St Agnes, Isles of Scilly Group Artist Residency. Ancient Stones, Dark Skies and Wild Places.

Deadline: 24/06/2024

City: Troy Town Campsite, Isles of Scilly  |  Region: Cornwall and Isles of Scilly  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Joanna Mayes

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St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly Group Artist Residency : Wild Islands, Ancient Stones, Dark Skies. Tuesday, October 1st to Saturday, October 5th 2024. A fantastic opportunity to spend time with like-minded people in the awe-inspiring dark sky island of St Agnes, on the 'wild Atlantic edge' of the Isles of Scilly. This fascinating arts-science-heritage opportunity is curated to inspire art practitioners, researchers and thinkers alike.

 About this Group Artist Residency

The isolated, craggy island of St Agnes enjoys a unique atmosphere, feeling wild and isolated compared to the rest of the archipelago. It is connected to its close neighbour, Gugh, by a sandy tombolo, accessible at low tide.

We will stay together at Troytown Campsite. Accommodation is difficult to find on St Agnes, so this residency offers accommodation in shared pre-erected bell tents to support affordability and enable us to travel light on the new fast ferry service. We will meet residents at the ferry terminal on St Mary’s at the start of the residency.

The campsite is right by the beach and enjoys incredible panoramic views across the Atlantic, Bishop Rock Lighthouse, the rugged western rocks and the uninhabited island of Annet.

‘St Agnes and Gugh are a 20-minute boat ride away from St Mary's. Being right out on the Wild Atlantic Edge, and with only 80 or so permanent residents, this is the best island to explore if you're after a really 'wild' atmosphere.

From the stony beach of Periglis to the hidden subtropical Covean beach, from the winding, sheltered lanes that cut through the middle of St Agnes to the vast and towering granite rock formations on the southwestern coast, these are islands of wild contrasts.’ Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

The island is home to an abundance of rare lichen and wildlife; the island also supports the largest lesser black-backed gull colony in the archipelago, along with the only remaining breeding colony of kittiwakes, along with manx shearwater and storm petrel.

Gugh has many Bronze Age ancient sites including a complex centred around Kitten Hill. Including entrance gaves, stone rows and a standing stone called the Old Man of Gugh, all of this is accessed by the wonderful sandy causeway from St Agnes. A perfect place to take a swim. 

We welcome all art forms – this residency is especially suitable for those who wish to take direct inspiration from the sky, land, seascape, and abundance of unusual flora and ancient sites.

We will be considering the special ecological environment and looking at how people have lived and worked in this special landscape since prehistory, using and enjoying the ancient night skies and sea connectivity that we can experience today.

Our group 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 connected to flora and fauna, star stories, astronomy, geology, and local heritage.

We encourage creatives, researchers and enthusiasts of all disciplines to apply.

Further Details: 

Highlights during the residency include: 

**A mix of art, science and heritage discussions 

**Informative and inspiring walks, including to ancient sites on Kitten Hill

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

**Star and Moon gazing in the wonderful dark skies 

** Optional visit to St Martin’s (cost around £16) - A visit to the Cosmos Observatory on St Martins

** You will be offered a 10% discount for St Martins water sports activities when visiting the island. This will include kayak hire, which allows access to the Eastern Isles.  

** Beaches for cold water swimming and lots of sea life including Seals.  

Daytime visit to St Martin’s Observatory (interisland transport of £16 return not included).

Whilst we need to bring clothing for all weathers, there is lots to do both on St Agnes and the other islands whatever the weather, so we will be updating out schedule and having a zoom meeting to discuss this with participants closer to the time.

Wildlife Information


£299 - price per person (£249 if you are staying in your own accommodation)
Prices include shared accommodation (4 to a yurt) at the campsite.

Travel to St Agnes is at your own expense, as is your food and any additional activities.  

Details and costs of travel can be found and booked via the websites below.

New Scilly Ferries fast ferry service (1.5 hours). Launches soon. £50 each way.

Flights and Scillonian Ferry (with more space for luggage/camping equipment)
We will discuss details with you prior to your stay to make sure you are comfortable with the arrangements. 

Please do not book travel until we have confirmed your place.


We will meet you from the ferry which arrives into the harbour of the main Scilly island of St Mary's. Shared taxis are available down to the harbour from St Mary's airport if you choose to travel this way.

There is then a small ferry which takes us over to St Agnes (An amazing 20 minute boat ride, currently £16 return). They are used to people arriving in and then catching the smaller boats to the other islands, so this is all much simpler than it sounds!

Luggage can be collected on arrival at St Agnes harbour by tractor and trailer

Bell tents are fully kitted out with roll mats - these are on the thicker side (10cm) but can be doubled up for those in search of a little more comfort! (just bring bedding and towel)

All cooking kit is provided

The island has a great pub, cafe & restaurant for eating out

On-site shop sells Troytown Farm ice cream, farm produce & camping gas

Hire kayaks & paddle boards from the beach

The island and campsite has no cars, no caravans, just canvas

The campsite offers charging lockers, a shower and toilet block and a laundry room. There is a community hall with wifi which we are able to access.

Mayes Creative residencies offer a welcoming atmosphere and work hard to be inclusive and make any adaptations we can to support people of all learning styles and levels of physical ability to participate.

This residency relies upon more walking than our previous residencies, as St Agnes does not have any public transport or taxis, but it is small so distances are not far.

All activities are optional, but we don't want anyone to feel left out, so please discuss any concerns with us prior to applying.

As this is an unusual residency, please do feel free to contact us and ask any questions you may have.

Useful links

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 at campsite and residency content and activities.
£249 per person for staying in your own accommodation with access to all residency activities and content.

Food, drink and travel to and from the Islands are not included.
The islands are well served there are 2 ferries running and the airport also flies to St Marys Island and it's a short boat trip from there to the island of St Agnes.
Ferries to and from the Isles of Scilly are £50 each way with the new Scilly ferries service (limited luggage to one case)
Inter-island boats are currently £16 return

There is a local village shop and a pub and cafe on the Island
Are there payments to artists?
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.
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 make payment.
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 themes around ancient sites, dark skies and wild places. 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 30 days before the date of arrival, No refund thereafter, unless we can fill your space.
Where are we staying?
Troy Town Farm on St Agnes

We have booked Bell tents to share, more information about these can be found here

If you wish to bring your own tent, this can be discussed, but please be aware that this will incur additional costs.

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