BLUEPRINT: Housing & Wellbeing Commission

An oppor­tu­ni­ty for a Bris­tol based artist or artist col­lec­tive to work on a short project explor­ing hous­ing and wellbeing.

Bristol Photo Festival joins forces with Arnolfini to offer a commission opportunity for a Bristol based artist or artist collective to work together on a short project that uses photography to explore ideas around housing and wellbeing. The project should embrace the medium of photography, although this can be combined with text, sound, video or performance. We are interested in experimental approaches, socially engaged practitioners and those who have previously co-developed photographic projects with community groups or explored health issues although this is not mandatory. Photography should be a critical part of the creative process. The outcome will be exhibited at Arnolfini and feature online on the Bristol Photo Festival website.

This commission is a collaboration between Arnolfini, the Bristol Photo Festival and Golden Key, a partnership between statutory services, commissioners, the voluntary sector and people with lived experience working together to improve services for Bristol citizens with the most complex needs.

We invite applications from artists or collectives responding to the commission theme identified by the Festival:

Blueprint: Housing & Wellbeing

“We don’t always have the ability to recognise the importance of these affective messages as images or symbols, but these creative imaginings and their resonances can free us from what the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Charles Rycroft called the ‘veils of our defence’ (1979). It is the recognition of the dialogue or the links between the phantasies of the artist and the projections of the viewers or analysts within this dialogue that bring awareness as a form of working through or thinking together within a collaboration.”

Understandings of ‘home’ are complex and multi-dimensional. By nature the experience of what makes a house a home to someone is highly subjective. In the subjective understanding of home, when viewed as an existing residence, ‘home’ is found to be critical to personal and emotional support, given its place as a haven offering comfort, warmth, relaxation, nourishment, retreat, sanctuary as well as peace and quiet. ‘Home’ is deeply personal and highly emotional, and as such is critical to each individual’s understanding of themselves and their quality of life. The home’s role can have a direct effect in the residents’ self-fulfilment and self-development emphasised in respect of health, both physical and mental. Security and safety is also important, as is the engagement with the natural environment. Exploring people’s understanding of ‘home’ can lead to further explorations about a sense of wellbeing.

This theme raises questions around the meanings given to the places we call ‘home’ and it’s relation to wellbeing. We welcome a breadth of creative proposals that might explore where we live well, how ideas of what a home represents changes over time and space, the negotiations of private and public space within the home, how we represent self within the home through creative experiments, the gendering of domestic space, and the social nature of housing. We are as interested in other living spaces that people create and occupy that are more transient and temporary, and what ‘home’ means for the displaced as well as the settled.

Timeline/ Artist Fee
One commission will be made and the successful artist or collective team will have a fee of £1500 to fund costs. This fee includes any costs for the production of the work. The timeline for this commission is:

October-November 2020 – Arnolfini and Bristol Photo Festival works with successful artist or collective to develop the commission

November 2020 – January 2021 – Research and production

February 2021 – Display of the work at Arnolfini and public talk