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Open Call for UK-based Artists: Spike Island & Creative Youth Network Engagement Fellowship 2023

Open Call for UK-based Artists: Spike Island & Creative Youth Network Engagement Fellowship 2023

Lucy Stein and Maria Christoforidou, Performing the Question (2022) Installation view, Lucy Stein: Wet Room at Spike Island, Bristol. Works courtesy the artist and Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich. Photograph by Lisa Whiting



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

This is an exciting opportunity for an artist to mentor and work in collaboration with a group of 3-4 emerging artists to create a new commission for Spike Island’s Project Space or digital channels. The selected candidate will guide the emerging artists through the practical aspects of creating a new commission.

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

The successful applicant will receive:
• A £5,000 fee to mentor and develop a new Engagement commission in collaboration with 3-4 alumni from Creative Youth Network’s Creative Futures programme.
• A £8,000 production budget towards making the Engagement commission in collaboration with the emerging artists, including travel to and accommodation in Bristol.
• A free studio space at Spike Island for 12-months, from October 2022 to September 2023.
• Support and mentorship from Spike Island’s Programme team.
• Annual membership to our 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 autumn 2023, either in Spike Island’s Project Space, or on our website and online channels (depending on the format/medium).

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Monday 5 September 2022 at 23:59 GMT



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 are not able to 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, come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and/or who experience racism. 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.

We realise that text-based applications do not suit everyone, so if you would like to apply in a different way, for example via video or audio, require this information in a different format, or need support in writing the application, please get in touch with us by writing to Saphia Abrahamovitch-Venner, or by calling Spike Island at 0117 929 2266. We want to remove as many barriers to applying as much as we can.

The selected candidate will be able to make use of a studio at Spike Island for 12 months. This commission should complement the artist’s practice. Though artists need not be based in Bristol throughout the duration of the Fellowship, they will be expected to come to Bristol at least once a month during the year.


Applications will be submitted by filling out the form below with the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your contact information
  • If submitting as audio or video, a link to where this can be found
  • A CV (2 pages maximum)
  • A proposal for the new commission which clearly outlines your intentions and explains why you think this would be relevant for Spike Island and Creative Youth Network alumni (up to 750 words).
  • A production budget, outlining how the £8,000 will be spent, including travel to and accommodation in .
  • 10–15 images and/or up to 3 video files of recent work, with relevant captions. You may like to include a download link for a file sharing platform such as Dropbox or Google Drive in your application.

Following the submission of your application you will be prompted to complete an Equal Opportunities form which will be separated from your application form and used for monitoring purposes only.

Join Spike Island online Wednesday 20 July at 11am to learn about the Artist Engagement Fellowship, led by Spike Island & Creative Youth Network. Hosted by Carmen Juliá, Curator, and Saphia Abrahamovich Venner, Assistant Curator, this session will provide details about the fellowship, funded through the West of England Visual Alliance, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions and get advice on how to apply.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Monday 5 September 2022 at 23:59 GMT

All applicants will receive an automated email to confirm that their application has been received successfully.


All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Monday 26 September 2022. 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 online interview with Spike Island and Creative Youth Network on Monday 19 September. Questions will be sent in advance. The panel will value applicants’ experience and ability to work collaboratively while guiding and supporting the professional development of the selected group of emerging artists.

Please take a look at this year’s Engagement Artist Fellow here.

This opportunity is one of three Engagement Fellowships for Artists taking place between 2021 and 2024, as part of the West of England Visual Arts Alliance Programme.

Upload your application

Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 10 MB.
Max. file size: 128 MB.
Max. file size: 128 MB.
Max. file size: 128 MB.

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. 

    *Access to Work is a government scheme that is designed to meet the additional costs of employing a disabled person where they are directly a result of that person’s impairments. For more information go to:

  • 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 with 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.

About Creative Youth Network

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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