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.
OPENS CALLS AND APPLICATION PROCESS
We issue open calls for residencies once a year, generally in the Spring.
Applications for our Ceramics Residency, Videogames Residency and Sustainable Fashion and Textile Design Residency have now closed. The open call for our next VARI Offsite Residency can be found below along with our application guidelines.
VARI Offsite Residency in collaboration with Create at the Rabbits Road Institute - Deadline for applications: 1st July 2018
Application process guidelines
Malene Hartmann Rasmussen: V&A Danish Ceramics Resident
April – October 2018
In partnership with the Danish Arts Foundation
A graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art’s School of Design in Bornholm and the Royal College of Art in London, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen now lives and works in London. Rasmussen’s mixed-media ceramic installations draw upon motifs from the domestic and natural world. Memories, daydreams and childhood nostalgia are all called upon by the artist, who weaves them together into a fairytale of her own making. By merging several seemingly incompatible worlds, her surreal narrative is an eclectic collection of ideas comprising mythological creatures, popular graphic culture and her own childhood in rural Denmark. Rasmussen’s interest in the forest stems from its recurrence in European literature and myth, ancient cults, pagan rituals and as a metaphor for the hidden realms of the unconscious mind. During her residency she will focus on the work of 16th century French Potter Bernard Palissy and the later majolica-ware produced in Europe.
I admire the eccentric and passionate Potter Bernard Palissy and somehow feel a kinship in our common fascination for plants, insects, animals and ceramics. Palissy developed a life-cast technique of lifting moulds from plants and dead animals and using the ceramic casts to create elaborate narrative scenes that often thematically evolved around water and the pond. During my residency I wish to dive under that water and see what grotesque creatures lurk beneath the surface and reveal the secrets hidden there. Another focal point will be the two grottoes Palissy designed for the French royalty Anne De Montmorency and the Queen Catherine de' Medici's royal seat in Paris. Adding to the mystery, only fragments are left from the grottoes today. With Palissy as my muse I will explore the idea of the Renaissance grotto and bring “La Grotte Rustique” into the 21st century
Metta Theatre: Circus Residents
October 2017 – June 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. Their residency coincides with a UK wide celebration of 250 years of circus in 2018. Having previously focused on the V&A exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, Metta Theatre will now explore the V&A’s Theatre and Performance collections developing performances that incorporate circus themes.
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.
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.
Victoria Adukwei Bulley: V&A Research Institute (VARI) Cabinets of Curiosity 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.
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.
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.