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Spode Works Residency

The Spode Works Residency is a 3 month artist’s residency based at the former Spode Factory in Stoke-on-Trent, supporting participatory activities that provide creative research to explore the nature of creative ‘work’ in a changing city. 
 
The resident artist will explore the value of creative and artistic work within the changing role of Spode Works in Stoke following its closure in 2008, alongside the impact of the new ACAVA studios and other local arts provision – including the Spode Rose Garden on the regeneration of Stoke Town.
 
The residency will launch with a celebratory event on the 24th September 2016 that will coincide with the official launch of the ACAVA Studios and the Spode Rose Garden, as well as the first ever Stoke Art Map Event. 
Work by the residency artist will be shown in the studios’ new exhibition space alongside selected works by ACAVA Spode Studios’ artists and this year’s ACAVA Open Studios. 
Participating groups will contribute to a ‘Stoke Arts Map’: a physical map and series of activities around Stoke Town with a programme of arts’ activities, food and music. 
 
Following the launch, the resident artist will undertake a ‘creative mapping’ of the emergent Stoke arts scene, unearthing histories, distinctive characteristics, and human stories of evolving sites. Spode Works inlcuded, the artists will bring these together like a medieval mappa mundi, in order to present a visual and textual geography and record an important moment in Stoke’s cultural growth. 
 
Led by the artist, a participatory artwork will be produced using printing processes drawing on Spode’s legacy of ceramics’ printing. The work will be shown in an exhibition at the studios’ space and the Spode Museum in early 2017. 
 
Residency Outcomes:
At the launch event, the studio exhibition will include examples of the resident artist's current work, by way of an introduction, to be shown alongside work by studio artists.
An important outcome for this residency will involve the artist and project partners developing ideas for a series of residencies and commissions that will creatively interrogate notions of 'creative work,' and how this responds to Spode and other sites from Stoke’s industrial past, as re-inhabited places for artistic production.
 
A final ‘map’ or object will be created by the resident artist, which draws all findings into one artwork, which could be a printed object; perhaps the final artwork may evolve into something through the residency that is ‘map-like’ or has elements of a map, this to be determined during the residency.
 
A final 3-week exhibition will take place in the ACAVA Studios exhibition space, and potentially at the Spode Museum, in early 2017. It will include an event for all project partners to share findings, and present the resident artist’s work and works made with participants during the residency. 
 
The resident artist will also offer an artist talk for students at Staffordshire University during the residency.
 
Budget:
Artist in Resident Fees over 3 months: £2400
Materials Budget including VAT: £480 (£400 plus VAT)
Equipment Budget (AV hire etc) £400
 
Details and Logistics:
The Artist Residency will officially begin on Saturday September 24th with the launch of the Stoke Art Map event, but there will be a few days beforehand for the resident artist to familiarise themselves with the location and install their introductory work.
 
The residency will run for approx 3 months, ending in a 3 week exhibition in early 2017 (this to be negotiated.)
 
The resident artist will need to be reasonably self-sufficient and self-organised, in relation to the activity and participatory aspects of the residency, but will be regularly supported by the project partners throughout the residency.
 
Background: 
The Spode Works Project is a partnership between ACAVA Spode Studios and AirSpace gallery, through an identified shared interest in notions of creative work and value, and the changing nature of artistic and cultural production. The Stoke Art Map event, with the launch of this residency, the ACAVA studios at Spode, and the Spode Rose Garden, is seen as a research and development phase for ACAVA and AirSpace to scope out a longer term programme of residencies and activity.
 
About the partners:
ACAVA, the Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art, is an educational charity. It develops and delivers a wide range of educational initiatives, aiming to promote the development of visual skills in relation to school and university curricula and beyond, to provide work experience and promote career development. To meet these aims ACAVA provides a comprehensive range of visual arts services, including the provision of studios and other facilities for professional artists, the mounting of exhibitions, the development of public art and community educational projects, training in the use of digital technology and a consultancy service.
ACAVA has worked with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, with support from Arts Council England, to renovate and transform part of the old Spode Works. The 43 studios have excellent natural light from large factory windows and overhead skylights in the steel decking suspended ceilings. The studios range in size from the largest spaces (over 500sq.ft) suitable for sculpture and ceramics and those wishing to work together, some with three-phase supply for kilns and machinery, to smaller studios (from 150 sq.ft) suitable for individual artists.
AirSpace Gallery is a collaborative, artist-led project in Stoke-on-Trent, providing professional development opportunities, studio and exhibiting space and support for artists. Through a dynamic and evolving programme of exhibitions, events and activities AirSpace Gallery brings critical, high quality contemporary art to the region and provides opportunities for a broad range of artists.
 
Led by Airspace Gallery, the Spode Rose Garden project began with the renovation of a garden outside Spode Works’ China Halls, containing a bone china rose artwork and planted with specially bred Spode roses. Events and activities in the garden space involving local people have taken place throughout the spring, and volunteer group has been formed, The Friends of Spode Rose Garden, to raise funds for the garden, programme future activity, and be advocate for further green space development around the city.
 
During a meeting at the Spode studios Open Day, the partners agreed to a joint approach to launch the ACAVA studios and the Spode Rose Garden in September, with the production of a Spode Arts Map that would help bring together the arts groups in Stoke Town, with the idea that this could be repeated annually on a low cost, self-financing basis. The resident artist will take this initiative further, and record this moment in Stoke’s cultural and artistic development through a ‘creative mapping’ exercise and the production of an artwork to be exhibited in the new exhibition space and Spode Museum. The proposal for an artists’ residency will also prepare for a longer term arts programme, with further residencies and commissions, as a way of pulling together these initiatives at Spode Works and in the Stoke Town area and provide a coordinated approach to their development. The programme will offer opportunities for artists in the studios and from elsewhere, and provide the means of engaging with communities in the town and embedding the studios as part of its cultural life and development. The arts programme will explore the notion of creative work, and Spode’s changing role in Stoke Town’s regeneration. In the past, those with creative skills would most likely have been employed at Spode Works and other ceramics factories. Now these former factories are being re-inhabited by a new set of creative workers, and will have a different kind of social engagement with the town.
 
Dates:
From September 20th 2016 for 3 months. 
 
Who should apply?
The residency will suit a visual artist with an interest in the role of arts and culture in developing cities, mapping and participatory practice. It may suit an artist with a particular interest in, or wish to develop an interest in print forms.
We encourage artists based in North Staffordshire to apply, as there is no separate budget for accommodation. 
 
How to apply:
To apply please create a single downloadable PDF, titled with your name. The PDF should contain:
• a cv and 250 word statement about you and your practice
• a max 500 word proposal with up to 5 images of your relevant work to date, and an indication (including up to 3 images) of what you would exhibit for the Stoke Art Map launch plus how you would approach the participatory aspects of the project
• a link to your website, where relevant
• an indicative budget 
 
Please ensure that the PDF is no bigger than 3MB (or send by We-Transfer or similar)
 
Send the PDF via an email, titled 'Spode Works Residency' to: beastop@acava.org and copy to Anna Francis, AirSpace Gallery: amf@airspacegallery.org
 
Contact: 
ACAVA office: 0208 960 5015
Ben Eastop: 07811 825 165
ACAVA, 54 Blechynden Street, London W10 6RJ www.acava.org
 
APPLICATION CLOSES: Friday 19th August, 2016.
 
This residency is supported by Arts Council England.