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Mai-Thu Perret performance at Spike Island, Bristol (2019) In collaboration with Perret’s students at the Workmaster program, Labzone and Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève), and with UK singer-songwriter Tamara Barnett-Herrin. Photograph by Lisa Whiting



Spike Island is pleased to invite applications from independent curators based in the South West of England to plan, create and deliver a programme of events as part of Spike Island’s Engagement programme throughout 2022. The proposal must include a variety of events, such as workshops, tours, talks and reading groups, developed in response to Spike Island’s Exhibitions programme. The programme should be aimed at people of all ages and backgrounds.

This new 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 plan, create and deliver a yearlong programme of events as part of Spike Island’s Engagement programme throughout 2022
  • A £6,000 budget to develop and deliver a yearlong programme of events
  • 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 delivery of the programme will be supported by Spike Island’s Assistant Curator: Artist Development and Engagement, as well as other members of staff.


The Fellowship is for an independent curator based in the South West of England with experience of devising and delivering public programmes for a broad range of audiences. You will have a good knowledge of contemporary art and a clear understanding of the current debates in the sector. Please note that we are not able to accept applications from curators currently undertaking an undergraduate course.

Spike Island is 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.


Applications should be submitted as a single PDF document (under 10MB) via the form below. This PDF should include:

  • A proposal for a yearlong programme of events which clearly outlines your intentions and explains why you think this would be relevant for Spike Island (up to 750 words)
  • A production budget, outlining how the £6,000 will be spent (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 (you may prefer to include a download link for a file-sharing platform such as Dropbox or GoogleDrive in your application).
  • A current CV (maximum two pages)
  • Your access document (if applicable)
  • Your contact details

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. 

DEADLINE TO APPLY:  Sunday 31 October 2021

Download a Word version of this open call brief, or listen to an audio version.

We realise that 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 get in touch with us by email:

All applicants will receive an automated email to confirm that their application has been received successfully. Please note that due to limited capacity, we are only able to respond directly to candidates who are invited to interview. If you have not heard from us by Monday 8th November, then you should assume that you have not been successful on this occasion.

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


Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an online interview with members of Spike Island Programme team on the week commencing Monday 8 November 2021.

This opportunity is one of three Engagement Fellowships for Curators taking place between 2021 and 2024, as part of Spike Island’s ongoing commitment to developing and supporting artists, young people and independent art workers based in the South West

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.


Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 10 MB.

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