idle women Open Call for Artist in Residence

26th November 2015

idle women is seeking an artist to spend three months in residence in their floating arts centre in Spring 2016.

idle women is calling out out for an artist to join us for the spring residency in 2016. This will be the first live-in residency living and working on board our newly built arts and resource space on a canal narrow boat designed by muf architecture/art in collaboration with local women from Lancashire.

We are seeking a socially motivated artist with collaborative practice to stay and work with us for three months. You will be working with women and girls in and around the Burnley area and will be supported by the two idle women caretakers.

This residency is open to women artists who work across a range of practices including (but not exclusively) spoken word, theatre, visual arts, digital platforms, film, photography, dialogical practice and performance.

These guidelines contain the information you will need to understand what we do but we also want to share some of our motivation with you so we can get beyond the official application speak and to the heart of what we hope for.

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Lila Watson

We initiated idle women because we desired a space to retreat that wasn’t passive but activating, a place to grieve, rant and heal, then to process and transform.

We recognise the contexts that women navigate every day, that almost all women will experience male violence in their lifetimes, that we live in a white supremacist, heteronormative, ableist, capitalist patriarchy, that is divided by class and that women and girls suffer disproportionately.

We are tired of a product-driven art world and want to give support and value to the process of creating new work, to trying new things, to clocking off and going off course, to the unknown.

We aren’t (necessarily) looking for artists who make work about politics but artists who work politically and that to us means acknowledging the context and developing ways to work meaningfully with others to generate work.

Residencies offer an opportunity to slow down, simplify and focus, to work to our own rhythm with care for others and ourselves. International artists are welcome to apply.

idle women is a dream project grown from over 30 years of our combined experience working in the arts and the inspiration of many (extra)ordinary women. We invite you to dream something extraordinary of your own and grow it with us. We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity.

About idle women

idle women is a touring arts and resource space for women on board a narrow boat supported by Arts Council England strategic touring fund and our five partners, Super Slow Way, Creative Scene, Left Coast, Heart of Glass and Canal & River Trust.

idle women navigates the canals and waterways across the North West and West Yorkshire, reaching some of the least-served communities of countryside, towns and cities. Hosting a series of artists-in-residence, workshops and events it provides both visiting arts venue and arts resource center for women.

Our emphasis is on bringing the highest quality work and experiences to our participants and audiences by commissioning artists who are leading socially engaged practice today.

Honoring the working tradition of the canals by using a pair of existing historical working narrow boats – a ‘tug motor boat towing a ‘butty’ unmortised boat which will house the cargo – in this instance an artist in residence and work space.

idle women is not a conventional touring project, it’s an adventurous, collaborative, socially engaged vehicle, which supports and initiates the generation of new work with an expansive diverse network of women across the North West.

About the artist in residence programme

Over the two-year tour a total of seven outstanding contemporary artists will be invited to take up a paid residency onboard the boat. Each artist will spend a period of three months working and living on board the arts resource space developing new collaborative work with local women and girls.

idle women will house artists who are leading the progression of socially engaged/collaborative practice, artists with extensive experience and International profiles who work across a range of practices including spoken word, theatre, visual arts, digital platforms, dialogical practice and performance.

Supported by the project’s live-in creative producers Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle, artists will develop a bespoke schedule of work in collaboration with local women and/or girls. These individual site-specific projects will be developed with and inspired by the communities and contexts the boat visits, generating relevant, engaging and unexpected new projects. This residency period will support active R&D, creation and production, and public showcasing to appropriate public audiences.

These residencies offer valuable paid research and work space for socially engaged artists to immerse themselves fully in a new project amongst inspiring contexts and communities. Artists will be offered practical and creative support from the projects two live-in producers, who offer extensive experience in creative and technical production, programming and project development.

These residencies serve to deliver a fully integrated outreach model, offering regular and diverse means to engage with the project in the on-board workshop space and for women who might not initially visit the boat we will offer to work in their elected environments.

Confirmed residencies for our partnership with Super Slow Way along the Leeds to Liverpool Canal in 2016 include muf architecture/art, Mojisola Adebayo and Karen Mirza. We are seeking our fourth artist in residence through this open call.