Artist in Residence

Closing date:

Durham University

Josephine Butler College, Durham University is offering an 8-month commissioned artist residency, in collaboration with Waddington Street United Reformed Church (URC) and Durham University’s Curator for Contemporary Art.

The artist will be someone interested in working within a higher education context in a collegiate system. Durham University offers a unique take on this, and each college has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies. An ethos of collaborative practice and college-community engagement is uppermost. The university is making this offer to established artists/practitioners, as well as recent graduates.

About the residency

Durham University is inviting applications from artists working in any discipline (previous incumbents have been photographers, abstract artists, sculptors, and writers) who feel they could work creatively within our college and with the university’s partners in the local community. The university runs an intergenerational befriending project with Waddington Street URC, and this position will involve work with both audiences, and joint workshops too.

The university is particularly keen on a socially engaged practitioner who can work collaboratively to enable people to co-produce high quality artistic outputs. The theme for the residency is ‘celebration’.

This is a rare and exciting opportunity for an artist to develop their own creative practice in a wonderful geographic and scholarly environment.


Applicants must demonstrate:

  • Creativity, originality and professionalism in their work.
  • The ability and desire to work inclusively and collaboratively with the college and community partners (as part of their creative practice).
  • A willingness to immerse themselves in the life and culture of the college (e.g. formal dinners and scholarly events).
  • A willingness to work alongside students, staff and community partners in the development and delivery of this work.
  • A willingness to attend periodically on Sundays at Waddington Street URC in order to raise your profile initially, thereafter arranging activities as appropriate either on Sundays or other dates as negotiated.
  • In the event of manufacture/installation of artworks by the artist/participants, the artist must demonstrate current and appropriate indemnity insurance.
  • Willingness to work between 7-10 hours per week during term time.

Full Enhanced DBS clearance may be required.

Theme and Project Outcomes

The theme for the residency is ‘Celebration’, as the university wants someone who can help it to acknowledge and articulate the good things about life at college and in its community contexts. It would like to be encouraged, guided, and motivated through an artistic process that explores what can be celebrated and how.

How this is realised is open to interpretation. The material outcomes of the residency are flexible but may take the form of temporary or permanent artworks / installations / productions / recordings created with input from students, staff, and the local community. The university would like the end of the residency to culminate in an exhibition or event, where the artist could showcase the work produced. It would like a clear plan of what the outputs from the residency would be.

A staff member will be appointed to support this role, and a steering group can also be convened to help guide the work.




Budget £4,000 for 1 day pw equivalent over 8 months (term time) + free accommodation

Deadline 19 February 2024

Josephine Butler College South Road Durham DH1 3DF

Open to UK-based artists only.

The residency will run from May-Dec 2024.

Durham University is flexible in how time spent on the residency is arranged. Alongside the commission the position also includes free accommodation in a self-contained flat within the college.

To apply please send:

Portfolio: up to a maximum of 5 works. Please provide the title, theme, medium, date, and budget for each, and highlight any exhibited pieces.

Covering letter or film: This should be limited to 300 words and/or 5 minutes if you opt for a film and should respond to:

What your vision for the residency is, including aspects such as: your concept, response to our theme, & activities you plan to undertake to develop the work.

How you will engage with students, staff and the local community

How the residency will develop your own work and why is it important to you at this stage of your career.

A breakdown of how you would structure your time and the call on college funds.

Descriptions of some practical workshops at college and at Waddington Street.

Your ambition/contribution to the Summer in the City Arts Festival.

Two referees who can vouch for your character and artistic skills.

Please send your proposal to Andrew Tinkler

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