The Mothership



The provocation for the 2020 Mothership residencies will be


The Mothership project was inspired by the cosmic loneliness of rural skies alongside the containment of the domestic sphere, and the idea to invite chance encounters into the unlikely location ‘in the middle of nowhere’, a home and studio at the edge of a wood.

In 2020, we will host three residencies 1 month long, which are offered without cost and will be awarded by a selection panel (to be confirmed). Interested artists are invited to explore the provocation  ‘RETREAT! Why do we need to retreat and what are we retreating from? From battle? Taking a break? Are we exploring the borders of individualism/self sufficiency and if so what might we then encounter?’

Since March 2016, the Mothership has hosted over 60 contemporary artists, mostly from the UK, and including the USA, Georgia and Finland, to be resident in the live-work studio in rural Dorset.

Mothership Artist Residency blog


The Mothership welcomes the following media/approaches.

  • visual art
  • audio
  • writing
  • performance
  • moving image
  • socially engaged
  • music
  • theatre


How it works

Residents live and work in a large, purpose-built ‘eco-studio’ with wood fired heating, kitchenette, compost toilet and shower. It is suitable for individuals or couples and has accommodated families and groups. The studio is located in an area of SSSI pasture and ancient woodland. 

There will be opportunity to show work through a public talk, workshop or other event, with production support from local socially engaged artists collective, SeaFair. 

These residencies can happen anytime between July and December 2020, as available, and be up to 4 weeks long.

The Mothership is more than willing to be included as part of any funding bid, and can provide the necessary supporting documents to strengthen any application.

Residents artists are asked to write a post for the Mothership blog during their stay or after leaving.


Residents live and work in a large, purpose-built  ‘eco-studio’; timber frame and straw bale, wood fired heating, kitchenette, compost toilet and hot shower. Firewood is available to buy at cost in Winter. 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, family and potentially a group.  It is a live work space so cannot accommodate work involving dust or fumes. However there is lots of outside space. Tents can be used.

Children and dogs are welcome. Childcare at cost can be arranged. No smoking on site. The nearest train stations are 13 miles away, the nearest shops are 5 miles away and the public bus service has now been totally cut. However local supermarkets do deliver to the studio and so having a car is not absolutely necessary if you want to stay put. There is no landline wifi, but there is coverage on the 4G mobile network (excellent speeds) for tethering via smart phone or devices.


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 three ‘RETREAT’ residencies are free for artists, but artists must cover their costs.



Applications for 2020 will open on February 17th  for a March 1st deadline.

Sign up to our mailing list to be notified of application start date

To apply: Along with answering our provocation please send your CV/Bio, a short letter including 1 referee, along with examples of your work.

Send your application by email  to anna AT with the subject line to read

Mothership RETREAT  2020“.

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 , Angie Porter, Hester Schofield

Bearkat, Bridport

Megan Durnford

The AA at Hooke Park

Sally Lemsford, SEAfair