The Mothership


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.

The Mothership invites artists, writers, musicians, theatre makers, etc to apply for a residency in 2019, anytime from March to December. The project offers time and space without specific agenda or pressure to produce. This social art project explores the relationship between host and guest, exchange and learning amongst artists. It continues without public funding, an experiment in sustainability, autonomy and scale. A fee is charged to cover our overheads. All travel, domestic, catering and work production expenses are borne by the resident artist.

Artists at the  Mothership have access to farmland, woodland, smallholding, and the coast. There is potential for collaboration and exchange of 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 artist’s individual schedule.

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

This residency offers artists the opportunity to work in any way they choose. Past residents have spent the time variously – drawing on coast, researching for a film, sleeping and reading, walking, devising theatre about space travel,  performing on the beach at night, collecting internet memes, digging blue lias clay, mapping local artists skills, making a funding application, finishing a collection of poems, recording sound, investigating bus service cuts, exploring subjects of climate and weather, total darkness, a collaboration between mother and child, tapping birch tree sap, interviewing dairy farmers …

Resients have sometimes worked in response to the immediate site, the wider location or brought work with them and barely left the studio. Residents are invited to contribute back to the place and community in several ways. They have given talks and screenings in the local town arts venues with the Force8 Collective,  open studios, contributed to the artists peer-critique group, run workshops with local families and schools.

Artists are asked to write a post for the Mothership blog.

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 including presenting Mothership artist’s talks.  Force 8 have previously presented “Mission Space” at West Bay Methodist Chapel summer 2016, a camping convention  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. 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 or potentially a family.  It is a live work space so cannot accommodate work involving dust or fumes. However there is lots of outside space.

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 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.


There is no deadline, but you are encouraged to 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 , Angie Porter, Hester Schofield

Bearkat, Bridport

Megan Durnford

The AA at Hooke Park

Sally Lemsford, SEAfair