Artist, designer, maker residencies

Duration: 60 months (January 2016 – December 2020)
Project lead: Laura Carderera, Residencies Programme Manager
Co-Investigator: Eileen Budd, VARI Project Manager

Embedded residency: one 12 month residency per year
Offsite residency
: one 3 month residency per year

Inviting creative practitioners keen to draw upon the resources of the V&A and to work collaboratively with other members of the VARI project and wider Museum community, VARI will hold two residencies per year from 2016 – 2021. Each year, we will have an 'embedded residency' and an 'offsite residency', which together will build bridges between multiple constituencies, knowledge bases and creative practices.

For the 'embedded residencies', the practitioner will be invited to critically examine ways in which we can together rethink our institution from the inside – moving from the traditional notion of the museum as a container for the display of art to an active site of production and discussion, where different voices are incorporated into curatorial and other museum decision-making processes.

For the 'offsite residencies', we are particularly interested in hosting colleagues with a socially engaged practice, to be selected through an open call for applications jointly issued by the V&A and partner organisations in London.

The selection panel for each residency will consist of relevant VARI staff and colleagues, at least one representative from the wider V&A, a representative of any partner organisation and an external curator if appropriate.

VARI Offsite International Residency in Collaboration with Create at the Rabbits Road Institute

Open Call for Nominations


Residency dates: 15 October 2018 to 15 January 2019
Residency Stipend: £6,500
Production/Research/Public Engagement Budget: £3,000
Deadline for applications: Sunday 1st July 2018 at midnight
Interview date: Friday 20 July 2018

The V&A Research Institute and Create are now seeking nominations for our next three-month residency based at Create’s Rabbits Road Institute in East London. Nominations can be from social practice artists or designers who are interested in drawing on the V&A’s collections to work within the vibrant community setting of the Rabbits Road Institute.

We welcome applicants of any nationality based outside of the United Kingdom that meet the criteria of the residency brief outlined in the document below.

Nominators will be asked to submit a joint application with the nominated practitioner.

For more information and to apply, see the following link:

Rachel Ara: V&A Research Institute (VARI) Embedded Resident
October 2017 – October 2018
Generously supported by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation

Rachel Ara is a British data and conceptual artist based in London. She has over 25 years' experience working in the technology industry, from programming and analysis to systems design. She combines this with a Fine Art degree from Goldsmiths and a furniture making background to create unique works. Rachel is also a recipient of the Near Now Fellowship, awarded to pioneering artists working in technology to research and realise bold ideas making sense of technology in everyday life. Her work is nonconformist with a socio-political edge that often incorporates humour and irony with feminist and queer concerns. She has a particular interest in misinformation, algorithmic bias and the resurfacing of silenced narratives while also looking at the impacts of the world of technology on gender and society.

During this residency I'll be researching and investigating the data the V&A holds about its collections and beyond. I'll be looking at new ways to connect this data to create new narratives and ways of engagement. Focusing on the hidden narratives of the data, how it came to be and looking for the gaps. I'll be combining my systems, craft and fine art skills to produce a response to my findings. This may include new interventions that are both physical and digital.

Rachel Ara

Victoria Adukwei Bulley: V&A Research Institute (VARI) Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities Resident
February 2018 – May 2018
Generously supported by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation

Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a British-born Ghanaian poet, writer and filmmaker based in London. She is an alumna of the Barbican Young Poets programme and is a Complete Works Poetry fellow. Her work has been commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts, shortlisted for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize 2016 and her debut pamphlet, Girl B, edited by Kwame Dawes, forms part of the 2017 New-Generation African Poets series. Victoria is also the director of MOTHER TONGUES, an intergenerational poetry, translation and film project. Her work explores memory and cultural heritage from a diasporic vantage point. Engaging with archival documents alongside oral and indigenous histories lead to a form of creative activism which seeks to revive heritage at risk of being forgotten.

My intention for this residency is to respectfully unearth the names, lives and experiences of individuals whose enslavement is ineffably tied to items housed within the V&A's collection. Drawing closely from the research of Dr Hannah Young (University College London) and the extensive Legacies of British Slave-Ownership compensation database, I will respond progressively through a meeting of text, film and photography. These interventions will aim to provide a human face to this history in ways that archives are incapable of doing. Coupled with a selection of public-facing events, this programme of exploration will be produced under the title A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE INHERITANCES.

Victoria Adukwei Bulley