• 08 April 2020
  • Competitions


The Ellen MacArthur Foundation invites creative practitioners from all backgrounds and disciplines to apply for our first virtual Artist in Residence (AiR) post, commencing 1st June 2020 and finishing 30th June 2020.


The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works with business, government, and academia to build a framework for a circular economy. Underpinned by renewable energy, the three principles of a circular economy are based on designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. 


Art and culture play a vital role in the creation of a future that is more inclusive, diverse, and distributed. We’re looking to discover the links that connect a circular economy with artistic expression.


This post is designed to be self-guided and an exchange of thinking; we're interested in what areas you would like to explore. There will be opportunities for scheduled and informal critical/theoretical dialogue with our international team, and we are inviting applications across every range of art and design disciplines. 

The details

Virtual residency

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve made the call to create a virtual post, rather than a typical residency. This means that we can now accept applications from across the globe.

We will work and connect with you on a regular basis to ensure you have access to the team on our internal communication platforms with the aim of exposing you to our work as much as possible during the virtual residency. 

We are offering each artist

  • A bursary of £1,000 - £2,000 dependent on experience
  • A budget of £500 for materials 
  • An opportunity to share the work produced during the virtual residency
  • A platform to deliver artist talks, workshops or participatory projects
  • Support throughout the virtual residency from the office team and programme team (this does not include dedicated resource)
  • Publicity and marketing support


Virtual residency timetable

Deadline for submission – Please send your submissions by midnight: Friday 17th April 2020

Final selection will be made: Friday 8th May 2020

Virtual residency start date: 1st June 2020

Virtual residency end date: 30th June 2020


Application process and criteria

Your application can be submitted via audio, video or in writing, and should include the following:

  • A proposal telling us about:
    - How you plan to respond to the virtual residency theme
    - Short statement on why you would like to take part in this virtual residency (max 300 words (or 90 second film/audio clip)
    - What you would like to achieve through the virtual residency, both artistically and in terms of your development as an artist
  • At least two examples (realised, conceptual or prototypes ) of your practice, materials, and methods of working
  • Your CV, or portfolio (if you have one)
  • Two references
  • Material directly relating to the proposal, such as previous or proposed art work (please either attach images or direct us to specific work you would like us to consider. Please label any images with title, medium, dimensions, and year)

Applications are limited to a total file size of 5MB.



Applications will be reviewed by the assessment panel and a shortlist of candidates will be invited for interviews, either in person (at our office in Cowes, UK) or by video conference. The interviews will be with the Design lead and Creative Development Lead. Any expenses incurred to attend the interview are to be paid by the candidate.

Candidates’ applications will be assessed on the following:

  • 18 or over years of age
  • Ability to communicate ideas clearly
  • Relevance of proposal against the virtual residency theme
  • Ability to demonstrate experience of creative practice and critical thinking
  • Originality and distinctiveness of proposal
  • Strength of previous work

Assessment panel

Anna Queralt, Circular Design Engagement Manager. Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Fanny Breteau, Designer and Art Director. Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Hannah Robison, Architecture Design Fashion Programme Manager. British Council
Fred Deakin, Professor of Interactive Digital Arts. University of the Arts London
Carole Collet, Professor in Design for Sustainable Futures. Central Saint Martins

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