Open Call: SSW x Counterflows Caregivers Residency

Photo: Amy Pickles

Deadline for applications: Monday 14 December 2020, 12 noon.

The care of others is central to the collective survival of our world yet is deeply undervalued within our society – this is often mirrored in the structures of support created for artists. 

The SSW x Counterflows Caregivers residency is shaped to support artists who undertake this essential care work and is set up to provide a nourishing, open and flexible residency structure to serve their diverse needs. 

Caring for family (biological or chosen), community and/or kin, either professionally or informally can form and create artistic practices as well as disrupt them. Throughout lockdown however, all aspects of home, work and caregiving have become tangled up and mashed together, often making each of these things feel increasingly impossible.

We recognise how difficult it is for artists with caring responsibilities to grasp time, energy, resources and focus for their practice, particularly when support networks are disrupted and funding diverted through the C-19 pandemic. With this in mind, this residency offers funding, flexibility, respite and space for self-care, to focus on their own needs and support continued learning and development. 

Further information

Counterflows and SSW support artists working across all disciplines, but for this residency applicants should have experience in working with sound and/or experimental performance in some form. Through this residency we want to learn with the selected artist to develop how both organisations can best support caregivers, in this residency and wider activity.

Please read the Residency Application Pack for full information about the residency and how to apply. Don’t hesitate to contact us at SSW if you have any questions about this opportunity, if you have technical difficulties with your application, or you have any access requirements that we can support you with in the application process.


To support residency activity, the selected artist will receive:

  • £1500 artist fee
  • £300 travel budget
  • £300 materials budget
  • A four week residency at SSW with use of studio, workshops and technical support.
  • Private accommodation in the SSW house. This has 4 bedrooms and a kitchen/ bathroom
  • A budget of £1000 to support access and care costs to enable the artist to take part in the residency.


To apply for the SSW x Counterflows Caregiver’s Residency you must:

  • Identify as a caregiver
  • Have experience making experimental sound or performance based work
  • Be based in Scotland 
  • Be willing/ able to travel to SSW and participate in the residency within the support outlined.

We have written more about these criteria in the Residency Application FAQs. If you aren’t sure if you are eligible to apply, please get in touch.

How to apply

Apply for this residency using the online application form (click this link).

Please apply for this role in a format that feels most comfortable for you, either text, video or audio. We have no preference and will only evaluate the content of each application, not its production.

There is a .pdf version of the application questions here, and a MS Word version here. You can use these to prepare your responses to the questions, before completing the online form.

If, for access reasons, you would prefer to not submit through the online form, complete either the .pdf or .word version of the questions and email the completed form to sam@ssw.org.uk with “Caregivers Residency Application” in the subject, before the deadline.

There is lots of information in the Residency Application Pack detailing how to apply for the role and the selection process. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

*UPDATE 20/11/2020* – Thanks to the people who have contacted us with feedback on the residency offer. We are aware that for some caregivers it may not be feasible to come to SSW for four weeks, either due to their caring commitments or the limitations of the access and care costs budget. We will work with the selected artist to find the best support structure for their needs within the residency offer, for example, adjusting how many weeks are spent at SSW and giving remote support for residency at home, or spreading the residency period over several shorter visits among other options. If you would like to discuss your unique circumstances before applying, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

To support your application

We see the multiple and intersecting barriers experienced by artists in accessing funding and support for their practices, due to their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability and socio-economic background among others. 

At SSW and Counterflows we are working to address and dismantle these barriers, and actively encourage artists who are underrepresented in our programmes to apply for funded residencies. This could be artists who experience racism, artists who are disabled and/or neurodivergent, artists who are trans, non-binary and/or queer, and artists from lower socio-economic backgrounds among other underrepresented and oppressed identities. 

To support your applications we have created a selection of resources and further information:

Residency Application Pack: pdf, MS Word, Large Print, Audio

Frequently Asked Questions: pdf, MS Word, Audio

Listen to Michael Hautemulle (Technical Trainee at SSW) and Jenny Salmean (Programme and Communications Manager at SSW) discuss the residency and explain what’s available to artists at SSW via this link. There is also a transcript of this available here.

Listen to Letitia Pleiades (last year’s SSW x Counterflows Resident), Alasdair Campbell (Director of Counterflows Festival) and Jenny Salmean (Programme and Communications Manager at SSW) discussing the residency opportunity as well as the application and selection process for this year’s residency, via this link.

Letitia Pleiades will be on the selection panel this year, with Nakul Krishnamurthy (student of South Indian Carnatic music and composer of contemporary electronic music, advisor and musician on Counterflows’ project A Carnatic Paradigm with Mark Fell and Rian Treanor, performed at Counterflows 2017).

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