English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark Artist Residency Programme

Deadline: 05/07/2024

City: Torbay (English Riviera, Torquay, Paignton, Brixham)  |  Region: Devon  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Artizan Gallery

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Artizan Gallery is pleased to be able to offer four new artist residency programmes for 2024 as part of a piece of work to create new collections responding to the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark (ERUGGP) designation and the significance of this relationship to Torre Abbey and its current restoration works. Running in two strands, the residencies will each offer a resource grant and month-long studio hosting either at Torre Abbey in their Learning Lab or at one of Artizan Collective’s two Torquay spaces.

This programme is funded as part of the Torbay Local Heritage Grant Scheme by Torbay Culture via National Lottery Heritage Fund Investment, and is additionally supported by Museum Estate Development Fund using public funds by Arts Council England, the Cultural Assets Fund (CAF); a government funding stream, administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), to protect treasured heritage assets in England from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic alongside match funding from Torbay Council and the Friends of Torre Abbey (FOTA).


The programme is looking to appoint four artists and give them each the opportunity to produce a new body of work responding to the residency themes. Included in the offer is:

  • A month-long studio placement with Artizan Collective CIC or Torre Abbey
  • A £1,000.00 support grant for producing the work
  • Participation in a showcase event at Artizan Collective Gallery (and additionally at Torre Abbey within that strand)
  • Opportunity for work to be included within ERUGGPs long term approach to tell the story of our Geopark on a local, national and international stage
  • Opportunity to be recognised as a Geopark Ambassador Artist

What are we looking for?

Through this commission we will spotlight and share new and unique stories with audiences about our Geopark and create a permanent record of these that will contribute to interpretation of our UNESCO designation for the future.

The project represents a unique commissioning opportunity; there are currently no opportunities funding artists to engage with the ERUGGP designation using visual arts, and it is hoped that this resource will enable a sustained creative approach that the right practitioner could use to develop their practice.

Commissions will be expected to engage with Geopark themes (http://www.englishrivierageopark.org.uk/) with artists being selected to incorporate a diverse range of unique interpretations that will enhance and tell the Geopark story in new ways.

Artists will retain the works after showcasing, enabling them to seek other outlets for the collections to be exhibited independently in the future, spreading the story of our Geopark.

An online record of the works will remain as a means of sharing these interpretations. Commissioned artists will also be asked to propose a digital engagement strategy, demonstrating how they will share the progressing work with audiences online.

Who should apply?

This is an open opportunity but due to the nature of the in-person residency element we believe it will be best suited to a Torbay or South Devon artist.

A strong applicant will:

  • Have a clear record of producing high-quality work as part of a sustained and coherent series;
  • Show previous experience of audience engagement within their work;
  • Demonstrate understanding of the ERUGGP designation and the wider Global Geopark Network;
  • Fully respond to the specific details of the strand they are applying for.

Residency Activity

There are two residency opportunities in each strand, and whilst both are practically similar and intended to respond to the ERUGGP designation, there are some key differences.

Open Geopark Strand

This strand will be hosted with Artizan Collective at one of their two venues and will broadly respond to the ERUGGP designation as previously described in this brief and at http://www.englishrivierageopark.org.uk/

Whilst this is not necessarily a collaborative residency, we welcome joint approaches from two artists who would be interested to work together on this project.


Both of the Open Geopark residencies must take place with all work completed by February 2025. The below dates are our preferred blocks but these can be adjusted if required.

  • Studio Residency 1: 19th August – 15th September
  • Studio Residency 2: 16th September to 13th October
  • Final Showcase: Spring 2025

Torre Abbey Strand

This joint studio residence will take place from the 16th September to the 13th October in Torre Abbey’s newly refurbished and soon to be reopened Learning Lab.

Both artists will share the large studio space for the residency period, as well as the exhibition space for the final showcase.

Whilst this is not necessarily a collaborative residency, we welcome joint approaches from two artists who would be interested to work together on this project.

The Learning Lab is open to the public on Torre Abbey’s Sea facing side and is therefore outside of the pay barrier giving the artists a unique opportunity to interact with the Abbey itself, the passing public and the beautiful seafront location.  

We want to create an engaging visitor experience which draws together, and goes some way to explain, the heritage of Torre Abbey, the UNESCO Geopark within which it sits and the current restoration works.

This will not only seek to increase emotional connection with the story behind the conservation work but compliment and work alongside the disruption of the current building site and conservation work.

This is an opportunity to explore and interpret the questions of ‘what happens when nature takes over’, ‘what threatens the survival of Torre Abbey’ and ‘What will happen if we don’t intervene’.

The Abbey is the best-preserved example of a medieval monastery in Devon and Cornwall.  It also has one of the five most complete early medieval barns in England.

The collection reflects its history and archaeology, including a nationally and regionally important art collection including work by the pre-Raphaelites and other 19th Century, artists and sculptors. The garden has an important collection of botanical specimens and a Hartley Clear Span palm house.

