Artist / Designer / Maker Residency

The Bowes Museum

The Silver Swan is The Bowes Museum's most iconic and popular object. With funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the museum is offering a new opportunity supporting an artist, designer, or maker in the North East to undertake a residency engaging with the Silver Swan, its archive and a developing conservation project to restore the automaton.

This opportunity is open to artists, designers and makers working across the visual or performing arts who have an interest in exploring heritage, museums and archives collaboratively and would benefit from having the time and space to research and develop their social practice through close engagement with an institutional collection and archive.

This residency opportunity will enable research, making and professional development between October and December, with support from museum staff. The selected artist, designer or maker is encouraged to respond to the Silver Swan as a dynamic object, inspired by nature but wholly mechanical. At the heart of so many community and socially-connected memories, the selected artist, designer or maker is encouraged to use this as a starting point to surface ideas and creative responses to develop new work through critically engaging with communities and the heritage object and archival material that is present, particularly exploring stories and voices that might be missing.

The artist is encouraged to facilitate creative interventions and opportunities that share their research and practice with the wider public, particularly children, young people and families, through hosting 10 half day opportunities as part of The Bowes Museum’s public programme. The form of these events will be agreed with the artist, designer or maker and receive an additional fee of £1300 to support this.

The selected artist is encouraged to produce their own work, collaboratively informed by the project. A production budget of £2000 will support this.

Artists must be based in the North East of the UK and have right to work in the UK. Please note those in full-time undergraduate or postgraduate programmes are not eligible to apply. Post-doctoral researchers are eligible. If you are not registered for tax as being self-employed you will be taxed at source.

Due to the expected high volume of applications, The Bowes Museum is unable to give individual feedback.