How to apply for the residency Ecologies in the Making: Sculpting Futures

Detailed application guidelines for the Ecologies in the Making: Sculpting Futures residency programme.

Deadline for applications

30 September 2023 at 24:00 Finnish time (GMT+2).

About the residency

In 2021, the Uniarts Helsinki´s Academy of Fine Arts in partnership with Saastamoinen Foundation and in collaboration with Cove Park and Scottish Sculpture Workshop launched a new artists’ residency programme in Scotland. The programme called Ecologies in the Making: Sculpting Futures focuses on making practices in a time of climate breakdown. The programme invites applications from those who are already exploring ecologies of making and from those who wish to (re)focus or build relationships with the more-than-human in our warming world. The aim is to support artists to research and develop ecological methods and contexts for their artistic practice.  

MFA or DFA alumni of the Academy of Fine Arts who work with sculptural methods or material processes can apply for the programme. Applications are welcome from graduates at any stage in their career. The residency is divided into two separate yet interconnected periods to allow for two distinct areas of development; the first two-month residency will take place at Cove Park in Argyll and Bute, and the second two-month residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire. The artist can choose to realise the residency in either one consecutive period (May-August) or in two parts (May-June + another 8 weeks as agreed in autumn) in 2024. The open call ends on September 30th 2023.

The selected artist will live and work at Cove Park in spring 2024. Cove Park is located in rural Argyll on the west coast of Scotland, one hour north of Glasgow. The residency includes self-contained accommodation units, studios and communal facilities. 

The second half of the residency will take place at Scottish Sculpture Workshop in the village of Lumsden in north-east Scotland. The work period may follow the residency at Cove Park or it can be realised in summer or autumn 2024. The artist will have access to SSW’s workshops supported by expert technicians, including foundry, forge, wood, metal, cold casting and ceramics. Self-catering accommodation and flexible workspace in SSW’s open plan studio are included in the residency. 

Both organisations host artists from all art forms with residency programmes running throughout the year. Cove Park and SSW will provide the selected artist with curatorial and logistical support, and connect them with their communities, locally and nationally. Cove Park has a close relationship with the Glasgow School of Art, so the artist will be able to benefit from further support and connection from the Department of Sculpture & Environmental Art.


To support residency activity, the selected artist will receive: 

  • A 4-month residency – 8 weeks residency based at Cove Park, including private accommodation and studio and 8 weeks residency at SSW, including private accommodation, shared studio and workshop access
  • A 8 000 euro grant for four month’s residency 
  • A 1 300 euro travel budget (travel to and from Scotland, between residency centres + local travel)
  • Up to 2 000 euros to support access and care costs, possibly including but not limited to; family, collaborator or support network/ ally visits, a dedicated support worker, childcare costs, access adjustments to accommodation or residency communications among others
  • 1 550 euro for work related materials and consumables
  • A maximum of 800 euro for shipping, if required
  • Support from expert teams in each residency centre, including critical, curatorial and technical expertise
  • Peer connections and networks with other residents and users of Cove Park and SSW

Both host organisations will be in contact with the artist throughout the residency period, with network meet ups and check-ins scheduled to support the development of the artists’ practice. Although the dates and locations for residency are set, SSW and Cove Park will work with the artist to plan and structure the residency based on their needs and ambitions. 

No artistic outcome from the residency is required. It is an opportunity to dedicate time to your practice and fulfil your needs, however the underlying interest and commitment to environmental sustainability at both Cove Park and Scottish Sculpture Workshop might inform the research and production of new work. The Artist grant requires a report published as an archival blog post or podcast at the end of each two-month residency period. If the artist would like to share process or work developed through the programme in other ways this can be discussed, however this is not a requirement of the residency opportunity.


To apply for the residency you must be: 

  • MFA or DFA graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki. Only artists who finished their studies may apply, BFA or MFA students are not considered.
  • Willing and able to undertake the residency within the dates and support outlined in section 1

Equal opportunities

SSW and Cove Park recognise the multiple and intersecting barriers experienced by artists in accessing funding and support for their practices. We actively encourage artists who experience racism, artists who are disabled and/or neurodivergent, artists who are trans, non-binary and/or queer and artists from working class / lower socio-economic backgrounds, among other underrepresented and oppressed identities to apply for this opportunity.     

To support you to apply, we have built a more inclusive applications process, with no requirements for CVs and the choice to submit in various formats and we provide an additional access budget which can be used in ways you identify to support your engagement.

How to apply

The following section is intended to support you to make a strong application, by giving us the information the panel needs to assess your application. Read this carefully before completing your application. Submit your application before the deadline. Get in touch with us if you are having trouble submitting on time. All applications are to be submitted in English by filling out a basic form and enclosing the requested information below.

To apply, please answer the questions below using the format that feels most comfortable for you. It can be a text (maximum 2 sides A4) with work samples as PDF file attached to the form, you may also attach audio or video (maximum 5 minutes) as hyperlinks in the form. We have no preference and will only evaluate the content of each application, not its production.

