162 artists based throughout the UK have been awarded a share of £200,000 to fund their professional development in the latest round of a-n Artist Bursaries.

a-n Artist members were invited to apply for bursaries up to £1,500 to fund self-generated activities such as research, training, travel, community projects, learning new skills or building networks.

An ambitious, one-of-a-kind annual programme that supports artists at a crucial time in their practice, the a-n bursary programme received a record 853 applications this year.

The bursaries aim to be ‘light touch’, requiring artists to complete a simple application detailing what the money will be used for and why it is crucial.

Julie Lomax, a-n CEO and bursaries selection panel member, said: “The standard this year was really high, making the selection very tough. We are thrilled to be able to support so many artists with such a diverse range of projects. Personalised development opportunities like this are vital.”

The bursaries will fund a range of new artist-initiated projects spanning themes such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, climate change, zines, cultural history and identity. Artists also applied to attend conferences or residencies around the world, develop their socially engaged practice, and grow their networks with peers and mentors.

The selection panel also included a-n Artists Council member Binita Walia, independent curator Lucy Day and successful 2018 bursary recipient Owen Parry.

Parry said: “It was a privilege to be part of the selection process and see all the different projects artists want to fund. As an artist with experience of funding from this bursary programme, I could directly contribute to the process of selecting individuals that were most likely to benefit.”

Rosemary Cronin will use her bursary award to explore how virtual reality filmmaking can make live performance “more accessible, more radical, and ultimately more available for audiences”.

The London-based artist, whose research-based practice focuses on gender, psychoanalysis, subcultures and subversion, has been awarded £549.94 to enrol on the 360/Virtual Reality Filmmaking Hands On Workshop at the Raindance Film Training Centre. She will create a short VR work based on one of her performances.

Speaking about how the award will impact her practice, Cronin said: “I’ve created live performances for a few years now, but always felt that there was another level these performances could reach. As my performances are quite bold and anarchic, they feel visceral and audiences have always said how moved by them they are.

“Having experienced VR for myself, I believe it offers the opportunity for performance to be accessible for more people, be a more intimate experience for the viewer and allow my performances to be even more wild”.

Brighton-based Bill Leslie has been awarded £1,300 to support the development of a new collaborative project Leap Then Look, which he has initiated with artist Lucy Cran. The project aims to run innovative and experimental workshops for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, foregrounding contemporary arts practices and their potential to affect and transform people’s expectations and experience of art through physical and material engagement.

Leslie and Cran will use the award to undertake a series of interviews with artists who are “working at the crossroads of contemporary art and education”, to critically inform and professionally support the project.

The core aim of Leap Then Look is to ensure that young people have access to “a robust critical and challenging creative education”, in spite of funding cuts to mainstream education and a focus on ‘core’ GCSE subjects.

Leslie said: “This bursary will enable us to create a network of like-minded professionals and contribute to the development of our practice at a critical stage as we embark on collaborative work together. It will catalyse future discussion and lead to further interviews, connections and awareness raising, helping us to establish ourselves at the forefront of innovative educational and participatory practice.”

Among artists undertaking research projects that involve traveling beyond the UK, Aliyah Hasinah has been awarded £1,500 to take part in the Decolonial Black Feminism summer school in Bahia, Brazil. Birmingham-based Hasinah explains that she hopes attendance at the summer school will enhance her artistic and curatorial practice whilst developing connections with Afro-Brazilian artists and curators.

She said: “Taking part will help me develop my understanding of the breadth of curatorial practices across the globe, and influence how I curate inclusively and radically in Britain, particularly within my Black Curatorial Lab project. It will also enable me to add to and observe multi-disciplinary conversations as part of national and international discourse, and give me time to think and meet with those who have done this work a lot longer than myself.”

Another Birmingham-based artist, Antonio Fernandez, is developing a project closer to home. Along with artist Ahmed Magare he has recently formed Nomads, a collective focused around a shared interest in themes themes such as mental health, spirituality and displacement. Nomads will use its award of £1,291.45 to create a series of free monthly zines that will explore the experiences of individuals living in the city as immigrants. It will be available at Birmingham School of Art and to download from the Nomads website.

Liverpool-based artist Gina Czarnecki will use her award of £1,500 to continue to develop her project Koffin. Created in response to the “monopoly, depersonalisation and rising costs of the death industry”, Czarnecki explains that Koffin is “a disruptive product made from a biopolymer that is environmentally sustainable, personalisable, practical and one of the least expensive coffins.”

The award will enable Czarnecki to attend the National Conference of Funeral Directors where she plans to distribute marketing material, and to visit Germany to document the biopolymer manufacturing process as she looks to produce the first production run of the Koffin.

Sunderland-based Helen Schell has been awarded £1,500 to visit six NASA space institutions in Houston, USA, as she further develops her The Human Spaceship project. She said: “As an artist and space ambassador, I use painting, installation and smart materials costumes and devise optical illusion art using geometry to manipulate colour, line, form and light.

“Developing The Human Spaceship has created new ideas and innovative visual language, but I’ve lacked vital information. So to advance project and to better communicate expert space research through my STEAM outreach project of space themed workshops and presentations, I need to visit research institutions connected with NASA’s human spaceflight programme.”