Artists will be encouraged to create atmospheric and immersive work which will go on display in our lift shaft gallery space. There is space for work to be mounted on the walls and there is possibility of an installation piece which could hang in the void space between the medieval walls and the later additions to the mansion house.

Suggested interventions include projections, shadow and light and bringing elements of the landscape inside, explaining why it is important to try and harness the damage being caused by the elements.

Artists will be given the opportunity in advance of their residency to spend time with the Senior Operations Coordinator and the Senior Exhibitions Co-ordinator to discuss access to the Torre Abbey collections and we will also arrange for the two successful artists to take part in a scaffolding tour with our Senior Project Officer and a member of the construction team to fully understand the scope of the project.

About Torre Abbey’s Museum Estate and Development Fund

For details of the current Restoration project taking place at Torre Abbey please visit our website.


Torre Abbey is Torbay's most historic building complex, a Scheduled Ancient Monument of national importance dating back to 1196 and set within 18 acres of garden and parkland.

It’s an accredited museum owned by Torbay Council, home to a regionally important collection it’s been a centre of religious and artistic expression and hospitality for 800 years.

While this artists residency and subsequent showcase provides and seeks opportunity for usual and creative interpretation, any work must not compromise the fabric, collections or significance of the place.

Any installation of work must use existing wall fixings only; we will be happy to discuss creative ways to use the space for example painting or projecting onto the glass of the lift shaft or hanging work in the void space.

Lighting and display of work should form part of the initial proposal. Any proposal which includes the use of natural materials must be discussed and agreed with Torre Abbey’s manager in advance.


Unlike the Open Geopark Residencies, the Torre Abbey Residency dates are set, and you must be able to take up your residency offer during this period.

  • Joint Studio Residency: 16th September to 13th October
  • Torre Abbey Showcase: Spring 2025
  • Final Showcase: Spring 2025

Supporting Information

What is a Global Geopark?


“UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.

A UNESCO Global Geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our Earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing the impact of natural disasters.

By raising awareness of the importance of the area’s geological heritage in history and society today, UNESCO Global Geoparks give local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area.”

About the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark


“Situated within the stunning, rolling hills of South Devon, Torbay's geology has created the beautiful coastline of today, which fundamentally links the rich diversity of landscape with wildlife, people and culture.

Undeniably, the geological tale behind the English Riviera Geopark is quite spectacular and one of extremes. From a seascape bathed in the warm and beautiful tropical seas of the Marine Devonian to a landscape of arid, barren Permian desert and from our earliest relatives, living in caves, to modern civilization.

The Geopark's outstanding historical contribution, both in terms of the development of geological and archaeological sciences is astounding, from the Huttonian Theory, to the naming of the Devonian Period by Sedgwick and Murchison and even Pengelly's discoveries influencing world wide public opinion as to the antiquity of man.”

Geoparks engage all with their geological heritage but also celebrate and share the interweaved and interrelated influence of the geology on all else, the landscape, the rich terrestrial and marine biodiversity, and the heritage and culture be it tangible or intangible.

More detailed information about the Geopark can be found in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Geopark Management Plan

Grant Use

This programme is not intended to be a commercial commissioning process for a new owned collection and as such the provided financial grant should not be taken as a representative total budget for the new collection.

The financial grant and provision of space (as well as additional unvalued opportunities as part of the scheme) are contributions towards a creative development process and because of this it is likely that the opportunity is best suited to an artist who will embed this as part of their existing practice journey.

Produced Work

The produced work and all commercial opportunities associated with it will remain the property of the artist following any exhibition commitments involved in the residency.

Commissioned artists will licence to the English Riviera Geopark Organisation, Torre Abbey and Artizan Collective CIC the rights to produce an extensive digital record of the work that will be used for the life of the designation to help communicate the heritage narratives it set out to share.


Whilst applicants are able to apply for both residency strands, due to some of the distinctiveness of the two offers, these applications would have to be submitted separately. As such, we highly recommend applicants focus on submitting to one of the residency programmes.

Submission Process

All applicants are required to submit the following:

  • 200 words (maximum) about your existing work and practice with focus on its relevance to this opportunity;
  • Up to 3 supporting pieces of evidence of previous relevant work including visual content (this can be in the form of web links, documents, video content);
  • A 800 word (maximum) project proposal which should include:
    • The nature of the proposed work
    • How it will respond to the ERUGGP designation and wider project criteria
    • How this opportunity could change your practice in the future
    • Any specific considerations relevant to the residency strand you are applying for
  • A 250 word (maximum) engagement strategy for how you will reach audiences as part of the work (this must include digital engagement);
  • 200 words (maximum) outlining sustainability considerations for the production of your work

In addition, all applicants must confirm:

  • Their availability for all dates and deadlines outlined in the call criteria
  • To contribute to all evaluation processes required by the funders
  • That they already have or will secure all necessary insurance to enable them to be involved in the residency (we recommend a-n Artist Insurance)
  • To comply to all standards as defined by the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark including:
  •  The residency Terms and Conditions.