In the attachment, please answer the following questions:

  1. Tell us about your work, ideas and research in your own words. 
    • Tell us what interests and excites you in your practice. What are you thinking about just now? How does this relate to things you have made/done in your practice in the past or are making now? 
    • We are not looking for a CV or exhibition/performance history here, rather to understand what you are doing and what drives your practice forward. 
  2. Tell us what you would like to do on residency at Cove Park and SSW.
    • We are aware that often artists are led by the process of making and doing so this might be difficult to think about. 
    • Whatever you are thinking now might change through the process of doing it, and this is OK. 
    • As such we do not want you to tell us about a ‘final work’ or a ‘project’ that you want to make on residency, rather tell us what you would like to explore and work through, and how you would go about doing this. 
    • This could be exploring and/or developing processes, ideas or other things. It could also be focusing on one area of work intensely or crystallising various ideas or bodies of work you have made in the past, among other possibilities. 
    • It is important that whatever you want to do relates to the residency call out – specifically what can Cove Park and SSW support you to do with their unique facilities and locations. It might help to look at both organisation’s websites to understand what is available to you through the residency award and what we can support.
    • Try to be realistic about what you propose. It is an exciting opportunity but we want to see that you are able to do what you propose within the constraints of the residency offer. 
  3. Tell us how the residency would be useful to you and how it would support the continued development of your practice. 
    • We want to award the residency to someone who needs the dedicated time and space for their practice, who is otherwise unable to do so due to a variety of possible reasons including financial constraints or access needs. Tell us how the residency would be useful for you and how it would support your continued development as an artist. 
    • Try to be as specific with this as possible. 
    • We are aware that most artists would benefit from this residency opportunity so try to link your specific needs at this time (personal, professional and artistic) to what we can provide through the residency offer. 
  4. Finally, we would like some examples of your work to support your application. 
    • This does not need to be recent work if you have had a break from your practice, but it should give us an opportunity to understand the development and scope of your practice better. 
    • Please be mindful that the panel has a limited time allocated to each application and will not be able to watch or listen to film or audio works in full if they are longer than 2 minutes. 
    • Please provide a maximum of 10 images and 3 pieces of text as PDF file or 2 links to external media or websites. These can be attached to the form or provided via external links to a google drive/dropbox for example. We will not be able to look at all pages on a website so direct us to the content you would like the panel to see. 
    • Please ensure that all web links function up to 2 months after the deadline has passed and if they are password protected you should remember to include passwords in your application

Selection process

All applications will be reviewed and assessed by an international panel, consisting of members e.g. from Uniarts Helsinki, Cove Park and SSW, according to the following considerations and weighting: 

Articulation of how this residency would support the ongoing development of the artist’s practice50%
Links and connections between the residency proposal in relation to the artists’ existing work and research25%
Connections between the residency proposal and the residency offer – does the proposal evidence a clear understanding of the host organisation’s offer and facilities, location and/or existing programming25%

SSW and Cove Park will have the final decision on the selected artist. All applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application within a month after closing the call. We will offer short overview feedback based on the decision-making framework when requested by the applicant at a specified time given when informing about the selection.

All applications will be treated confidentially, only the staff and the jury concerned will have access to the information received. For further information on the handling of personal data, read Uniarts Helsinki’s data protection statement for scholarship applicants.

About Cove Park

Cove Park is an international artists’ residency located on an outstanding 50-acre rural site on Scotland’s west coast, one hour north of Glasgow. Over its 21-year history, Cove Park has hosted approximately 4,000 national and international artists and researchers, working in all art forms and at every career stage. We are committed to supporting artists by offering the time and support required for research, the production of new work, peer-to-peer exchange, and fostering a stimulating context in which new ideas can be developed, tested, and shared.

An average of 10 artists are on site at any one time, taking part in a range of residencies and programmes that run throughout the year, creating opportunities for the collective discovery of alternative approaches, the acquisition of new skills and knowledge. 

The site, on Argyll’s Rosneath peninsula, overlooks Loch Long. Formerly a conservation park, it is now partially managed woodland, with ponds, grazing sheep and Highland cattle. Facilities on site include nine shipping containers, converted into private accommodation and studios, and two oak-framed accommodation units designed by Blast Architects. The Jacobs Building opened in 2016 and is an award-winning, purpose-built communal space, providing workspace for residents, rooms for public events and workshops, a library, a kitchen and dining area, laundry facilities and offices, plus two adjacent units of accommodation and studios. 

Now under new leadership, Cove Park is moving beyond the boundaries of the traditional ‘time, space, freedom’ residency, and towards an enquiry-based model to encourage cross-disciplinary work and collective intelligence around pressing global concerns. This vision hinges upon a deeper engagement with our geographical and socio-economic context in the belief that working at a hyper-local level helps us to understand and affect change at a planetary scale. This approach is founded upon the belief that artistic research is uniquely placed to unpack some of the most intractable, multi-scalar problems of our times, and that art’s transformative power is amplified when the arts work in collaboration with other disciplines. Cove Park is currently expanding the range and number of artforms and disciplines involved in its programme and involving other sectors – such as those of academic and scientific research, technological innovation, and the creative industries as a whole.

About Scottish Sculpture Workshop

SSW is an arts organisation based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Our rural workshop offers artists and local communities access to making facilities supported by expert technicians in ceramics, foundry, forge, casting, wood and metalwork. Throughout our 43 year history, SSW has remained true to our founding ethos of collective making, living and learning.  Our programme and workshops support experimentation, togetherness and artistic desire. 
At SSW we aim to build meaningful connections with the material world and each other.  

Further information

Information about organisations and residency programme:
Alexia Holt, Acting Director / Senior Director of Programmes Cove Park
Sam Trotman, Director Scottish Sculpture Workshop

Information on the call and grant:
Sade Kahra, project manager, International Incubators in Fine Arts
Uniarts Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts