Bursary Artist / Photographer Commissions – Call for Submissions



Bursary Artist / Photographer Commissions: 5 x commissions £1000 each.

As part of our Living Memory arts programme we are offering 5 bursary commissions aimed at early-career regional artists with a fee of £1000 each. The commissions will run concurrently from the of June 2019 until March 2020.

Bursary artists will be invited to work with 1 of the 6 named communities and have opportunities to engage with a range of participants and audiences.

This is a research and development opportunity but there are opportunities to present new work produced as part of the upcoming exhibitions. Work may also feature on the project’s website www.livingmemory.live and in the Living Memory Project book.

About the Living Memory Project
It is a National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England (+ others) funded-project led by Sandwell Advocacy in Tipton. The project's main aim is to record and celebrates life stories around personal photography collections made over the last 80 years from across the Black Country. We are working community partners and organisations to run workshops, host collecting and training sessions, and produce, exhibitions, films and much more. 

6 regional artists have now been commissioned as part of the Living Memory art programme and over the next 12 months they will be working across Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton. The artists will be engaging with local communities to research, develop, and present new work that responds to the key themes of the project. Each commission will culminate in a local exhibition and contribute to the final Living Memory exhibition in spring 2020.

The commissions are being hosted with the following community groups and regional organisations:

Gather CIC, Dudley

Dudley College

Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton

Caldmore Community Gardens, Walsall

Grace Mary / Lion Farm Big Local, Oldbury, Sandwell

Community and History Archive Service, based in Smethwick, Sandwell

Bursary Artist Benefits

  • Time and space to research new ideas and develop new work
  • The opportunity to create a new work for exhibition/ performance
  • Involvement in a regional art project with the potential for making new contacts and joining a new network
  • 2 x individual and 2 x group mentoring sessions
  • Promotion as part of a regional project

Key Living Memory Project Themes:

  • The role of everyday photography in creating/supporting the narratives of everyday life 
  • The importance of life stories connected to personal photography collections and how they can be used to explore, interpret and understand the social and economic changes of the last 80 years
  • Reflecting upon the changes in how we create, preserve, share and consume photography with the rise of social media/web technologies

Experience and Skills required:

  • Demonstrable interest in the themes of the Living Memory project
  • Interest in developing new work alongside diverse communities in a range of settings
  • knowledge of current arts practice
  • Ability to relate to communicate well with others


You should be available to attend the 2 x Living Memory artist sharing sessions. The first is scheduled for 25th June 2019.

Period of Commission: Late June 2019 - March 2020   

How to apply:

Please send an expression of interest of up 1000 words describing why you are interested in a bursary commission and outline what you would like to get out of it.

Please include a current CV

Please indicate a preference for the location (see list of venues listed above that you would like to work in.

Please send your submissions to:  geoff@livingmemory.live

Deadline to apply: 5pm June 11, 2019.

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