Artist Research Commission - Brexit: Implications for the rural north of England

Artist Research Commission - Brexit: Implications for the rural north of England

By the Centre for Rural Economy (CRE), Newcastle University Institute for Creative Arts Practice (the Institute), and Berwick Visual Arts (BVA)


Brexit is a ‘once in a generation’ event which will have a long-lasting impact on all parts of the UK; however, the impact on rural areas is expected to be particularly significant.  The recently published report by Newcastle University’ Centre for Rural Economy ‘Brexit: Implications for the rural north of England’ uses rural Northumberland as a case study for the potential impact of Brexit upon the rural north of England.

The report (led by CRE’s Paul Cowie) is based on discussions with more than 100 stakeholders, including rural businesses, farmers, local politicians and community organisations, to develop best case and worst-case scenarios from Brexit for the key sectors in the rural north. The complexity and uncertainty created by Brexit makes it difficult for communities to engage with, however we believe creative practice offers a powerful means to engage communities in this complexity in a meaningful and agonistic way.

Further details of the report and a link to download it in full are available here 

The brief

We wish to use this research as the basis for an artist to research, document and respond to the initial impact of this momentous occasion in the United Kingdom’s history upon communities in rural Northumberland.

CRE, BVA and the Institute will support a visual artist to undertake research into Brexit and its impact on rural communities by making contact with researchers and academics at CRE and Newcastle University as well as stakeholders identified in the research, to develop initial work in response to Brexit during the period before and after the UK leaves the EU on the 29 March 2019.

We envisage that the commission will be an opportunity for an artist to initiate long term relationships with individuals and communities who will be impacted by the challenges and opportunities that Brexit creates, documenting these personal stories, to bring them to a wider audience and to inform future University research.

As part of the initial research the appointed artist will be required to develop a proposal to work with partners and stakeholders over a longer period of time to continue tracking the impact of Brexit which will also lead to a public outcome for the work. The partners will work with the artist to support the longer-term project.

We are looking for an artist that has an established, engaging and accessible visual arts practice, that has previously explored rural social issues. Applicants should have excellent communication skills enabling them to discuss complex subjects with a wide range of partners including community members, researchers and academics. The applicant must also have permission to work in the UK.


A total fee of £2750 is available for the artist to cover artists fee, any travel expenses and accommodation costs and artists materials. A budget breakdown is requested in the application form. We adhere to AN’s guidance on fair pay for artists, so your proposed fee should reflect this, given your current experience and the time you propose to spend on the research.

  • Required outcomes from research commission:
  • 1. Documentation of any initial work produced
  • 2.. A proposal to develop the project further over a stated period of time
  • 3. Presentation of initial research, work and future proposals to CRE, BVA and the Insititute.
  • 4. Public presentation of initial research at the Institute’s Creative Practice Research Forum
  • 5. Discuss the potential for an academic/conference paper jointly with researchers at CRE as part of the next phase of the project.

How to apply:

Please send three seperate PDF files as follows:

1. Application details which include:

  • Name, address, email, mobile number and website
  • A brief statement about your current artistic practice and how it relates to this brief
  • A brief statement about your approach to this brief
  • A budget breakdown detailing how you will allocate the £2750 available for the commission.

(The above should be no longer than 2 sides of A4)

  • Documentation of your recent work
  • A maximum of 6 images of previous work in a PDF document
  • And / or up to 3 links to moving image / audio work uploaded onto Vimeo.
  • 2. A current CV
  • 3. The equalities monitoring form downloaded here, completed and attached to the email

Please send the PDF files to by 12noon on Friday 11 January.

The partners welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, gender, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Short informal interviews for the position will take place in Newcastle on Friday 25th January with travel expenses reimbursed or interviews can take place via Skype. We envisage the appointed artist will begin work as soon as possible after appointment.

If you would like to discuss the brief in advance of submitting an application please email in the first instance with the details of your query.






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