We invite applications for our residency programme towards the end of each year, please join our mailing list or follow us on social media to receive notification.
About the residency programme
This unique Residency Programme is initiated and run by the artists in Blast Theory, Ju, Matt and Nick. It aims to provide a space and uninterrupted time for residents to research and develop new work in a supportive environment over a fixed eight week period. We understand that committing this much time to a residency is not easy for everyone but we feel that this period is most suited to allow the time and space for meaningful development of ideas.
With 26 years experience as an artist-led company, we have a wealth of skills that we are able to use to support practitioners from all backgrounds and stages in their career; supporting skills development, providing opportunities and nurturing talent
For us, the residency was the first real opportunity we had as artists to dig deep into the why’s, how’s and what if’s of our practice. Having a place to hibernate, without the emotional vacillations brought on by over-exposure to other people, gave us the focus to really develop. 14 months on, we are still reaping the benefits. Sometimes, space and creative support are all you need – and, without us even really knowing that we needed it, Blast Theory provided that. Their expertise, enthusiasm and open-minded approach to how we needed to operate gave us the impetus to move forwards into a genuinely new space.
Blast Theory encourages debate and exchange with residents throughout the residency. We can offer the following and take our lead from the needs of each resident:
- Scheduled mentoring session with a Blast Theory artist if required
- Professional advice
- Insights into the company’s history, practice, research & development activities, working methods, business structure and artistic structure – through inclusion in creative and business meetings as and when appropriate a presentation of the residents’ work in progress or practice to Blast Theory
- Access to equipment and resources
- Networking opportunities
All support can be tailored and focused on individual needs and in the past this has included running game tests, works in progress and talks.
Residents are required to write a short summary of their residency which will be published on Blast Theory’s website. We also welcome residents to blog or do an Instagram takeover during their stay, this is completely optional but we welcome your voice.
We strive to provide a warm, welcoming, creative and collaborative environment. Regardless of how busy it is we all have lunch together in the studio between 1pm-2pm to which the residents are warmly invited. We also have a studio dog, Greta, who can be described as over friendly.
This residency was a life-changing experience for me, enabling an extended period to dedicate myself to my work as an artist. In that time, I made a lot of progress, built connections to the leading artists in my field, and returned to Australia with a solid concept for a public artwork of scale. In so doing, I feel like after 17 years of working as an ‘emerging’ artist, I have transitioned into my ‘mid-career’.
About the studio and 20 Wellington Road
20 Wellington Road is a renovated Victorian icehouse in Portslade, overlooking Shoreham Harbour in Brighton, United Kingdom. Our studio occupies the entire ground floor of the building.
The studio is comprised of three large bays divided into distinct areas. The Western bay of the building houses Blast Theory’s office, studio, edit suite and storage areas. The central bay is comprised of a communal kitchen area and a communal project space along with a studio space occupied by a private tenant. Our private tenants have ranged from artists working in large scale installations (Studio Morison) to fashion designers (Innocente Messy). The Eastern bay is comprised of a communal wc and shower room, another studio space for private tenants and the residency bedroom and studio for the exclusive use of the residents.
The residency studio space is 3.1m x 4.6m with a large south facing window opening onto the neighbouring builders yard and wharf. A small bedroom is also provided which is suitable for one person or a couple, the bedroom window opens onto an internal corridor, please note that it does not have natural light.
Residents have use of the communal project room to try out larger work, the communal shower room, the communal kitchen, outdoor terraces and a bicycle. We will provide bedding and towels during your stay and the kitchen has a range of equipment for your use including a combination microwave/grill, a two ring electric hob and associated utensils.
The studio is situated two stories below street level and is accessed by six flights of stairs. While the studio is wheel chair accessible Monday to Friday between 8am and 4.30pm and on Saturday between 8am and 1pm applicants should consider this when applying. The stairs have continuous handrail support and are well lit.
Due to it’s unique location the residency space is situated inside a working studio, the Blast Theory team and private tenants have 24 hour access. The communal spaces are shared by all but as a resident your privacy will be respected. Please refer to the image below for the studio layout. The spaces marked in green are private for the use of the residents while the blue spaces are for the communal use of all tenants, staff and residents.
The building is easily accessible by bus and train from London and has free on street parking nearby. Gatwick airport is 40 minutes by train, London is 70 minutes.
Criteria for Applying
The Residency Programme welcomes applications from individuals working in the following fields, but we are open to other artistic and research forms, this is just an idea.
- Pervasive and location based gaming and interactive media
- Games design and theory
- Narrative design and all forms of digital story telling
- Video streaming as artistic practice
- Interdisciplinary and live art practice
- Experimental and immersive theatre
- Film (inc. documentary, fiction and interactive)
- Liveness, interactivity, collaboration, co-creation and what audience participation means
- Museum projects and experiences
Applicants should be able to demonstrate how the residency period will assist in the development of their practice. We aim to support people at all stages of their career, including emerging artists and those with an established background in their respective fields.
We actively seek residents that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve and so encourage applications from those with less visibility in the sector.
The Residency Programme is managed by Blast Theory who undertake the upkeep and maintenance of the building. We ask that residents pay a nominal fee of £100 per week to cover these running costs. We are able to subsidise a maximum of one residency per year through our bursary scheme based on financial need. If you wish to apply for a bursary please outline your circumstances and demonstrate your need in your application. Priority will be given to full time artists on low incomes, the successful applicant will have all the fees waived for the duration of their stay.
When I applied for 20 Wellington Road, I imagined it as an opportunity to take some time and space, gather a few collaborators from around Europe, and “jam” on a particular manifestation of my artistic research in smell and interaction. Well, it was undoubtedly that. But perhaps even more crucially, my residency was a two-month object lesson in how one can live and work as part of a practising artist’s group. Seeing Blast Theory in action every day, taking care of each other and making great work with gentle dedication, was just as valuable to my practice, and my life, as were the infrastructural and technical support of their team. I strongly recommend the 20 Wellington Road residency to any artist or artist group seeking a dose of practical and soulful inspiration.