This year, due to the extraordinary circumstances of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have decided to change the parameters of our offer at the Mothership. Flexible response! The 4 residents selected to RETREAT are now invited for a 9 days residency at no cost, rather than 3 weeks. Shortlisted applicants are invited for a week and asked to make a financial contribution at their own discretion. Long listed applicants are invited to stay for 1 week at cost of £100, as before. Artists need to cover all their own travel, material and domestic expenses.
The Mothership project was inspired by the cosmic loneliness of rural skies alongside the domestic sphere, and the idea to invite chance encounters into this unlikely location, ‘in the middle of nowhere’, a home and studio at the edge of a wood.
The project offers time and space for artists, without pressure to produce anything particular. It is a social art project, exploring exchange between host, community and guest, and an experiment in how to operate a residency with minimum means.
Residents have access to farmland, woodland, and the coast. There is potential for some collaboration or exchange about practice with artists based locally.
Since 2016, over 3 years The Mothership has invited over 60 contemporary artists, mostly from the UK, and including the USA, Georgia and Finland, to be resident in the studio in rural West Dorset. Resident artists are invited to write a post for the Mothership blog during their stay or just after leaving. See the Mothership blog.
In 2020, we are hosting residencies throughout the year awarded by a selection panel. Applicants have explored 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?’
The Mothership is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and surrounding fields are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is 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), 6 miles from the sea (West Bay, Chesil Beach). There are 2 families on site, a number of animals and pets. Local events/activities/businesses include – agricultural shows, forestry, care work, tourism, fishing, farming, artisan food and drink, painting and crafts.
The studio is a large, purpose-built ‘eco-building’, timber frame and straw bale, with wood fired heating, kitchenette, compost toilet and hot shower. The studio is located in the same building, next door to Anna’s, and is close to a family house. It is one large room, so can house an individual, couple, family and potentially a group. It is a live work space so cannot accommodate practice involving dust or fumes. However there is lots of outside space. Tents can be used. Children and dogs are welcome. There is 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 cut. However local supermarkets do deliver to the studio and so having a car is not absolutely necessary. There is no landline wifi, but there is coverage on the 4G mobile network (excellent speeds) for tethering via smart phone or devices.
Childcare, Cleaning and Firewood are available to purchase by arrangement.
The Mothership has been an endeavour in sustainability, operated as an exchange with residents covering costs, and with no arts funding. This has enabled freedom from funders agendas and for the focus to be on the artists process, on speculative research and methods.
We support successful applicants with their funding bids for working at The Mothership.
The Mothership welcomes the following media and approaches:
- visual art / audio / writing / live art / moving image / socially engaged / music / theatre / dance
Artists are 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 practices that engage with contemporary issues in an experimental, thought provoking and critical manner. Individual artists, collaborations and small groups are invited to apply (although the space is best suited to individuals). The project is run by 1 artist with support from local artist’s collective Seafair. We are not a funded institution or organisation – therefore all residents need to be self motivated and totally independent. The relationship between visiting artists spending time in our community has developed connections through talks and screenings with Force 8, Seafair and others locally.
Artists who have been selected in March, for a residency in 2020, are invited for a shorter stay – by arrangement via email with Anna.
The 4 residents selected to RETREAT are now invited for a 9 days residency at no cost, rather than 3 weeks.
Shortlisted applicants are invited for a week and asked to make a financial contribution at their own discretion.
Long listed applicants are invited to stay for 1 week at cost of £100, as before.
Artists need to cover all their own travel, material and domestic expenses.
Applications are now closed for 2020.