Open Call: Material Matters Artist Research Residency

Sunny Bank Mills is pleased to announce applications are now open for the Material Matters Artist Research Residency; a collaboration between Sunny Bank Mills Gallery and the Sunny Bank Mills Textile Archive.

Material Matters

Taking place from June 12th- August 1st 2021, Material Matters is an exhibition exploring the notion that traditionally, stone, metal, clay, and wood were carved, moulded, and cast to make sculpture. Material Matters explores how artists working today use, adapt or manipulate these traditional materials or processes to make contemporary sculptural work. All of the artists exhibiting in Material Matters consider the role of craft in sculpture and the exciting juxtapositions that materials can initiate. The exhibition features work by Rhian Cooke, Hannah Robson (pictured), Ian Jackson, and Connor Shields alongside work by Bijan Amini Alavijeh, Katrina Cowling, Clare Holdstock, Dominic Hopkinson, Becca Macdonald, Julia McKinlay, Laura Porter, James Thompson, Jane Walkley, Mary Watson, and Lee Mok Yee. You can find out more about the exhibition here.

The Residency

Please apply through Curatorspace.

To accompany the Material Matters exhibition; we are seeking applications for an artist to take part in a funded research residency. This residency has been created to provide an artist with time, space and funding to focus on their practice without the demands of deadlines or obligations to produce specific work. You might have a project in mind you’d like to work on developing, or you might like to be inspired by researching in the archive to start developing a new project, body of work or research.

We are particularly interested in applications from artists with an interest in researching and experimenting with; sculpture, textiles, materials, making and craft processes, and textile or industrial heritage. We welcome applications from artists who haven’t undertaken formal arts education.


The selected artist will be given 24/7 access to our residency studio, a fee of £1200, support from the Sunny Bank Mills Arts team (Alice Chandler and Jane Kay) and access to the Sunny Bank Mills Archive and Archive curator Rachel Moaby, to to concentrate solely upon research and the development of their own work. Please note access to the Archive is on Monday and by arrangement due to staff hours.

The residency dates can be discussed with the Sunny Bank Mills Team but would need to take place between 12th June and 1st August 2021. The funding for the residency is based on 4 days a week for 1 month, but this could be discussed (eg 3 days a week for 6 weeks) based on the individual’s needs. Access to the residency studio is 24/7.

There is no accommodation included in the residency, so this would suit an artist/researcher based in Leeds or Yorkshire.

The residency is supported thanks to funding from Arts Council England.

Please contact us if you have any specific questions about the opportunity before you apply.

Deadline to apply 15th May.

Apply here