Colchester’s firstsite puts out Call to Comic Artists


(with thanks to Smallzone and Bryan Talbot): Colchester-based visual arts organisation firstsite wants to hear from artists working with comic imagery and media, who are interested in undertaking a unique residency as part of their next project… here’s the details in full.

WHAAM! Comics, art and popular culture : Artist Residency

Minimum of 10 days between 12 April – 1 May 2010, to include some evening and weekend work Based at firstsite, 4-6 Short Wyre Street, Colchester, Essex Artist Fee £3,000 + expenses (including materials, accommodation and per diems as required). This residency is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The opportunity

firstsite is hosting an artist residency as part of their forthcoming programme, WHAAM! Comics, art and popular culture.

The selected artist should be able to demonstrate a professional artistic practice working with comic imagery and media. During the residency the artist will be expected to develop and produce an artwork that can be printed or reproduced at the end.

This artwork could take the form of a comic book or graphic novel (approximately 8-12 pages), wall drawing, storyboard, animation, projection, installation but must be rooted in the language of comic art. The subject matter of the artwork should develop from Colchester and its urban landscape, using this as a backdrop to develop a new narrative.

The total artist fee available can be used by one artist to produce the artwork; any fees associated with a collaborative work must come from the allotted budget.

The residency will be hosted in firstsite’s Project Space. This is a semi-public space and the appointed artist would be expected to engage with audiences and visitors, discussing their work and the project they are developing.

During the residency (12 April – 1 May) it is expected that the artist will be working in firstsite’s Project Space for at least 10 days, which should include at least two Saturdays. The artist will need to run a “masterclass” for the public (to include all ages) on Saturday 24 April.

This residency is part of firstsite’s Artist Space programme which was piloted at the Minories Art Gallery and will be an integral part of the programme planned for firstsite’s new building. It seeks to be process-led and developmental, continuing to occupy the space between an open studio event and an exhibition.

firstsite is open to a range of career stages, practices and activities. All activity needs to be planned and proposed to firstsite in advance so that it can be prepared for.

WHAAM! Comics, art and popular culture Programme details: April 2010

This programme focuses on comics and graphic novels from the 1950s to the present day. Writers, graphic artists, academics, school children, teenagers and members of the public will be taking part in talks, workshops and an artist residency.

Talks include:

• Dan Dare and Misty: boys and girls comics from the 1950s and 1970s
Pat Mills, comics writer and editor Eric Fernie, ex-director of the Courtauld Institute and comics specialist

• How contemporary artists are using popular culture in their work
Richard Reynolds, Central Saint Martins and comic artist Simon Grennan, artist

• Manga comic artists on the subversion of popular culture / female stereotypes
Paul Gravett, Manga specialist, comic historian and curator Chie Kutsuwada, Manga artist

WHAAM! Comics, art and popular culture is programmed in collaboration with Ace Comics.

How to apply

Interested artists should submit:

• a CV
• up to 3 images
• a proposal (not exceeding 350 words) describing their aims and intentions for the residency and scope of activity that it would involve over the 10 days.

• Questions and applications should be sent by email to:

• Deadline for submissions: 5pm Monday 15 February 2010. Interviews may be held on Monday 22 February 2010

firstsite website

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