Supporting contemporary artists, designers and makers has always been at the heart of the V&A’s mission. Our Residency Programme enables creative practitioners to gain unique access to the Museum’s collections, archives and curatorial expertise, providing them with a studio on-site, a bursary and a production budget to experiment, create a new body of work and engage with the public.
Ever wondered what it’s like inside an artist’s studio, where designers or architects get their great ideas from, or how makers produce their final piece? We regularly host Open Studio sessions where you can meet our current residents and discover more about their practice.
Click the current residents' Open Studio links below for more information.
Bethan Lloyd Worthington: V&A Ceramics Resident
October 2016 – March 2017
Generously supported by the William Brake Charitable Trust
Bethan Lloyd Worthington is a London based artist who works with drawing, objects and installation to explore themes of place and fragmentation through time. She is particularly interested in archaeology as an inter-relationship with science, landscape, place, etymology, speculation and magic. Ceramics as a medium and an interest form the bedrock of her practice but she has also used wax rubbing, needlepoint tapestry, found materials and stained glass.
Ceramics deals with landscape in so many ways – employing depiction, representation, embodiment – and it’s enticing to think about how these might be utilised. The V&A collection holds a powerful array of techniques and associations, all of them present in our subconscious understanding, but perhaps none of it in isolation represents the way we talk about landscape right now.
Noor Ali Chagani: V&A Jameel Prize Resident
October 2016 – January 2017
In partnership with Art Jameel and in collaboration with The Mosaic Rooms
Born and raised in Karachi (Pakistan), our first V&A Jameel Prize Resident Noor Ali Chagani is a Lahore-based artist who draws on the exquisite miniature traditions passed down from the royal Mughal courts to create sculptural installations that incorporate the techniques of brickmaking, equally centuries old but he moves beyond its boundaries to instil a personal and modern sense of daily life to his work. Chagani’s use of bricks is a symbolic take on the contemporary world and the physical and emotional labour and toil that is expended in building, the need for security and protection, but reminding us also of partition and the walls we build between us. The walls and bricks represent the family and more importantly the “Man” in society who must be strong and not show any sign of weakness. Changani transforms the hard bricks into soft, fragile and organic forms, showing their softer side.
During my residency I am interested in responding to the V&A’s South and South East Asian miniature collections to produce brick jewellery inspired by the ornamental jewellery worn in the Mughal Court.
Paraa is an architectural studio based in Bangladesh which focuses on enhancing spaces for communities through interdisciplinary practice. As an organisation embedded in collaboration their team varies depending on the type of project they are engaged in. The team that will be in residence with the V&A and SPACE Studios at the White Building includes Abbas Nokhasteh, Kazi Arefin and Ruhul Abdin.
During the residency, we want to explore V&A East local cultures through a series of collaborative workshops and presentations, engaging and working with neighbourhoods within close proximity of the new museum. Paraa aims to enable the start of a fruitful dialogue between museum and its surrounding community.
muf architecture/art: V&A Research Institute (VARI) Embedded Residency
May 2016 – May 2017
Generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
muf architecture/art has established a reputation for pioneering and innovative projects for public spaces, buildings and landscapes. All of their commissions are expanded with often unsolicited (by the client) research, expanding a brief with the knowledge, desires and experience of varied constituencies.
As part of the V&A’s Research Institute (VARI), the Museum has invited Liza Fior and Katherine Clarke for a yearlong research residency to imagine how to make research visible and to critically rethink ways to encounter the collections at V&A East, the new V&A outpost in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The Museum is in many ways an idealised public space - dry, clean, rich with detail and with its own bylaws. A place where you can be all day without question as long as you only touch when invited to do so.
During our residency, we wish to make the most of our 'governess' status (as neither staff nor visitor) and the freedom that this gives. We will work with V&A staff drawing on their expertise and knowledge of the collection along with small groups of visitors to think about the new building and the way it meets its context as a place of making, thinking, meeting and solace.
Julian Melchiorri: Exhibition Road Engineering Resident
April 2016 – April 2017
Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund
Julian Melchiorri is a design engineer, biotechnologist and entrepreneur based in London. Internationally known for his visionary 'synthetic leaf' projects, Melchiorri proposes radical environmental solutions for urban and industrial settings through an innovative exploitation of biological microorganisms and materials to convert waste and pollution into valuable resources.
Given the V&A’s pioneering vision to showcase manufacturing and engineering innovations, and in conjunction with the 2016 Engineering Season at the V&A, my plan for this residency is to explore how the latest advancements in biotechnology and engineering can be applied to everyday objects and architecture in order to increase the quality of our lives.
Pauliina Pöllänen: V&A Finnish Institute in London Ceramics Resident
4 April – 30 September 2016
In collaboration with the Finnish Institute in London
Pauliina Pöllänen architectural ceramic works play on our constructed surroundings and understanding of the world around us, outlining organic shapes with a more intimate object scale. Often engaging the negative space of an object’s form, Pöllänen creates imaginary and complex dimensions within her sculptures by playing with existing perceptions of these forms.
The V&A is the ideal place to carry out my research because of access to the physical history of the Arts and Crafts movement. I see many parallelisms between the development of the Arts and Craft movement and the emergence of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, and I am interested in exploring how Modernism’s obsession with materiality stems from those movements.
With an exciting and ever-changing programme of artists and designers, there’s never a dull moment in our residency studios. Here we show the process of being an artist- or designer-in-residence here at the V&A, with behind-the-scenes insights and stories from our current residents.
How to apply for a residency
We issue open calls for residency applications twice a year, usually in the Spring and Autumn. For each open call, we define a particular area of the collections or a specific theme or medium we would like the resident to explore.
Open calls for applications can be found on our Jobs site.
Since its establishment in 2008 the Residency Programme has hosted a vast range of artists and designers. Discover more about our past residents, their research, projects and public programmes in the Museum.