Each year we invite applications for our residency programme here at the studio. We offer between three and four opportunities for artists to spend eight weeks at the studio to develop their ideas. The call for 2020 has now closed but join our mailing list or follow us on social media to stay up to date.
The programme has been greatly affected by the current restrictions imposed as a result of Covid 19 and we are reviewing how best we can adapt to the new landscape for 2021. The call for opportunities will likely be announced in early 2021.
This unique Residency Programme is initiated and run by the artists in Blast Theory, Ju, Matt and Nick. It provides a studio space, accommodation, and uninterrupted time, for residents to research and develop new work in a supportive environment.
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.
Blast Theory encourages debate and exchange with residents throughout the residency. We can offer the following to residents and we take our lead from the needs of each resident:
- Scheduled mentoring sessions with a Blast Theory artist if required;
- 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;
- Access to equipment and resources;
- Networking opportunities.
All support can be tailored to individual needs and in the past this has included running workshops, tests, works in progress and talks to the Blast Theory team and invited guests.
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’.
Criteria for Applying
The Residency Programme welcomes applications from individuals and collaborators working in the following fields, but we are open to other artistic and research forms, this is just an idea.
- The applications of mobile technology
- Games design and theory
- Narrative design and digital storytelling
- Video streaming as artistic practice
- Interdisciplinary and live art practices
- Immersive theatre
- Film (inc. documentary, fiction and interactive)
- 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.
About the Studio
The Residency is based at our studio at 20 Wellington Road, Portslade, BN41 1DN
20 Wellington Road is a renovated Victorian icehouse in Portslade, overlooking Shoreham Harbour in Brighton, United Kingdom.
The residency studio space is 3.1m x 4.6m with a large south facing window opening onto the wharf. A small bedroom is also provided which is suitable for one person or a couple, with a window opening onto an internal corridor. 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.
Due to its 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. Gatwick airport is 30 minutes by train and London is 60 minutes.
The location of 20 Wellington Road is such that the studio is based two storeys below street level and is accessed by four flights of stairs. There is a continuous handrail and lighting throughout the stairwell. Wheelchair access to the studio is available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. There is a wheelchair accessible WC on site. While we are happy to encourage support workers to undertake the residency with you if required, although we can only offer accommodation for one person or a couple sharing.
Cost of Residency
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.
Unfortunately we are unable to support travel or living expenses for your time with us.
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 for the bursary in your application. Priority will be given to full time artists on low incomes who would otherwise not be able to afford the opportunity.
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.