  • Call Live: 7th June
  • Deadline for Applications: Midnight, 5th July
  • Confirmation of Successful Artists: Week Commencing 10th July
  • Work Start: Week Commencing 15th July
  • Geopark Residency 1: 19th August – 15th September
  • Torre Abbey Joint Residency: 16th September to 13th October
  • Geopark Residency 2: 16th September to 13th October
  • Torre Abbey Residencies Work Completion Deadline: February 2025
  • Torre Abbey Showcase: Spring 2025
  • Geopark Residencies Work Completion Deadline: February 2025
  • Final Showcase (all works): Spring 2025
  • Evaluation Period: Spring 2025


All applicants are encouraged to arrange a phone call to discuss their application proposal in advance of submission with one of our team.

Depending on which residency strand you are applying to, this will either be with a representative of Artizan Collective or Torre Abbey.

To arrange a conversation please get in touch trough the Contact Curator Tab. Please address your message to Jacob Brandon.

Applicants for the Torre Abbey strand can also arrange the view the exhibition space at Torre Abbey.


This opportunity is managed and administered by Artizan Collective CIC. All enquiries should come to the below contact in the first instance with appointments being arranged on your behalf with partners at Torre Abbey or the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark if required.

Please address your message to Jacob Brandon.

Terms and Conditions

The following terms and conditions will apply if your application for “English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark Artist Residency Programme” is successful. In submitting your application, it is understood that you have read and agreed to these terms. Terms are subject to change at the discretion of the opportunity provider. 


These terms cover the opportunity as outlined in the call document and the core commitments of the residency. If your application is successful, these terms will be superseded by an artist contract that will apply these terms in the context of your proposed approach.

By submitting a fully completed submission form form before the submission deadline provided with the call, you confirm that if successful, you will be able to take up the opportunity and the associated commitments.

Core Commitments

The following commitments are integral to the project regardless of your proposed approach.


That the project should output a substantial new body of work be it series, installation, interactive piece or other appropriate concept, responding to the aspirations and ambitions of the call.

That this work be representative of your application content.

That, respecting your position as the artist, if required the work may be tailored with the awarding group in the interests of maximising its delivery of the project ambitions.

That the scope of the work should reflect the grant award as a contribution to the creation of a new body of work as opposed to a commissioning or tendering process.

That the final works will remain the property of the artist with the licensing of a digital record to the awarding group for their unrestricted use in promoting the project and the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark Designation.


That the residency is understood to be an integral part of the project designed to engage audiences with the creation of the work and the wider aspirations of the project.

That you will be responsible for engaging audiences, both in person and online, with your work and will be required to gather evidence to demonstrate this has taken place.

That a minimum number of occupancy days will be required for the residency period inclusive of 75% of all weekend dates within the residency period (Friday-Sunday) and 50% of all weekday dates (Monday-Thursday).

Showcasing and Legacy

That the work will initially be exclusively available for the two Spring 2025 showcases and cannot be exhibited elsewhere before these dates.

That you may be required to engage with other reasonable legacy activity within 12 months of the close of the project.​

Selection Process


Applications will be judged by a panel made up of representatives from Artizan Collective CIC, Torre Abbey and the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark management.

All decisions made by the judging panel are final.

All judging is based solely on the content of your submission form and we cannot guarantee to reach out to you for additional information, images or clarification where there is ambiguity or insufficient detail provided.

Successful Entries

Successful applicants will be notified by the date given in the call document.

Unsuccessful applicants will be contacted where possible, but given the volume of applications, individual feedback is not guaranteed.

If your entry is successful, you will be required to meet all requests for additional information in a timely manner and meet all deadlines provided in the call.


Throughout the project and up to 12 months after completion, you may be required to contribute to evaluation processes that help document the impact of the work. This will include an amount of independent recording of the engagement you receive whilst you are creating the work.

English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark

The English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark designation is a significant recognition of Torbay’s unique geological and cultural heritage.

Engagement with the designation will be essential for a strong application, but demonstrating a clear understanding is also necessary to ensure you approach this engagement sensitively and in compliance with the various conditions that govern this status and protect the features of our locality that it covers.

Below are some supporting links:


Because of the nature of this as a grant award, produced works can be commercial in nature provided this is not to the detriment of the project ambitions.


All promotion must acknowledge the grant award and the core partners. A media pack detailing social media handles and all logo requirements will be provided as part of the contracting process.

Grant Payment

Payment of the award will be made at the point of contracting. As this is a contribution to practice, extensive evidence of expenditure will not be required, but throughout the programme evidence of progress will be periodically requested to ensure the security of the project.

The grant will be recalled if the awarding group deems the scope of the work not to meet the commitments agreed within the application and contracting for the work.


All artists must confirm they are in possession of all necessary insurances to undertake this opportunity including Public Liability and Artist Insurance. We recommend a-n as a provider (https://www.a-n.co.uk/about/insurance/).

Contact Details

This opportunity is managed and administered by Artizan Collective CIC. All enquiries should come to the below contact in the first instance with appointments being arranged on your behalf with partners at Torre Abbey or the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark if required.

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