The Mothership


The Mothership project emerged from the cosmic loneliness of rural skies alongside the containment of the domestic sphere. The project invites chance encounters into an unlikely location, ‘in the middle of nowhere’ at the edge of a wood.

The Mothership offers time and space for artists without pressure to produce anything particular. It is a social art project, it explores exchange between host community and guest, it is an experiment for the organisation in how to make this project happen with minimum means. It is a self funded opportunity and a reasonable fee is charged to cover each residents accomodation and overheads. All travel, domestic, catering and work production expenses are borne by the resident artist.


Artists at the  Mothership have access to farmland, woodland, the coast. There is potential for some collaboration or exchange about practice. Work is selected on the basis of current practice and  there are no expectations of a result or product. Our interest is in supporting the thinking/working process of artists. We are interested in art practices that engage with contemporary issues in an experimental, thought provoking and critical manner.

The residencies range in length from a weekend to six weeks and can be scheduled as one period or several visits, suiting the individual schedule.

Mothership Artist Residency blog


The Mothership welcomes the following media/approaches.

  • audio
  • writing
  • performance
  • moving image
  • social
  • music
  • theatre


How it works

This residency offers artists the opportunity to work in any way they choose. Past residents have spent the time variously – researching for a film, sleeping and reading, walking research, devising theatre about space travel, painting with ink, performing on the beach at night, internet memes, blue lias clay, mapping local artists studios facilities, a funding application, finishing writing a collection of poems, recording sound, investigating bus service cuts…

Artists have sometimes worked in response to the site, the wider location or brought work with them and barely left the studio. They have given talks and screenings in the local town arts centre and contributed to a local peer critique group, run workshops with a group of parents and children, left paintings behind, sent books to add to the library…. They have used the time to explore subjects of climate and weather, darkness, a collaboration between mother and son, the alginate casting of a railwayman’s shed/bat roost, tapping birch tree sap, mothering and parenting, local dairy farming practices.

Artists are invited to contribute back to the place and community in several ways. e.g.

  • open studio event
  • connecting with local individuals or organisations such as the Architectural Association at Hooke Park, The Dorset Wildlife Trust,  the nearby primary or secondary school, participation in local events – agricultural show, village fete, arts centre, food festival
  • skill sharing sessions with the local artists and their families
  • giving a talk about their practice with Force8 Collective

Artists are asked to write a post for the Mothership Tumblr blog. This enables a cross-fertilisation between the diverse individuals who have been resident at different times.

Anna Best has previously curated a project in the region in 2011 – “Road For The Future”, in which invited artists had self directed residencies over a period of one year. These included Adam Chodzko, Judith Dean, Anna Lucas, Ella Gibbs and Amy Plant. She is currently working with Hester Schofield and others as Force 8 presenting Mothership artist’s talks.  Force 8 have previously presented “Mission Space” at West Bay Methodist Chapel summer 2016, a camping convention at the Mothership and “Provocation, Performance, Discussion” a symposium event  at Hooke Park November, both 2017.



Residents live and work in a large, purpose-built  ‘eco-studio’; timber frame and straw bales with wood fired heating, kitchenette, and a compost toilet and shower. The studio is located in the same building as Anna’s studio, and next door to a family house. The studio space is one large room, so can house an individual, couple or potentially a family, we have hosted a group of 5.  It is a live work space so cannot accomodate work involving dust or fumes. However there is lots of outside space. Children and dogs are welcome. No smoking on site.


Wifi is available via the 4G mobile network (excellent speeds) via their own smart devices if they choose.


The Mothership is in an area that has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB and a Site of Special Scientific Interest SSSI. It is part of a smallholding, located on the edge of ancient woodland, 1 mile from the village of Powerstock (pop. 300 with a primary school and village pub) and 5 miles from the town of Bridport (pop. 14,000 with amenities, 2 theatres and art centre), and 6 miles from the sea (West Bay, Chesil Beach). There are 2 other families on site as well as the studio, a number of animals and pets. Local events/activities/businesses include –  charity fundraisers, agricultural shows, forestry, care work, tourism, fishing, farming, artisan food and drink and art venues dealing mostly with painting and crafts.


The Mothership has been an endeavour in sustainability, so far with no funding applied for and an exchange between artist-host and artist-guest resident for costs of the space. This has enabled freedom from agenda and for the focus to be on the artists process, on speculative research and methods. The relationship between artists being able to spend time in our community and with us has developed through talks and screenings with Force 8 and we aim to jointly apply for funding for  residency/commissions in the future. Subscribe to our mailing list and we will keep you informed.

The fee is charged per person is £100 per adult per week.  For stays of less than a week, it’s £30 per adult per night for the studio. Please do not let these costs put you off from applying as negotiation or exchange is possible. Upon being accepted, residents are asked to send the total sum to Unincorporated Collaborations via BACs. Details will be sent by email. Your dates will then be confirmed. The fees may be substituted by contributing to gardening at £10 per hour. In this case, you will be refunded the funds via cheque at the end of your stay.

Firewood is available to buy at cost between October and May.


There is no deadline, apply as soon as possible!

Please send your CV/Bio, a short letter including 1 referee, along with examples of your work.

Questions we would like you to answer in this application are:

  • Why are you interested in coming here?
  • What would you like to work on?
  • What would you like to share with our community?
  • Your ideal dates?

Send your application by email  to anna AT with the subject line to read “Mothership” and please have patience for a response as this may take some time.

Sign up to the mailing list.

Thank you for your interest.


Thanks to:

Tessa Bide for production assistance at unincorporated collaborations.

Delphine Jones Design

The Arts Development Company Culture Plus

Force 8