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Open Call for UK-based Artists: Spike Island and Creative Youth Network Engagement Fellowship 2024

Open Call for UK-based Artists: Spike Island and Creative Youth Network Engagement Fellowship 2024

Rosie Bayliss, Studio 26 (2023). Spike Island Open Studios. Photograph by Lisa Whiting



This opportunity closed on 11 September 2023.


Listen to an audio version of this brief here.

Spike Island and Creative Youth Network are pleased to invite applications from UK-based artists for the third edition of the WEVAA Engagement Fellowship for Artists.  

This is an exciting opportunity for you to mentor and work in collaboration with a group of three to four early career artists to create a new digital commission for Spike Island’s digital channels. If selected, you will guide the early career artists through the practical aspects of creating a new digital commission.  

This opportunity is part of the West of England Visual Arts Alliance, supported by Arts Council England.  

The successful applicant will receive: 

  • A £4,000 fee to mentor and develop a new Engagement commission in collaboration with three to four alumni from Creative Youth Network’s Creative Futures programme. 
  • A £4,000 production budget for the Engagement commission, including travel to and accommodation in Bristol where necessary. 
  • A free studio space at Spike Island for 10 months, from November 2023 to August 2024. 
  • Support from Spike Island’s Programme team. 
  • Annual membership to the Spike Island Associates programme, which offers free access to regular talks, one-to-ones with artists, critics and curators, and other opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and support. 

The new commission will be presented to the public in summer 2024, on our website and online channels. 

You can take a look at the current 2023 Engagement Artist Fellowship and the outcome of the 2022 Engagement Artist Fellowship. 


The Fellowship is for UK-based artists of all ages and backgrounds with experience in developing Engagement projects with other artists and/or communities. Please note that we can not accept applications from artists currently undertaking an undergraduate course.  

Spike Island and Creative Youth Network are committed to anti-racism and to addressing inequality in the arts sector. We strongly encourage applications from people who identify as D/deaf, disabled or neurodivergent, are part of the Global Ethnic Majority, and/or come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Spike Island will work with applicants to ensure their access needs are met during the interview process, while also ensuring that these needs will not influence our decision-making.  

The selected candidate will be able to make use of a studio at Spike Island for 10 months. This commission should complement the artist’s practice. Though artists do not need to be based in Bristol throughout the duration of the Fellowship, they will be expected to come to Bristol at least once a month for the duration of the programme.


Applications should be submitted as individual PDF documents (under 10MB each) via the form below. Your application should include: 

  • A proposal for the new commission which clearly outlines your intentions and explains why this would be relevant for Spike Island and Creative Youth Network (up to 750 words)
  • A production budget, outlining how the £4,000 production budget would be spent including travel to and accommodation in Bristol. Please note that Spike Island is unable to support additional fundraising for this opportunity.
  • 10–15 images and/or up to 3 video files of recent work, with relevant captions. Youwill need to provide a download link for a file sharing platform such as Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive.
  • A current CV (maximum two pages) 
  • Your access document (if applicable) 
  • Your contact details 

Following the submission of your application, you will be asked to complete an equal opportunities form which will be separated from your application form and kept confidential. All applicants will receive an automated email to confirm that their application has reached us successfully.


DEADLINE TO APPLY: Monday 11 September 2023, 9am

Text-based applications do not suit everyone, so if you would like to apply in a different way, or if you require this application form in a different format, please email: 


Applications will be reviewed by a panel of four staff members from the West of England Visual Arts Alliance, including representatives from Spike Island and Creative Youth Network. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview on Tuesday 19 September 2023. Questions will be sent in advance. The panel will evaluate applicants’ experience and ability to work collaboratively while guiding and supporting the professional development of the selected group of emerging artists.  

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Friday 22 September 2023. 

Please submit your application via the form at the bottom of the web page. 

FAQs for applicants 

Is there any support available to help with submitting an application? 

We are happy to receive applications in alternative formats (video, audio file). We may also be able to find other ways to make the application process more accessible to you. If you require access support with your application please contact

Will my access costs be covered? 

Any access costs you incur as an artist or practitioner should be covered by Access to Work* if you have self-employed artist status or work as part of an organisation or company. If you do not draw an income from your work, we will work with you to meet your access costs if you are selected – please include these figures in addition to your production budget. 

How do I let you know what my access needs are? 

We welcome all artists and practitioners we work with to share their access documents with us. This can assist us with accurately forecasting timescales for the production and delivery of projects, as well as budgeting accurately. We recommend using a template from if you would like to prepare and submit your own access document along with your application

About Spike Island

Spike Island supports, produces and presents contemporary art across an 80,000 square foot former industrial building near Bristol harbourside. Our diverse artistic programme includes free major exhibitions, events and engagement activities taking place on-site and online. The programme champions outstanding work by emerging and underrepresented local, national and international artists, and enhances access to contemporary art and culture for audiences from all backgrounds.

Spike Island directly supports artists through ambitious new commissions, subsidised studios and critically-engaged artist development opportunities that widen access to our programme and facilities. Our Exhibition Services business supports the bespoke production and installation of artists’ film and video throughout the UK and internationally. Spike Island is home to a dynamic community of hundreds of artists and creative businesses, working in flexible, affordable workspaces, alongside UWE Bristol’s Fine Art programmes and café bar Emmeline.


Creative Youth Network enables young people, no matter what their background or circumstances, to reach their own potential. 

We are reaching the vulnerable, the marginalised, the isolated, the under-served and under-supported young people of Bristol, South Gloucestershire and the wider region. We are enabling more young people to overcome systemic and individual barriers and take steps to reaching their potential.  

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