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.
Juree Kim & Neil Brownsword: V&A Korea UK Ceramics Residents
October 2017 – March 2018
Supported by the Korean Cultural Centre UK
Additional support provided by Samsung
This collaborative residency coincides with the UK Korea 2017-18 season and our current display Contemporary Korean Ceramics in room 146. The residency offers a platform from which to showcase the relations that have developed between two distinct artistic practices. Inspired by the V&A’s vast collection of ceramics both artists aim to develop their interest in reinterpreting the traditions of ceramics by exploring interactions with site, place and indigenous ceramic practice.
Juree Kim is a contemporary artist whose work includes clay, performance, installations and film. Her interests lie in our ever changing and often disappearing physical environment. Juree’s architectural series represent the disappearance of architecture and urban features due to capitalism and regeneration. These clay forms are intricately built only to be broken down again by water osmosis. Her observations on the destruction of our landscapes due to gentrification, and the displacement of communities who can no longer afford to live in such areas, strikes a potent universal chord.
Neil Brownsword is an artist, researcher and educator. He holds a PhD from Brunel University and MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art. Neil began his ceramics career as an apprentice modeller at the Wedgwood Factory in 1987 and it is this formative experience in industry that remains a constant point of reference in his work. His practice examines the effects of globalisation in relation to Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramic manufacturing sector. Neil collaborates with former industry artisans to stage performative pieces highlighting their craftsmanship. His deconstruction and re-orchestration of ‘hidden’ procedures associated with such know-how highlights marginalised ceramic practices now in danger of being lost.
Metta Theatre: V&A Opera Residents
October 2017 – June 2018
Metta Theatre is a theatre company led by joint artistic directors Poppy Burton-Morgan and William Reynolds. Since 2005 they have been making theatre and opera at the mid, small and large scale and touring that work across the UK. Founded to provide a platform for unheard voices and stories, the company has a strong commitment to making exceptional theatre and opera that reflects and represents the diversity of our world. Metta works with at least 50% female and BAME performers in their productions and they also work hard to integrate deaf and disabled artists into their projects.
During our residency, we are collaborating with an emerging composer called Oliver Brignall to create a new Opera entitled “Roles” that explores canonical females characters from the operas featured in the V&A exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, emancipating them from the historically male gaze.
Silvia Weidenbach: V&A Gilbert Collection Resident
April – January 2018
Supported by the Gilbert Trust for the Arts
Silvia Weidenbach is a German designer based in London. In her work, she fuses traditional goldsmithing and silversmithing techniques with new technologies of the haptic arm and 3D printing to make her very own “digital craft.” During her residency, Silvia will respond to the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection. This collection celebrates some of the most beautiful objects ever made, famous for its selection of snuffboxes made of gold and silver, highly decorated with various precious stones, enamels and mosaics. Silvia plans to explore these boxes and their histories in order to produce her own 21st century chest.
The gold boxes are the masterpieces of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection. They are a constant source of wonder and admiration for me. Each box is unique, using exquisite craftsmanship combined with precious metals and materials to achieve these highly decorated surfaces. The impact of technical innovations on such a compact surface utterly fascinates me. Studying this extraordinarily beautiful collection in depth and having conversations with the passionate curators in the V&A will allow me to explore, experiment and play with the possibilities of my analogue and digital toolbox. Within this context I will create my own bejewelled box – an amalgamation of the old and the new.
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.
Wouter Osterholt: V&A Research Institute (VARI) Offsite Resident
In Collaboration with Create
November 2017 – March 2018
Based at the Whitehouse, Beacontree Estate, Dagenham
Generously supported by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation
Selected in collaboration with Create, Berlin-based artist Wouter Osterholt’s work often re-contextualises existing material such as buildings, monuments, sculptures, rituals or archival material to manifest fault lines and breaking points in our political landscape, where social injustice, conflicts or problems come to light.
During his residency at The White House in Dagenham, Osterholt will explore the utopian origins of the garden city movement and the Becontree Estate, with the aim of creating an Ideological Travel Guide to Becontree.
Within the context of the Becontree Estate I am primarily interested in the ideological foundations of the garden city movement of Ebenezer Howard and how its physical virtues were 'fetishized' at the expense of its social goals. My main objective for the residency is to find a way to experiment with the radical potential of the original movement. In recent years, it has become clear that Britain’s housing situation is in a deep crisis, compounded by a political crisis and new global pressures from climate change and immigration. This is a timely moment to rediscover and re-imagine the garden city principles and the benefits of establishing sustainable and socially just communities
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.
Watch these short films to get a first-hand account on the research and projects that our resident artists have carried out at the V&A during their residency.
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.