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.
Metta Theatre: V&A Opera Resident
October 2017 – March 2018
Metta Theatre is a theatre company - led by joint Artistic Directors - librettist/Director Poppy Burton-Morgan and Motley trained designer 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.
We have a distinctive visual style combining a rich visual symbolism with emotionally powerful performances - often in political or socially engaged contexts. Metta was founded to provide a platform for unheard voices and stories and we have a strong commitment to gender parity - guaranteeing at least 50% female performers in our work. We also use at least 50% BAME artists and work hard to integrate deaf and disabled artists into our projects where possible. Oliver Brignall is a young composer with whom we are collaborating with. Oliver’s work explores the physicality of performance and the borderline states of sound and silence.
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.
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.