158 artists based throughout the UK have been awarded a share of £201,649 to fund their professional development in the latest round of a-n Artist Bursaries. The awards of £500-£1,500 offer a-n artist members the chance to invigorate and expand their practice, and initiate a step change in their career.

This year bursaries will be used to fund a wide range of activity enabling recipients to learn new skills, travel internationally, undertake research trips, build networks and collaborate within and outside of the visual arts. Aimed at supporting artists at a crucial time in their practice, the a-n Artist Bursaries programme received 638 applications of an exceptionally high quality this year.

Speaking about the bursaries, Chair of the a-n Board Jayne Knight said: “We know that direct, light touch investment in artists is vital. We have worked hard to make this part of our annual budget and part of the way that we work directly with our members.”

Diana Ali, who was a member of this year’s Artist Bursaries selection panel along with a-n’s CEO Julie Lomax, Programmes & Partnerships Manager Wing-Sie Chan, and independent curator Lucy Day, added: “It was an honour to be asked to be part of this year’s panel. It was exciting and engaging to read proposals from artists from all over the country and which covered so many disciplines within the visual arts.

“It really does get me thinking about my own practice. I’m proud to see so many diverse and confident artists out there. The selection was tough but choices were made based on the hard work artists did to sought out contacts, networks and ambitions to sustain their practice. It highlights the strengths artists have to keep going and make work for communities and for the richness art can offer.”

Since 2013 a-n has awarded £781,149 to over 803 members through its bursary programmes.

KV Duong’s award of £1,500 will allow him and fellow a-n members Pernilla Iggstrom and Lesley Oldaker to present ‘Fabrication of Self’, which consists of paintings and an interactive live performance at Supermarket 2020. This independent art fair in Stockholm exclusively showcases artist-led groups and includes a networking programme to connect and develop international artists and projects. “This is a prestigious opportunity to represent the UK art scene in Sweden, in a non-commercial collaborative setting,” said Duong.

Several of this year’s awards were made around the theme of printing and publishing. Jessica Longmore will use her bursary of £961 to carry out research and development work on GLINT, a curatorial project exploring ‘the circumstance of inspiration’ through tracking the moment that an artist’s work is conceived on Instagram. GLINT aims to reveal how contemporary practice exists beyond the studio and seeks to present a diversity of approach.

As part of her bursary activity Longmore will meet artists and curators to develop GLINT into an exhibition, and work with a writer to develop a publication.

Explaining that the project is Black-led with 40% of selected artists being from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, Longmore said: “This R&D will give me time to develop my artistic vision in order to transform GLINT from its digital home on Instagram into a dynamic, challenging physical form, bringing the project to a new audience and raising the profile of my own work and of the artists and writers involved.”

Kevin Hunt will use his bursary award of £1,500 to immerse himself in New York’s art publishing scene, making contact with key people and organisations including Printed Matter, Inc and those involved in the NY Art Book Fair 2020.

Liverpool-based Hunt says his bursary research is in response to ways in which his practice is changing, explaining that he is “increasingly making large scale works, ‘social installations’ and objects using a broad range of printing methods such as Risography, Flexography, laser-printing, photocopying and screen-printing.

“By building ongoing working relationships with and seeing first-hand the work of organisations that question the limits and hybridity of the artist book/edition/multiple and publishing scene, my first trip to New York (and the USA!) would be pivotal for me at this moment, not only because of how my own practice is developing, but as I am in the process of conceiving an experimental editioning house for artists multiples and published objects.”

Also travelling to New York is Himali Singh Soin whose bursary project has been shaped by recent research visits to the Arctic and Antarctic circles. The award of £1,500 will enable a collaboration with a movement choreographer and dancer to create mourning rituals for dying glaciers. The trip to New York will also facilitate mentoring opportunities and a chance to visit new spaces that might be interested in hosting a version of the performances.

Singh Soin explains: “Together we will expand this body of work into a large-scale installation of moving image, music, poetry and dance. The work proposes that climate change and xenophobia can only be understood and addressed via cross cultural collaborations and a multi-disciplinary approach.”

