We invite visual arts curators living and working in England, Scotland or Wales to apply to participate in a 5-day visit to Belfast and Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland taking place from 29 April – 3 May 2024.
This programme forms part of our ongoing partnerships in Northern Ireland to support visual arts practice in curatorial and artistic contexts. It aims to encourage UK-wide exchange and collaboration by providing opportunities for curators to connect, collaborate and build meaningful partnerships with artists and colleagues in Northern Ireland, to nurture future engagement and explore programming opportunities.
8 bursaries to support curatorial and artistic exchange and conversations in Northern Ireland.
Who can apply:
a-n Arts Organiser members who have a demonstrable visual arts curatorial practice, living and working in England, Scotland or Wales.
- The itinerary runs from Monday 29 April to Friday 3 May 2024
- Applications are open from Friday 12 January until 12 noon, Friday 2 February 2024
- Applicants notified by end of February 2024
a-n Curator Bursaries: Exploring Northern Ireland 2024 is designed to connect curators with artists and colleagues in Northern Ireland to open up dialogue and opportunities for talent exchange. It encourages a new understanding of the local visual arts ecology with a view to creating new public engagement programmes that strengthen Northern Ireland’s interactions with the UK-wide visual arts sector.
Arriving in Belfast, curators will participate in an itinerary that includes visits to artist studios, artist-run spaces and galleries that form the intimate arts community in the city. They will then travel by train to Derry~Londonderry to explore the spaces and studios in Northern Ireland’s second largest city, before returning to Belfast to meet artists individually. There will be opportunities for curatorial discussions throughout, culminating in a chance to critically review the visits, bring ideas together and set the foundations for potential future programming.
We are committed to enhancing artist visibility, aspirations and support in Northern Ireland. a-n Curator Bursaries: Exploring Northern Ireland 2024 extends our collaboration with PS2, following the delivery of Assembly Belfast in 2023.
Aims of the visit
- To enable artistic and cultural dialogue and exchange between curators from England, Scotland and Wales with artists and peers in Northern Ireland
- To share strategies for, and gain insights into, curatorial practices
- To explore and encourage medium- to long-term opportunities for in-depth collaboration and exchange between Northern Ireland and other regions of the UK and to forge relationships through which to achieve this
- To encourage peer learning and networking between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK
- To share learning with wider artist networks, and to benefit the wider arts and cultural sector throughout the UK
How to Apply
Applications are submitted via an online application form.
Please read the Further Information and Application Guidance below, before starting your application.
Only current Arts Organiser members can apply.
We advise you to first write your application offline and to then transfer your answers to the online form.
We regret that we are not able to provide advice on developing individual applications. However, should you need any technical support or have questions about the application guidelines, please contact us by email at [email protected].
If you require access support to complete your application, please email [email protected] with details of the support required and we will contact you with further information on how to proceed.
The visit is being coordinated by PS2 who will lead the visit alongside a member of the a-n team.
Each curator will receive a bursary of £750 to go towards travel, accommodation, subsistence and local expenses. Curators will be responsible for booking their own travel and accommodation. a-n and PS2 can assist in your planning, and an introductory session will take place online for selected participants.
In addition, train fares between Belfast and Derry~Londonderry will be covered, as well as organised dinners on selected evenings.
2. Eligibility Criteria
- Applicants must be visual arts curators living and working in England, Scotland or Wales
- Applicants must be current a-n Arts Organiser members at the time of application
- We will not consider applications from a-n Artist or Student members, or those with group memberships
- We will not consider applications from those currently in full-time education
- Members who received a bursary through the a-n Artists Bursaries 2022-23 programme are not eligible to apply
- Any incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline of 12 noon on Friday 2 February 2024 will be ineligible
- We unfortunately cannot provide support to develop applications or feedback on unsuccessful applications
4. Selection Process
Applicants will be reviewed against the following criteria:
- Demonstrating how participating in the visit will be valuable to their curatorial and professional development, taking into account the aims of the programme
- Demonstrating how their network of peers might benefit from their participation in the visit, taking into account the aims of the programme
- Demonstrating potential to create tangible working relationships with peers in Northern Ireland
The selection panel will be made up of PS2 and a-n staff and external panel members as follows:
- Jane Morrow, Co-Director, PS2
- Wing-Sie Chan, Head of Programmes, a-n The Artists Information Company
- Thomas Wells, artist, curator, member of Array Collective
Awards will be made at the panel’s discretion and all applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by the end of February 2024.
5. Conditions for Successful Applicants
- You will be required to be available for pre-visit communications and briefings
- You must be available to attend for the full period of the visit; partial attendance will not be considered
- You will be responsible for booking your own travel and accommodation and providing evidence of bookings by 17 March 2024
- You will be responsible for your own travel insurance
- You must have a valid passport or photographic ID accepted for travel to Northern Ireland
- You will be required to take part in a post-visit evaluation
If the Conditions for Successful Applicants are not met, the offer of a place on the visit will be withdrawn.
Please read the guidance below for support when completing your application.
1. Provide an overview of your curatorial interests (200 words)
Introduce what you do, and how and why you do it. Share your interests, motivation and ambitions in a clear and concise way.
2. What interests you about the Northern Ireland visual arts ecology? (200 words)
Tell us why you are interested in learning more about the visual arts ecology in Northern Ireland.
3. What do you want to achieve during the visit? (200 words)
Tell us about what you want to get out of the visit; who you are interested in meeting, where you are interested in going, and how this is relevant to your curatorial practice.
4. What are your long term ambitions following the visit? (200 words)
Tell us why this opportunity will impact on your professional development in the long term, how you will convert the experience into potential curatorial activities, linking this to your ongoing practice so we can understand why the trip would make a positive impact on your curatorial career.
5. Provide an outline of relevant curatorial achievements or any other key achievements that support your application (200 words)
Include information, either as a list or a paragraph, about the curatorial projects you have achieved in your career to date as well as other key achievements including, for example, prizes and awards, publications, presentations and residencies.
6. Provide a link to your website, online portfolio, or other means of viewing your work and CV online
We would like to see information about projects you’ve worked on and your CV.
7. If applicable, provide details of any access requirements
Let us know if there’s anything we can do to support you during the trip and for communications before and after.
How to apply to a-n Curator Bursaries: Exploring Northern Ireland 2024
An advisory drop-in session with Wing-Sie Chan, Head of Programmes at a-n and Jane Morrow, Co-Director at PS2 .
Friday 19 January 2024, 12.30pm – 1.30pm on Zoom
Register to attend
a-n Curator Bursaries: Exploring Northern Ireland 2024 is programmed in partnership with PS2.
PS2 = Paragon Studios x Project Space, an artist-led organisation established in Belfast in 1994. We support artists through the provision of nine artists’ studios, three workspaces for our annual in-residence programmes for a writer/s, collective, and curator/s and multi-annual artist development programmes. We welcome audiences and artists to our city-centre Project Space: an extension of the studios which offers an open, temporary gallery for experimental enquiries. We also undertake creative projects offsite in urban, suburban and rural locations throughout Northern Ireland, including PeasPark: our outdoor community garden and art project in North Belfast.
Top image: A studio visit with Robin Price, Vault Artist Studios, Belfast, September 2022. Courtesy PS2. Photo: Jan McCullough