Meal at the hostel


- Check out at 10 am

The schedule may change due to the weather :)

All residency activities are optional to allow for flexible artist research time.


£299 - full price per person

£249 – for people staying off-site in their own accommodation

£149 - 1 subsidised place for a local artist in need of support (competitive)

Prices include shared accommodation for four nights in this stunning location and full use of the hostel, which includes a dining/work room with a long table which can be shared as a temporary workspace.

Please note that all accommodation is shared and allocated by gender. We will discuss details with you before your stay to make sure you are comfortable with the arrangements.

Make a submission Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Artists, creatives, thinkers, researchers.
How much does it cost?
£299 per person for a 4-nights accommodation with full access to the hostel and residency content and activities.
£249 per person for staying in own accommodation with access to all residency activities and content.

Food, drink and travel are not included.
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?
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 are keen to encourage artists who have relevant interests and research practices to our Dartmoor themes. 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 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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