Opportunity: Mull Artist Residency – Thinking about Art & Sustainability

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

What will artists’ roles be in future societies? How might artistic practices have contributed to a greener, healthier, more equal planet?

Mull is a multi-disciplinary weekend-long residency which explores the links between artistic practice and environmental sustainability, considering what major challenges and changes might have taken place in the world in 50 years’ time and what steps artists may have taken to respond to or contribute to these shifts.

We’re looking for up to 10 artists to apply their curiosity and unique skills to imagining what being an artist in a sustainable future might look like – what that would mean, how it would affect artistic content, what infrastructure it would require in order to function and how artists and the arts will have shaped more sustainable societies. Creative Carbon Scotland is partnering with Comar on the beautiful Isle of Mull to mull over these complex questions with artists who may or may not have previously thought about environmental sustainability in relation to their work.

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to help shape a sustainable Scotland. We believe artists and cultural organisations have a significant role to play in envisioning, inspiring and influencing a more sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

Over the past two years we have initiated a number of artistically-focused projects including our first Mull Artist Residency (2014), an ongoing series of monthly artist discussions around arts and sustainability in Glasgow and Edinburgh (Green Tease), and contributing to a European network of similar organisations – the Green Art Lab Alliance – culminating in a three day meeting at Tramway in March 2015.

Building on this, Mull will invite artists to imagine what it would mean to marry creativity and environmental sustainability in their practice. The weekend will be led by facilitators – Professor Mike Bonaventura, CEO of the Crichton Carbon Centre, and Stephanie de Roemer, Conservator of sculpture and Installation Art for Glasgow Museums – but will also be steered by those taking part, recognising the relatively untrodden grounds of the questions we’re asking.

The residency has a number of objectives:

  • To provide artists, who may or may not have previously thought about environmental sustainability in their practice, with the space and stimuli to consider how it might drive new ways of working;
  • To collectively develop artists’, Creative Carbon Scotland’s and Comar’s thinking about how environmental sustainability can be engaged with in different artistic practices on practical and conceptual levels.
  • To nurture and build a creative community of practice which embeds environmental sustainability at its core.

What will it involve?
Taking the United Nations post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals as a starting point, Mull asks how the world might look in 50 years’ time and what role artists might play in the changes to come as well as what unique skills they can bring to this new context. Considering approaches to making art, as well the actual content and the infrastructure it lives within, we’ll work to imagine the future and understand the necessary steps towards it to stimulate some initial responses to these questions.

What we’re looking for
We’re looking for inquisitive artists who can bring big ideas to a group setting and who are keen to ask questions of themselves and established ways of working. The residency is open to artists from any discipline, whether or not they have previously considered environmental sustainability in their approach to working. Applicants must be based in Scotland.

Creative Carbon Scotland has a rigorous Equalities Policy and we will welcome applications from artists with disabilities and those from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds. The nature of the journey to Mull and some of the activities we plan may present difficulties for some people with limited mobility but we will make every effort to overcome these and urge all to apply – we will discuss any details once the initial selection has been made.

What to expect
Artists should expect a relatively open-format two days with facilitation by the group as well as Mike and Stephanie. There may be the opportunity for some artists to lead a ‘session’ during the weekend, bringing a particular response or angle to theme of environmental sustainability and artistic practice. Artists will not be expected to develop or produce anything specific during the two days– the residency is about being thoughtful. We will hold a number of discussion sessions as a group across the weekend, as well as a bigger public discussion in Tobermory on the Saturday night, and will make a visit to a site of relevance on one of the two days.

The residency will take place from Friday 27th – Monday 30th March 2015 at Comar on Isle of Mull, leaving Edinburgh and/or Glasgow around midday on 27th and returning mid-afternoon on 30th March. Participants will be paid £250 for their attendance and travel expenses from within Scotland, accommodation and catering will be covered by Creative Carbon Scotland.

Please read this section carefully and make sure you send the right information with your application. Applications should include the following information:

  • Name and contact details (including email address)
  • A short biography or CV
  • Some examples of your works or links to them online or related material (for example reviews etc. if your work is not able to be distributed online)
  • A short outline of why you would like to take part and what you hope to gain from taking part (500 words max)
  • A short proposal for a ‘session’ you might lead during the residency in response to the question or a future artwork/project which engages with either of these questions: ‘What will artists’ roles be in future societies?’ ‘How might artistic practices have contributed to a greener, healthier, more equal planet?’ (500 words max)
  • A completed Equalities Monitoring Form (this will not be considered as part of your application). Please download our Equalities Monitoring Form here.

Please send these different elements in one zip folder, apart from the Equalities Monitoring Form which should be sent separately, to Gemma Lawrence at gemma.lawrence@creativecarbonscotland.com by 12am on Tuesday 3rd March.

Photo credit: Jake Bee, www.jakebee.com.

The post Opportunity: Mull Artist Residency – Thinking about Art & Sustainability appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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