Another artist travelling to New York to undertake a project with an environmental theme is Dawn Felicia Knox. Her award of £1,500 will enable research into air pollution in a particular location on the edge of Bushwick in Brooklyn and explore ways artists, designers and scientists can work together to remediate the damage done.

Michael Lisle-Taylor’s £1,500 award will enable him to undertake a residency whilst participating in an expedition onboard a sailing ship in the High Arctic.

“The residency brings together 30 international artists of all disciplines, scientists, architects and educators, giving me opportunities for fieldwork, research and multi-disciplinary networking,” explained Lisle-Taylor.

As well as working collectively with the other participants, Lisle-Taylor will use the trip to develop a new piece of work, the third in a series exploring geological mass extinctions, mythology, ritual and human survival. In a bespoke survival air balloon he will perform a ‘crossing the line’ ceremony, passing over the Permian-Triassic extinction line, which is exposed in the strata of an Arctic sea cliff and represents the most catastrophic mass extinction in Earth’s history.

Closer to home, Ione Maria Rojas will use an award of £1,425 to participate in an interdisciplinary residency at Hospitalfield, Scotland and spend time at Achpopuli Farm in Inverness, a 69-acre experiment in regenerative agriculture. Maria Rojas will continue developing practical research initiated during an art and ecology residency in Mexico, working with clay to ask how this material can catalyse a reconnection with indigenous earth and open up conversations around creativity, sustainability and our role in a changing planet.

Juliet Davis-Dufayard’s award of £1,500 will fund visits to artist- and community-led green spaces across the UK, including Assemble’s Baltic Street Adventure Playground in Glasgow, Idle Women’s Mud to Medicine in Lancashire and Mohamed Bourouissa’s Resilience Garden in Liverpool.

Davis-Dufayard’s practice is based on collaborative principles, exploring everyday lived experience through ‘collective listening and doing to create sites for communality’. Her current project, Let’s Keep Growing, is an award-winning community-led gardening project in Longsight, facilitated with co-op tenants and neighbours in a network of alleyways and on an open green space.

Davis-Dufayard said: “I’m interested in how art can learn from community activism and gardening and vice-versa. How can artists co-create projects that others can take ownership of in the long term and what roles can artists have in building fairer, greener cities? This bursary gives me the chance to undertake substantial research which will help me to answer these questions and develop Let’s Keep Growing and the rest of my practice.”

Among those focusing on art and technology for their bursary projects are Alistair Duncan whose £1,500 award will enable the artist to undertake training in Python coding language and Arduino, and Jelena Viskovic who receives £1,250 to research virtual reality.

While Daksha Patel’s bursary of £1,245 will fund eight one-to-one, bespoke training sessions with a creative technologist in creative coding for bio-sensors. Patel’s practice engages with scientific processes of measuring, visualising and mapping the human body and its environment, encompassing drawing, print, animation and, increasingly, interactive works that utilise biotechnologies.

Patel, whose award will enable more meaningful collaborations with creative technologists, as well as gaining the skills to experiment with code, said: “In the future I will be able to design code for interactive works that offer participants agency over their own data. This training will also help me to code more transparently, which is important in light of debates about in-built bias in algorithms because of the under-representation of women and people of colour in coding.”

The full list of a-n members to receive a-n Artist Bursaries 2020 is:

