Deadline: 03/07/2015

City: Bristol  |  Region: Somerset  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Bristol Biennial

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For Bristol Biennial 2016: In Other Worlds, we call upon artists to be brave and ambitious, to challenge us and our city, to engage with those less engaged, to empower those who are disempowered.


Bristol Biennial 2016: In Other Worlds | 2-9 September

“You live in the image you have of the world. Everyone of us lives in a different world, with different space and different time.” -Alejandro Jodorowsky

“What we call places are stable locations with unstable converging forces, that cannot be determined either by fences on the ground or by boundaries in the imagination – or by the perimeter of the map. Something is always coming from elsewhere, whether it is wind, water, immigrants, trade goods or ideas.” –Rebecca Solnit

For Bristol Biennial 2016: In Other Worlds, we are looking for ideas that are extraordinary, surprising, playful, thought-provoking, subversive, celebratory and transformative. We invite artists to engage deeply with Bristol as a city of many worlds and many people, a city of discord as well as agreement, a city with a complex past, present and future.


Bristol Biennial has been described as “impressive, radical and artist-led” (a-n). Emerging in 2012, the festival responded to the need for opportunities for early-career artists to present their work professionally across the city. Led by four practicing artists, Bristol Biennial values hopefulness, nurtures talent and promotes accessibility within the visual arts ecology. We aim to reconnect artists and audiences, foster international and local partnerships and operate an unorthodox festival model in a precarious climate.


We are looking for proposals from emerging visual artists of all and any discipline: sculpture, performance, moving image, technology, events, installations, writing, talks, collaborative and participatory work, to name just a few. We’re interested in big and small ideas, research, ambition and collaboration. We invite applications from artists based in the UK and internationally.


We’re inviting proposals for artwork to be sited across the City of Bristol in South-West England, with an emphasis on unusual venues and disused locations. We’re interested in art that is immersed in local communities, neighbourhoods and spaces. We don’t expect all applicants to have an inside knowledge of Bristol, but please describe the proposed context and space for your work. After application, we will work with artists to identify and negotiate an appropriate location for their work.


We are requesting artist applications fall under one of two categories: Shapers and Shakers.


Shapers are significant new commissioned artworks.

We are changed by the city and the city will be changed by us. Shapers are ambitious artistic projects inspired by Bristol and designed to have resonance and impact. Shapers might dramatically reimagine the city, work in partnership with local communities or bring different worlds together in new and exciting ways.

Shapers should expect their project to be developed in collaboration with the Bristol Biennial team, and will receive curatorial, engagement and production support.

If you are applying for the Shapers category, please apply with a budget of between £1500-3000 to cover all costs (production, materials, travel, space hire, insurance etc). Accommodation will be provided by Bristol Biennial and Artist Fees will be calculated separately: these do not need to be included in your budget.


Shakers are presentations or adaptations of existing work, or smaller commissioned pieces.

We stir the city and see what comes to the surface. Shakers are artistic gestures, playful stagings and dynamic interventions. Shakers might uncover stories, start new conversations or reveal the other worlds of the city.

If you are applying for the Shakers category, please apply with a budget of between £500-1500 to cover all costs (production, materials, travel, space hire, insurance etc). Accommodation will be provided by Bristol Biennial and Artist Fees will be calculated separately: these do not need to be included in your budget. 


Bristol Biennial is a unique festival that provides the opportunity for emerging artists to engage with a wide audience in new and unusual ways. As well as a production budget and artist fee, we offer accommodation, curatorial and artistic development, technical support and a significant press, marketing and audience campaign. The festival also offers an extraordinary chance to build new collaborations and extend your network with artists around the world.


Deadline: 3 July 2015, midnight.

We will acknowledge the receipt of all applications. Shortlisted artists will be notified by 24 July 2015 and invited to an interview (in person or by Skype). We regret we are not able to give individual feedback for unsuccessful applications.

Applications should be submitted online using CuratorSpace. Please specify whether you are applying as a Shaper or a Shaker.

If you would prefer to submit your application in another format, please email and we will arrange an alternative.


Please note, artists will not be contracted until funding for Bristol Biennial 2016 is confirmed (expected March 2016).

Contact the curator
How many images can I submit?
Please submit between 5-10 images of your work. These can be of past work and include relevant imagery for your proposal.
What do I put under description?
You could give a synopsis of the proposal, tell us information about you and/or your group, and/or perhaps provide some background to the proposed work.
Can I submit my proposal another way?
Yes you can. It is easier for us to see your proposal on curator space, however if the format doesn't suit you and you would rather submit another way please e-mail for more information.
Where should I put my budget in the application?
As long as the budget is in the proposal, it's OK to put it anywhere. We would recommend putting it at the end of the 'Commission Proposal'.
What is the word count for each section?
There is no word count for the sections, it's often not how long or short a proposal is but if you have got the idea across to us that counts. If you would rather some guidance for this we would generally expect around 5 - 100 words in 'Description' and between 200 - 500 in 'Commission Proposal'.
How many submissions can I make?
We are allowing up to three submissions per person to either or both categories.

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