Working internationally

Nicola Smith, 11.

Nicola Smith, 11.

'St Louis. Path 1. 32'.

'St Louis. Path 1. 32'.

'egg-nest-home-country-universe'. Photo: © Nick Harrison. SOLD. *credit card does a little dance*

'egg-nest-home-country-universe'. Photo: Nick Harrison. SOLD. *credit card does a little dance*

Stuart Mayes


Nicola Dale & Ailis ni Riain, 'DOWN', 2010. Photo: Donna Kempson. Courtesy: http://www.donnakempson.com/.

Nicola Dale & Ailis ni Riain, 'DOWN', 2010. Photo: Donna Kempson. Courtesy: http://www.donnakempson.com/.

With drastic cuts in funding affecting all areas of the arts, it is perhaps more pertinent that ever for UK-based artists to be seeking opportunities abroad. a-n’s Jobs and Opps has seen an increase in such opportunities, and several Artists’ Talking bloggers are operating internationally.

Artists Talking bloggers

Nicola Smith has recently returned from a residency at 501 Space in China. She was selected via a panel at the Chinese Art Centre (CAC) in Manchester before developing her proposal and applying for ACE funding. In researching the residency and for Live Art in particular, she found the resources at the Live Art Development Agency particularly the Reading Room and Adele Tan's Study Room Guide very useful. Members of NewWorkNetwork can also access their International Toolkit.

Nicola found that the CAC were very helpful, organising a meeting between artists returning from the residency, and those about to commence. Writing her own blog provided a structure to work within, whilst she also found it supportive to read other people's blogs about their residencies. The residency via the CAC is a two way exchange, which meant that there was common ground with some artists she met in China, as they had already visited Manchester. She made a concerted effort to learn about the Chinese art scene by interviewing artists and curators, and talking about her own practice. These discussions were supported by using her website and blog to show images of her work.

Nicola Dale is a firm believer in answering open calls 'because you never know where they will lead'. She has exhibited in Australia, the US, Italy and Norway, primarily by submitting application for calls for themed work. As a result of these group shows, work has been purchased for collections and gallery clients. She has also previously benefited from funding via The British Council who can sometimes provide support for UK based artists to ship work abroad.

Emily Speed also sees applying via advertised calls for artists as a way of initiating projects. However, it is the contacts and relationships that are made via intensity of residencies, the 'unique link' with people met through them that have created further opportunities. Following her first international residency at the Women's Studio Workshop, she has just returned from visiting NY again, after the WSW invited her back to present at a seminar. A curator from A Foundation in Liverpool put her forward for the European Capital of Culture exchange residency at Salzamt Atelierhaus in Linz, to where she is hoping to return later this year. A possible exchange programme may also be set up between Liverpool and Dortmund as a result of contacts made through the initial residency. Having a profile on Axis has also been beneficial, as Italian curator Paola Caravati approached her directly via the website to exhibit in Milan. This was helpful for introductions in Europe, and projects are now taking place in Switzerland and Milan as a result of this initial contact.

Two British artists currently living abroad are Jonathan Moss and Stuart Mayes. Stuart recently relocated from London to Stockholm following a three-month residency there in 2009. He says "Good starting points for any artist thinking of working in Stockholm are the annual art fairs". These are held in mid February - Market presents contemporary commercial galleries, whilst Supermarket focuses on artist-led initiatives.  Both events present exhibitors from Scandinavia and Europe. In order to set up his initial residency, Stuart approached wip:sthlm directly, asking if they had a such a programme or short term studio lets. As with all the artists mentioned here, he recommends investing time in research. He also advises being honest about what you would want and need from a residency - there's no point setting up one for three months in a place which doesn't suit your lifestyle. Stuart talks about his practice and relocating to Sweden in an email conversation with Andrew Bryant, on Artists' Talking.

Jonathan Moss uses his base in the French Pyrenees to exhibit Europe-wide. He says "it seems that my working practice here reflects that of many contemporary artists - it's about collaborating, creating art events and not relying upon the established gallery system. Where I show isn't restricted to where I live, which is mostly made possible through online networking". In a manner similar to many UK based artists living in rural locations, he uses resources such as a-n, Axis and his Artists Talking blog to make contacts. Having a primarily video-based practice is also an advantage, as it means work can be sent off to galleries or uploaded easily.

Jonathan has initiated residencies previously, inviting artists to stay in his chalet and make work over a month long period. Blogs of the projects were kept, and both he and the visiting artists found that the experiences were very useful in terms of their practices. Re-connecting with an old colleague via Facebook has meant discussions of a possible future collaboration, which may itself be an online project. Artquest together with Art Connexion have produced a comprehensive guide to the French art scene as part of the Artroute section on their website.

a-n has international opportunities advertised under academic, awards, competitions, exhibiting and international residencies.


Artist Run Centers (ARCs)

ARCs in Canada typically have annual or biannual calls for submissions. Artists submit proposals to the centre, which are then reviewed by a committee of artists to select the gallery's programming. Further details about this system and a list of ARCs in Canada can be found on New Art Gallery's website. CARFAC and Artquest are currently putting together a guide for artists wishing to work in Canada.



There are a number of academic positions advertised internationally from various world-wide institutions. This  brief list comprises of some institutions who have advertised in the UK previously or who a-n have listed. a-n's Employer's index gives details of organisations who have recruited through this site, including several of the institutions below.

Mason Gross School of the Arts Read On »

Rhode Island School of Design Read On »

Yale School of Art Read On »

Carnegie Mellon University Read On »

Sydney College of the Arts Read On »

Hong Kong Baptist University Read On »

Zayed University, Dubai and Abu Dhabi Read On »


Practical guides

Rebecca Farley offers expert advice to help you prepare for and make the most of your activities abroad Read On »

Paul Stone explores the wide range of international residency options available to artists Read On »

Richard Cox profiles the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, USA, discussing his involvement as both resident artist and selector Read On »

John Walter on his time at the British School at Rome Read On »

Wendy Murray provides information on structures and organisations for artists in the Netherlands Read On »

Susan Jones compiles tips from a range of artists well versed in assessing opportunities Read On »

Lisa le Feuvre's Practical Guide to funding applications Read On »

Judith Winter offers ideas and practical advice on how to develop proposals and present ideas to organisations and individuals Read On »


Useful links

Transartists - list of international residency networks Read On »

Artroute - travel and work guides for UK artists around the world Read On »

Artelier - international studio and apartment exchanges for visual artists Read On »

E-artnow - reminders of exhibition openings in cities worldwide Read On »

Nordic Art Association - links to artist-run galleries and networks Read On »

Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm Read On »

Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts adn Design Read On »

TAG - Platform for contemporary audio and visual art, Netherlands Read On »

Europe Art - information on Eurpean art scene, plus links to various art blogs Read On »

The Dutch art map Read On »

SMART project space, Amsterdam Read On »

Lauren Healey

First published: a-n.co.uk February 2011

Comments on this article

Re: Stuart's comment below - read Pamela Wells and Alicja Rogalska's Profile of Supermarket here

posted on 2011-02-24 by Stephen Palmer

I've just spent a very enjoyable 4 days at Supermarket Art Fair here in Stockholm. Anyone wanting to find details of artist led organisations and initiatives in Sweden and scandinavia should look at their website www.supermarketartfair.com the 'exhibitors 2011' section lists all the participants. The catalogue/magazine will also be available through a number of bookshops in galleries and museums in the UK. I expect to be there again next year, it would be great to meet other a-n readers there! Thank you

posted on 2011-02-23 by Stuart Mayes

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