Several artists are focusing their bursary projects around specific areas of scientific research. London-based Gaia Fugazza has been awarded £1,459.50 to carry out artistic research at BiFor Face in Staffordshire, a facility where scientists are observing large areas of forest under the levels of C02 that we will have in 50 years.

London-based Fabio Lattanzi Antinori will spend a week in Tel Aviv working with scientists at I Know First who are at the forefront of artificial intelligence development. He  has been awarded £1,500 and will work with the scientists to develop software that will animate a new work to be exhibited at the Petach Tikva Contemporary Art Museum in Israel later in the year. This will also inform a new body of work and a large-scale installation for exhibition in 2020.

The London-based, multi-disciplinary artist Anna Walker will use her award of £940 to attend Re:SOUND, the 8th International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology in Aalborg, Denmark, where she will also make a presentation.

“It is a great honour to be asked to participate in Re:SOUND, an important and globally recognised platform for sharing arts-media research,” said Walker. “With four days of talks, panel discussions and exhibitions this is an invaluable opportunity to make a significant contribution to important research, while long-term developing an audience base beyond the local and expanding my network for future collaborative projects.”

The full list of a-n members to receive a-n Artist Bursaries 2019 is:

Andy AbbottWilliam AitchisonJames AldridgeLouise Renae AndersonFabio Lattanzi AntinoriRachel AraLesley AsareAlinah Azadeh, Sana BadriYvette BathgateAmelia Beavis-HarrisonVicki BennettAngeli BhoseJuliette BigleyElaine BoltCecilia BonillaHarriet BowmanElena Brake,Beth BramichBenjamin BrownKatrina Brown, Emma Burleigh, Louise ByngLaurel Jay CarpenterBelen CerezoAngela ChanChristian Noelle CharlesMaya ChowdhrySineid CoddRobble ColemanEsther CollinsMax ColsonLaura CopseyScarlett CrawfordJude CrillyRosemary CroninGina Czarnecki, Claire DaviesRebecca DaviesAngel Rose DenmanLaura DenningSimon Lee DickerKatayoun DowlatshahiDavina DrummondMairead DunneCaitriona DunnettJemma EganKate Eggleston-WirtzMark EssenMark FaridAntonio FernandezAlec FinlayClare Flatley, Tomoko Freeman aka anti-cool, Gaia FugazzaJacqui GallonEmma GibsonBryony GillardThomas GoddardRachel GommeAlison GoodyearAlastair GordonSusie GreenAoibheann GreenanBeatrice Haines, Ashanti HarrisKirsty HarrisAlex HartleyEmily HawesHolly Rowan HessonCallum HillRowland HillTracy HillGabriella HirstNicky HirstJo HodgesAliyah HasinahChie HosakaKathryn HughesAnna IlsleyPrecious InnesShelley JamesMia Johnson Laura JohnstonRuth JonesBirthe JorgensenEmily JuniperEirini KartsakiTara KennedyDinosaur KilbyAdam KnightSarah KoganHeiba LamaraLiane LangKate Langrish-SmithEelyn LeeLEOBill LeslieSamuel LevackAmanda LwinLouise MackenzieNatasha MacVoy, Danica Maier, Isabella MartinDominic MasonGregory MasonKelsey MayoSarah McCluskeyConan McIvorDean MelbourneLaura MilnesNikkita MorganVolkhardt MuellerCinzia MutigliLinda NorrisHana OmoriLouise OrwinSamantha PennLinda PerssonAli PickardChantal PowellDaniel ReganMatthew RichardsonWalter Van RijnJatun RisbaKatya Robin, Damien Robinson,Kirsty RussellDiana Scarborough, Libby ScarlettHelen SchellLouise ScottBruce SharpDebbie Sharp, Catherine SheaShonagh ShortAbigail SidebothamNatalia SkobeevaHelen SlaterHolly SlingsbyNicola SmithEmily Stapleton-JefferisLinda StupartKate SullyKim SutherlandJulia SwarbrickYesenia Thibault-PicazoMoi TranGuillaume VandameRomily Alice WaldenLily WalesAnna WalkerAndrea WalshEmily WarnerLouise WestCatriona J WhitefordKye WilsonNicola WinstanleyJosh WrightAurella YussufLiliana ZahariaAbeera Zishan.

1. Helen Schell, Big Red Rocket, 400x300cm, acrylic paint on canvas, 2018.
2. Rosemary Cronin, The Dora’s, performance, 2016.
3. Participant at a workshop at Tate Modern as part of the ‘Don’t We All Play the Same?’ research project, 2018. Photo: Bill Leslie
4. Gina Czarnecki, Koffins paraded through Liverpool on Mexican day of the Dead 2018.
5. Gaia Fugazza, Mimosa Pudica, performance at Lisson Gallery, London.
6. Fabio Lattanzi Antinori, The Capital Standard, aluminium, silkscreen, paper, acrylic, conductive paint, electronics, speakers, code, synthesised voices, data from official statistics and Saju reading about South Korea, installation view at MMCA Seoul, Residency Program, approx 200x400x200cm, 2018. Collection: MMCA Seoul.
7. Anna Walker, Six Fragments: Ghost II, still from moving image and sound installation, 2016-17.

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