Chris Alton, Louise Ashcroft, Svetlana Atlavina, Niya B, Catalina Barroso-Luque, Rebecca Bellantoni, Sharon Bennett, Emma Berentsen, JJ Bibby, Kazimir Bielecki, Gina Birch, Sophie Blagden, Larisa Blazic, Andrew Bracey, Lizz Brady, Polly Brannan, Madeleine Brown, Philippa Brown, Savinder Bual, Rebecca Buckley, Nicolas Burrows, Ken Byers, Samuel Capps, Helen Carnac, Annie Cattrell, Faye Claridge, Daniel Clark, John Wyatt Clarke, Emefa Cole, Sarah Cole and Annis Joslin, Andee Collard, Rachael Colley, Michael Coppelov, Alexandra Davenport, Juliet Davis-Dufayard, Chiara Dellerba, Lynn Dennison, Gail Dickerson, Anna Dumitriu, Alastair Duncan, KV Duong, Florence Dwyer, Taryn Edmonds, Helena Eflerova, Hannah Ellul, Lowri Evans, Ruth Ewan, Jessa Fairbrother, Tom Farthing, Ella Fearon-Low, Carrie Fertig, Jamie Fitzpatrick, Anneka French, Ross Frew, Janina Frye, Iris Garrelfs, Jenny Gaskell, Aikaterini Gegisian, Matilda Glen, Eloise Govier, Deborah Grice, Amber Griffin, Suman Gujral, Youcef Hadjazi, Marianne Holm Hansen, Kirsty Harris, Emma Harry, Katy Hawkins, Emily Haworth-Booth, JMC Hayes, Julia Higginbottom, Mary Hooper, Paul Hughes, Yang-En Hume, Kevin Hunt, Rebecca Huxley, Charles Inge, Kate Ive, Adam Lewis Jacob, Jasmine Johnson, Benjamin Jones, Delphine Jones, Olivia Jones, Lucy Joyce, Yva Jung, Clare Kenny, Sabba Khan, Saffa Khan, Mhairi Killin, Dawn Felicia Knox, Anne Krinsky, Aimee Labourne, Taylor Le Melle, Sun Ju Lee, Maria de Lima, Lemara Lindsay-Prince, Michael Lisle-Taylor, Cathy Lomax, Jessica Longmore, Antonia Luxem, Thomas Macgregor, Claire Malet, Rachel Marsden, Jenine McGaughran, Kitty McKay, Rosanna Mckenna, Jill McKnight, Alicia Reyes McNamara, Eleanor Minney, Andrew Mottershead, Morven Mulgrew, Ben Nathan, Simina Neagu, Hugh Nicholson, Eigil Nordstrom, Dana Olarescu, James Paddock, Craig David Parr, Daksha Patel, Mary Paterson, Amy Pennington, Tom Pope, Amanda Randall, Oliver Raymond-Barker, Karen Reilly, Alex Reuben, Lara Ritosa-Roberts, Ione Maria Rojas, Niki Russell, Ann Rutherford, Kadie Salmon, Ellen Sampson, Jhinuk Sarkar, Lucy May Schofield, Katie Schwab, Frances Scott, Suzanne Seed, Sarah Taylor Silverwood, Lisa Skuret, Carl Slater, Himali Singh Soin, Rae-Yen Song, Rowdy SS, Magda Stawarska-Beavan, Mike Stubbs, Rosemary TaylorFern Thomas, Laura Thomas, Margueite Thomas, Lauren Velvick, Jelena Viskovic, Rezia Wahid, Karen Wallis, Alex WeirLaura Wilson, Andrea V Wright, Carla Wright, Wajid Yaseen.

1. KV Duong, Turbulence, live body painting performance, acrylic on canvas, 300x500cm, 2017.
2.Lesley Oldaker, Communion, oil on canvas, triptych, 150x80cm, 2018. Oldaker is part of KV Duong’s a-n Artists Bursaries project ‘Fabrication of Self’.
3. Jessica Longmore, GLINT, @glintproject on Instagram.
4. Kevin Hunt, BEWEME, an open source, unlimited edition, single colour Risograph print (tessellated into a wallpaper) at Hotel Maria Kapel, 2019.
5. Himali Singh Soin, Still from Radar Level, 2016.
6. Ione Maria Rojas, Processing indigenous clay with ceramicist Gustavo Bernal in Tlalpujahua, Michoacan, Mexico.
7. Juliet Davis-Dufayard, Let’s Keep Growing, Great Get Together – Jo Cox memorial weekend, 2019, Photo: Roxana Allison
8. Daksha Patel, ‘Misprints’ event at Dundee Contemporary Arts with laser prints produced by the artist at DCA Print, October 2019. Interactive event representing the outcome of Patel’s residency at Life Science, University of Dundee hosted by Prof Miratul Muqit. The residency has recently won the ‘Brian Cox Prize for Public Engagement with research’. Photo: Erika Stevenson