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Art for the Environment Residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Canada

Landscape image of mountains in canada with people sat on grass verge
Landscape image of mountains in canada with people sat on grass verge

Written by
Post-Grad Community
Published date
31 January 2020

The Art for the Environment Residency Programme (AER) provides current UAL postgraduates and recent alumni (within 12 months) the opportunity to apply for a 2 to 4 week residency at one of our internationally renowned host institutions, to explore concerns that define the 21st century – biodiversity, environmental sustainability, social economy and human rights.

Founded in 2015, internationally acclaimed artist Professor Lucy Orta, UAL Chair of Art for the Environment – Centre for Sustainable Fashion, launched the programme in partnership with international residency programmes and UAL Post-Grad Community.

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Alberta, Canada

Residency dates: 20 July - 21 August 2020

Application deadline: 2 March 2020 (Midnight)

About the host: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organisation built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. From their home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus to unleash their creative potential.

AER Residency Programme overview: Plastic is everywhere, and is increasingly an object of environmental concern. However, it also provides the basis of our contemporary infrastructures including buildings, clothing, and communications networks. Despite the necessary campaigns for the elimination of single-use plastics, it is a material that cannot be easily dismissed. Plastic is one of the most intimate manifestations of our connections with oil, as it is used in everything from baby bottles to sex toys. It is also one of the foremost materials used in the production of contemporary art, from moulds to vinyl to paints.

This residency explores how we might reconfigure our relations to plastic, seeing it as a material of potential connection, of resilience, of queer productivity without denying its immediate and devastating environmental consequences. What might happen if we thought of plastic as incredibly valuable material, rather than as immanently expendable? We invite makers and thinkers to reimagine their relations with this now fundamental material, to explore processes of recycling and reconstituting, and to pay attention to the uneven materialities of plastic and its affordances as an artistic material. Further details can be found here

AER Residency opportunity with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity includes:

  • Five-week residency
  • UAL grant of £500 on completion of residency and final report
  • Banff Centre Fees
  • Use of a shared-studio space, production facilities
  • Curator mentoring and feedback
  • Open studio/public presentation
  • Shared accommodation and catering
  • Round trip flight to Alberta, Canada and transfer bus to Banff Centre (cap £900)
  • Discounted rates for production/material costs

Criteria: Applications accepted from UAL postgraduates (MA and PhD) and recent alumni (within 12 months from graduation) only.

Please Note: Successful applicants will be responsible for (i) arranging and booking their own travel to and from the place of the AER Residency in accordance with guidance provided in the application call-outs or by AER administration team and (ii) arranging visas or other travel documentation as may be necessary as well as health and travel insurance. Successful applicants will be required to sign an appropriate UAL AER Residency Agreement which governs applicant’s participation on the Residency prior to the commencement of the Residency. All successful applicants shall receive a copy of the UAL AER Residency agreement following a formal confirmation on the grant of Residency.


Useful Links

AER Team
  • Professor Lucy Orta: AER Founder, UAL Chair of Art and the Environment, Centre for Sustainable Fashion
  • Camilla Palestra: AER Associate Curator, Centre for Sustainable Fashion
  • Fiona McKay AER Coordinator, Centre for Sustainable Fashion
  • Abigail Fletcher: UAL Post-Grad Community Coordinator

For enquiries, please email UAL Post-Grad Community