Somerset House Studios + Wysing Arts Centre are excited to work together in commissioning an artist to undertake a residency this summer to create a new film work on the theme of connection. The resulting film work will open Somerset House Studios’ new permanent gallery space in September, and should have a sound or music element which can be performed live as part of both the opening, and Wysing Polyphonic on 07 September 2019.

Deadline Wednesday 03 April 2019 at midday. Applications are now closed.

Applications are invited from artists of all disciplines but the project must have a clearly defined sound and music component that can be performed live. Artists need not have made a film work previously, but must have a clear plan in place for how the final work will be produced to a high standard, including details of proposed collaborators and / or production company. Collaborations are welcome, but please note for international applicants, only one UK return flight from outside Europe can be provided.   


In September 2019, Somerset House Studios will open a new permanent exhibition space, and guest curate Wysing Arts Centre’s annual music festival. The brief for the opportunity is conceived to unite these two contexts, both of which will explore themes of connection and communication.

This year Wysing Arts Centre turns 30, and Wysing Polyphonic will explore the Cambridgeshire site as a place of connection. First considering the legacy of Wysing as a place where artists meet and experiment, the programme will explore connection beyond the physical: connection as a channel of communication; an incantation, returning, or heralding; the calling on an ‘other’ or unknown to understand different worlds and possibilities.

Somerset House Studios and Wysing Arts Centre have worked closely together since the Studios launched in 2016, sharing a joint ambition to support experimental work across disciplines, and to connect a network of artists beyond the duration of any residency. This opportunity marks the first time the two organisations have collaborated to support the creation of a new work.

With a rolling programme of works, the new Somerset House Studios exhibition space will offer a different theme each season, presenting a curated selection of complete and in-progress works by the Studio’s resident artists and alumni. Opening to audiences in early September, the first season will expand on ideas explored at Wysing Polyphonic, presenting this new work alongside the work of Somerset House Studios’ artists.

The residency includes:

  • Residency at Wysing Arts Centre in August from Aug 19 – Sept 8 (including shared accommodation on site, access to recording studio and van)
  • Support of Somerset House Studios Producer and Wysing Curators and technical team
  • Artist fee £3000
  • Production budget £3000 (please note if specialist technical support is required during the residency period, an engineer can be provided at a cost of £250 per day)
  • Return travel to the UK (if applicable), travel to Cambridge for the residency and performance; return travel and overnight accommodation in London for the film opening



This opportunity is open to artists of all ages, at any point in their career, and open to international applicants. The nature of the commission means it is anticipated the artist will have begun work on the project before arriving at the residency, and must be capable of delivering a finished film and performance by the end of the residency period. It is envisioned as a two week full time residency running up to Wysing Polyphonic, but other dates may be possible in July and August. In case required, please note only one return flight can be covered in this period of travelling internationally.

Both new projects and projects in development but not yet completed are eligible. Candidates will be selected based on the strength of their project as well as their ability to deliver, and a demonstration that the residency will be beneficial.


  • 03 April 2019: Deadline
  • 05 April 2019: Panel Selection
  • WC 8 April 2019: Skype interviews
  • 15 April 2019: Commission awarded
  • May 2019: Artist’s participation in Wysing Polyphonic announced
  • June 2019: Final concept agreed
  • From 19 August 2019: Residency begins
  • 05 September 2019: Somerset House Studios space opening
  • 07 September 2019: Wysing Polyphonic

The panel will consist of members of the Wysing Arts Centre and Somerset House Studios teams.

Image:  Sounds 4 Survival by Last Yearz Interesting Negro and Phoebe Collings-James with Onyeka Igwe, Yasmine Akim, Katarzyna Perlak, 2018. Photo: Wilf Speller