Winter Residency Programme

Winter Residency

The 2019 Winter Residency programme marks the beginning of a significant year for SSW as we observe 40 years of hosting and supporting artists from all over the world to develop their practices and make new work. The year also marks significant political and climatic change, shifting national identities and precarious futures.

At this time, we invite artists to come together on residency at SSW to continue the development of their practice and to also embed themselves in the multiple experiences, divergent thought and communal entanglements that occur here. Falling between formal SSW records and archives1, these emotive ephemera exist as “dirty matter” 2, an unrecorded nexus by which ideas are shared, other ways become possible and kinships are formed with reaching effect.

Within this underlying framework, we look to artists who are interested in ideas around:

  • Oral histories
  • Speculative narration
  • Making kin
  • Becoming with each other 3

For forty years, this abundance of relationships has underwritten residency at SSW. Together we will test the documentation of residency, what’s communicated, lasting and interpreted in the archive, how kinships are made and what possibilities they offer. What can we take/make from this in today’s uncertain climate, and can we “become with each other” 3 in the process?


1 Drawing from research carried out by writer Naomi Pearce whilst on a SGSAH residency at SSW earlier this year. Naomi applied her ‘feminist forensic methodology’ to examine the formal and informal histories of SSW, exploring uncategorised material in its archive, gathering anecdotes through interview and practising situated writing in the foundry and ceramic workshops

2 “Dirty Matter” as coined by Jo Melvin, is, “[A]rt’s interpersonal connections, passions, opinionated reactions, anecdotes, hearsay and gossip…”­. Melvin, J. (2015) Holes in the Archive – To fill or leave, that is the question…Bright Light (2) [online] pp. 65-74. Available at: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/ [Accessed: 24 Sept. 2018].

3 Haraway, D. (2016) Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham, Duke University Press.


SSW is set in a unique rural location which offers optimum conditions for both research and making. Our location within the foothills of the Grampian Mountains, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, provides artists with a new context for making work and spend time with their practice within this rural setting. Artists will live and work on site and have daily access to our facilities coupled with support from highly skilled technicians. This offer is accompanied by critical dialogue, peer exchange and wider expert support. Through our residency programmes we aim to sustain artistic freedom and experimentation across a diverse range of practices both those associated with contemporary sculpture and beyond.

SSW’s Winter Residency programme is lightly thematic, offering a loose reflective framework within which artists can spend a month working on the development of their practice – whether this is for production, research or experimentation.

In each month there are four to five artists in this residency programme, which runs alongside further SSW projects and open access between January and March, with two group residencies each lasting four weeks. Whilst being focused on self-directed practice, the Winter Residency programme also celebrates artist peer exchange and follows a loose structure of group work including activities to encourage discourse between residents; introductory group breakfasts and talks/exercises to share your work, studio sharings, communal dinners, walks and film and sauna nights. Residents are given the freedom to work in an open environment, and to develop dialogues with both peers and staff. Residents are offered timetabled support from technicians and the opportunity for one to one advisory sessions with SSW curatorial staff.

During the first week you will undertake workshop inductions and have dedicated time with technicians to develop a making schedule (should this be required) for your residency period. Please feel free to contact us prior to arrival, especially if you have a specific production project in mind.


Duration: one month (4 weeks)

2019 Date(s):
Residency 1: 14 January – 11 February
Residency 2: 18 February – 18 March
Please state your preferred or available dates in the application form.

Criteria: Artists of all disciplines and practices. There are four or five artists accepted per residency month. Applications should outline a clear overview of your practice, demonstrating an understanding and response to the location, residency themes and/or facilities. Open to international and collaborative applications.

Cost to Artist: Residency costs are highly subsidised by SSW but artists pay £560 per 4 week residency. There are two places allocated for emerging artists* on the Winter Residency, these places are further subsidised and cost £370 per four week residency. 

* Emerging artists are stipulated as: Current BA and MA students /or BA and MA graduates within two years of leaving studies.

Access: We have two family rooms available and are happy to discuss how SSW can support artists with families to access this residency.

As an alternative to a written application, you can submit by video application. To do this please use our online application form (link is below). You can upload your cover letter and artist statement in the format of video (no more than 5 minutes long). In the fields Cover letter and Artist Statement please write [see video].

If you have any specific access requirements you would like to discuss please contact us in advance of making an application.


The application deadline for this residency programme has now passed.

Application: We ask you to submit via our online submission platform. You are advised to complete your application off-line until it is ready to be submitted, as the contents of the form cannot be saved before submission. You will be asked to submit:

  • A cover letter stating your research area and/or interests and reasons for applying to the programme, demonstrating an understanding and response to the location, residency themes and/or facilities. (500 words max.)
  • Artist statement providing a clear overview of your practice. (250 words max.)
  • A digital portfolio (4 – 6 work samples, e.g. images, text samples or links to online content)

If you have any questions or wish to discuss your application prior to the deadline please contact SSW Programme & Communcations Manager, Jenny Salmean: jenny[at]ssw.org.uk


  • Share