Nuffield Residency 2020

Alice Booth

Lancaster Arts is seeking applications for the fourth Nuffield Residency: a practice-based initiative offering one artist, company or collective the opportunity to undertake a supported residency including the use of our Black Box/Studio Nuffield Theatre.  The Nuffield's stage is large and adaptable with a width of up to 25 metres, and it effectively combines scale and intimacy.

“I think the support that was offered during the residency was really exemplary.  [The team at Lancaster Arts] created a supportive environment where I could experiment and try out my ideas. The conversations helped me make crucial artistic decisions about the piece.  Spending focused time on the project in new environments and with new people was a process of discovering new potentials of the piece.”

Tara Fatehi Irani, 2019/20 Nuffield Residency recipient

Lancaster Arts is nationally acclaimed for the presentation, creation and development of innovative contemporary artworks.  We are committed to nurturing artistic talent, exploring new ideas and challenging boundaries of practice. Over several decades, our theatre space, The Nuffield, has been synonymous with pioneering performance work. We are situated within a world-class university and support and broker relationships with academic colleagues. Please see our website for more information about what we do. 

We are seeking to support the development of a project that is innovative, contemporary and/or cross artform, and requires a large (theatre) space for its development.  The project should address the theme of the climate crisis – a human induced situation that threatens every species on earth.  As wildfires ignite across the world, ocean levels rise, and entire ecosystems collapse, we are faced with the ever-increasing and inescapable effects of this global emergency. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that global, united action against this threat is possible. Drawing on these ecological perils, can your work be a platform to raise awareness and imagine a more sustainable future?  Your work can tie into Lancaster University’s renowned Environment Centre and many local environmental initiatives and activists, if you wish. 

The 2020 residency offers

  • A cash investment of £1,500 (to cover fees, accommodation, travel, expenses, materials etc. This can be used as match funding from other sources). 
  • 1 x 2 day initial exploratory residency in the week of 26th October 2020. 
  • 1 x 7 day period working in the Nuffield Theatre 23rd – 29th of November2020 (including 5 days with technical support)
  • 2 x 1 hour mentoring sessions (in person or remotely at agreed times)
  • Dramaturgical support and feedback from Lancaster Arts Creative Producing team
  • Additional creative time in other suitable spaces (subject to availability) on Lancaster University campus, such as the eco hub
  • Potential connections with academics at the university or local environmental activist groups, if desired

You will be required to

  • Present some outcomes of your residency week (e.g. a work in progress, an ideas share etc.)
  • Contribute some material for Lancaster Arts’ online archive that gives some insight into your process (a blog, a video diary, pages from your sketch book etc.).

Key Dates

  • Application Deadline: 26th August 2020 at 12 noon. 
  • Shortlisting week of 31st August. 
  • Offer made to successful applicant by: 3rd September.
  • Week of 28th Oct:  Overnight visit to Lancaster.  
  • Week of 23rd November: Nuffield Residency.

How to apply

Please also download our application writing advice (Word document).
Feel free to contact if you have any questions. 

Further details

  • The Nuffield Residency begins with a two-day period of structured exploration at Lancaster Arts.  You can look at our spaces, meet the team, start testing out initial ideas and make a plan for your 7-day Residency.
  • In November 2020, you will be working with a technician, who can offer support while you explore the ‘technologies’ of your work (lighting, sound and/or digital technologies).  Lancaster Arts producing team will also be on hand to support your week.  At the end of this period you will present some of the outcomes of your time with us. 
  • The Nuffield Residency is aimed at practitioners seeking to make a live work for the stage.  Proposed work can be live art or contemporary performance and/or interdisciplinary arts for any age group.   For example, our 2019 Residency was awarded to artist Maja Bugge to make NORTHERN, a cross art form project led by the composer and cellist Maja Bugge in collaboration with film maker Adam York Gregory and field recordist Hervé Perez.  In early 2020 we supported Tara Fatehi Irani to develop Mishandled Archive with musician Pouya Ehsaei, where she presented a ‘live’ installation made with material from a 365-day microactivism/intervention project she undertook in 2017.  This used photographs and documents from her family archive in Iran. 
  • The Nuffield Residency is open to all, including those based outside of the UK.
  • We are particularly keen to hear from applicants based in the North of England and/or from artists of colour.
  • We will favour applications from practitioners working across art forms and media.
  • Applications will be assessed by Lancaster Arts Creative Producer Alice Booth, Director Jocelyn Cunningham, and previous Nuffield residency recipient, Tara Fatehi Irani.
  • Information about the Nuffield Theatre itself is available on request.
  • Some links to environmental groups and projects in Lancaster: Lancaster Environment Centre, Green Lancaster, The Plot at Old Holly Farm, People’s Jury on Climate Change.
  • Short listed applicants may be contacted by telephone in advance of selection if we have any specific questions about your application.
  • We are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe during the current pandemic. The selected artist will be made aware of full health and safety protocols in due course. We are hoping this commission can proceed as advertised, but please be aware that we may have to make adaptions if the need arises. We will stay in close contact with you and make any changes to your residency in consultation with you.

Posted on 17th Jul, 2020