Artist-led Activity: Exchange Programme


As part of Scottish Sculpture Workshop’s 2017 residency programme, SSW is launching a new series of part-funded residency awards* to coincide with our AiR programme. The Artist-led activity: Exchange Programme will allow artists to undertake a month long residency free of charge in exchange for the organisation and delivery of an event, workshop or a series of short activities during their residency.

Similar to the AiR programme, this opportunity is focused on self-directed practice and is for artists wishing to spend time working on the development of their work – whether this is for production, research or experimentation. Artists will have access to facilities, technical expertise and curatorial support.

There are four places available within the Artist-led activity: Exchange Programme, one place for each AiR month in 2017: May, June, August, September. Sitting within SSW’s AiR programme, enables each Exchange Programme artist the opportunity to also participate in a series of group work activities and events, organised through the AiR programme. Visit the AiR residency page for more details on this programme.

The SSW residency programme is renowned for encouraging experimentation, for nurturing peer exchange and for setting a framework for building lasting relationships. SSW’s setting is a unique environment to experiment with event making and so this opportunity is ideal for artists who are interested in/or are currently exploring event making within their own practice.

*SSW provides shared self-catering accommodation, studio space, access to facilities and basic technical assistance. Materials and consumables are subject to charge.

This opportunity offers a month long residency in exchange for artists to organise and deliver either one activity or a series of activities – depending on scale. These activities should be open not only to SSW residents and staff, but also to the wider public. We are particularly interested in site-based activities, where activities are considered or developed in response to locality and resources.

In addition to creative responses to site, it will be important to consider practicalities in relation to organising activities open to the public in a rural location, please also bear in mind that SSW is a research and production facility and we do not have a conventional gallery space.

With a focus on being self-led, artists will be expected to be responsible for all aspects of the activity, both in the preparation and delivery, for example the programming, PR and marketing, facilitating, documentation. As part of the exchange each artist will receive a series of focus sessions with the Programme Manager, who will also be on hand to offer advice and support throughout the residency. The residency period also allows for workshop time with SSW technical staff, and support in developing new skills determined by the artist’s own interests and practice. Artists will have full access to the workshops and up to two sessions a week dedicated technical assistance.

Along side curatorial, production and technical support and mentoring, there is small event budget of £100 available to for each artist to deliver their activity; this can be used to cover costs associated with production ie speaker’s fees/ hospitality/ materials/ printing/ equipment rental.

This is an opportunity for artists to explore working with social/ event-based practice at SSW/ Lumsden, as part of their residency period. Working on the activity need not inform the full residency time, however, approximately 20 hours/ 3-days work should be allocated towards the researching, organisation and production of your planned activity. Submission of a proposal for the activity is required for the application, although we are open and encouraging for artists to revise their proposals during their residencies, this can be done with the support of the Programme Manager.

Activities can range from delivering open workshops or events, exhibitions, screenings, performances, outings, mini symposiums, small-scale projects or artist and local community exchange opportunities. Previous examples of artist-led activity at SSW include: various workshops during the Open Doors Weekend; Artist-led Storytelling Lumsden activities; Stone Planting with Ojars Feildpergs; Dudendance Theatre performance; Artists Pit fire and events.

SSW is a making and thinking facility based in Aberdeenshire in North East Scotland. Our aim is to offer the time, space, support and facilities to artists from all backgrounds to develop their practice, with an emphasis on experimentation and exploration of sculpture within the expanded field. The organisation was established in 1979, in the rural village of Lumsden, focusing on empowering artists through the enhancement of core skills and the creative exchange of ideas. Today – more than 35 years on – the vision of SSW remains largely unchanged supporting a combination of skills and ideas through workshop provision and a themed residency programme.

The SSW curatorial programme operates within local and international networks, delivering both residencies and projects. Our location allows us a unique perspective regarding the most pressing issues of the 21st century, such as food and energy production, and this in turn informs our conversation around artistic practice, geography and the environment at an international level. We are committed to the transformative role of arts practice, with a particular emphasis on the role of  artists and institutions to address social, political and environmental issues.


Duration: one month (4 weeks)

Date(s): The exchange programme coincides with the 2017 AiR programme dates:
AiR 1: 8th May – 5th June
AiR 2: 12th June -10th July
AiR 3: 31st July – 28th August
AiR 4: 4th September – 2nd October
Please state your availability on your Application Cover Form.

Cost: Places are free with an event allowance of £100 for the activity.

Application Deadline: 9am Monday16th January 2017

Application: please submit the following Documentation:

  •  SSW Application Cover Form
  • A cover letter stating your intent and reasons for applying to the programme, demonstrating an understanding and response to the location, critical programme and/or facilities. (500 words max.)
  • A proposal for your expected form of activity(s). (250 words max.)
  • A short statement regarding your practice. (250 words max.)
  • Up to date resume/CV
  • A digital portfolio (4 – 6 work samples, e.g. images, text samples or links to online content)

All supporting documentation should be within one PDF document no larger than 6MB.

Applications should be emailed to Yvonne Billimore, Programme Manager at arts@ssw.org.uk, and should have the title of the residency programme in the subject heading.

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