Artist Call-Out – The Bureau, Blackburn

17th February 2016

The Bureau in Blackburn is looking for a creative with architectural experience to help them reimagine the space in their beautiful Grade 2-listed building.

Supporting people and organisations to host residencies which enable artists to work authentically in and with communities is fundamental to the work of Super Slow Way. Our residencies are not led by end products but ask artists to respond to the context in which they are working and to nurture a meaningful and collaborative creative process with the people who are their hosts and co-producers.

The Bureau is a vibrant arts centre in the heart of Blackburn, providing versatile space for arts activities, theatre, music, cultural events and community participation. The Bureau has a running programme of regular activities and one-off events, and has both gallery and activity space that can be hired for workshops, clubs and events.


The Bureau Centre for the Arts is a Grade 2-listed church that has been decommissioned and was previously converted into office spaces for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. We are a grassroots voluntary organisation and have been using the space for a year. We are now in a transition period of business development and are moving towards regular opening and paid staff.

We are a team of five directors including a community artist and forest school leader; a college arts teacher and artist; a behavioural support worker in schools; a curator and minimalist artist; and a music and events manager and sound/ video technician. We have a shared passion to create an arts centre that is an accessible hub for arts activities for the whole community.

Artist Brief

We are looking for an artist to work with us over a 6-12 month period as part of the team to help us develop ideas around the use of space in this context. This will be someone with vision and architectural experience who can help us explore possibilities for making better use of the space as an arts centre.

Skills and Experience

The successful applicant will have:

  • Architectural skills and experience
  • Proven experience of putting vision into practice
  • A thorough understanding of community engagement and participatory arts practice and a proven track record of working collaboratively in a range of community settings
  • The ability to communicate confidently and get people involved and inspired, coupled with the ability to explore creative processes and engage participants in meaningful dialogue
  • The ability to work with both large and small-scale ideas and structures
  • Appropriate public liability insurance


  • To work with us and the community to develop the space appropriately
  • To help test the potential of the building and prepare the groundwork, which will enable us to fully refurbish the building


There is a fee of approximately £9,000 attached to this residency. There is an additional materials budget available.