We Only Want The Earth Exhibition 2


A4 Sounds in partnership with Fire Station Artists’ Studios and Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland (MASI)  invite applications from artists who are seeking or have sought international protection in Ireland for an exhibition award as part of the We Only Want the Earth 2023 programme. The exhibition opportunity aims to support an artist based in Ireland to disseminate an existing body of work in the A4 Sounds Gallery.


The context for We Only Want the Earth is ongoing, unpredictable social change. The neoliberal order and the unipolar system of US hegemony are collapsing. Climate change is accelerating, and alongside it eco-fascism and “lifeboat ethics” are growing in Europe and elsewhere. The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the crises of inequality and homelessness. We are living through Gramsci’s interregnum: the old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born. New opportunities for radical social change present themselves, but they are accompanied by reactionary violence that seeks to return to an imagined idyllic past. In this context, deliberative and discursive arts practices are urgently needed.

We Only Want the Earth is a yearly programme of awards, exhibitions, and events that seeks to interrogate the goals and strategies of social change: what kind of society do we want and how should we get there?

More information about our programme here. You can also see work produced by previous artists on the programme here.


The purpose of the award is to support the dissemination of new, ambitious, and critical works that resonate with the themes of the We Only Want the Earth Programme.

This award will support an artist who has sought or is seeking international protection in Ireland to exhibit a body of work in the A4 Sounds Gallery to help them further develop their artistic practice. 

The award will provide the selected artist with material support and an opportunity to work collaboratively with the curatorial team to disseminate their work in new and ambitious ways and to engage with audiences in non-traditional and experimental ways.

Please note: the artist is free to submit work on any topic of their choosing; there is no requirement that the work deal with issues of seeking international protection or the direct provision system.

Proposals must respond to the theme ‘We Only Want the Earth’.


The award includes:

  • A stipend of €1,500 towards personal costs associated with the exhibition*
  • Exhibition fee of €1,000
  • Up to €2,500 towards exhibition costs as needed**     
  • Up to €900 towards costs of exhibition publication as needed
  • A dedicated website for the digital dissemination of work
  • Curatorial support for 3 months prior to installation of the exhibition
  • Collective Membership of A4 Sounds for 4 months 

Access to the facilities at A4 Sounds can be arranged depending on the needs of the selected artist. This will be discussed in the early stages of planning. If you feel you may need access to facilities you can let us know in your application.

Throughout the planning phase, advice and mentorship will be provided by A4 Sounds and representatives from Fire Station Artists’ Studios and Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland and our consulting artists. 

*These may include accommodation costs, living, travel, access, or childcare costs for the installation period of the show.

** These costs are related to the specific installation of the work in the A4 Sounds gallery. These may include collaborator fees, hire fees, fabrication costs, or purchasing of materials specific to the installation.


A4 Sounds’ approach to exhibitions is collaborative and experimental. We work closely with artists to imagine new ambitious ways to disseminate their work and support their professional growth while also considering the context of our wider programme and its aesthetics.

This award will suit artists who are open to working collaboratively and taking risks. The selected artist is expected to:

  • Work collaboratively with the curatorial team to disseminate their work
  • To be available to work full time at the gallery for the installation period (approximately 2.5 weeks).
  • To be available for an agreed number of days during the exhibition period. These days may include opening or closing events, or for other activities planned.
  • To be available to meet with the programme producer monthly to discuss their work and receive feedback and advice.
  • To be available to meet with mentoring partners and consulting artists monthly to discuss their work and receive feedback and advice.
  • To be available for more regular planning meetings closer to the installation date.
  • To complete any works still in progress ahead of the installation period.


We invite applications from artists who are seeking or have sought international protection in Ireland.

We will also consider applications from collaborating artists and artist collectives. If you are making an application as a collective or collaboration, please be aware that stipends, artist fees and other financial supports will be shared between the group and not offered individually.

We invite proposals for works which are complete or can be completed in the period before the exhibition dates.

For works in progress we have included a schedule on the application form where you can let us know how you intend to complete works in the timeframe. This is to help you plan and ensure what you are proposing is feasible.

Due to the significant workload of the award, artists who will be in full-time undergraduate or postgraduate education during the exhibition period cannot apply.


We invite radical, risk taking, bold, mischievous, and political proposals. This is a visual arts award, but we welcome proposals from artists with multidisciplinary approaches where the proposed outcomes can be disseminated in visual ways.

We are keen to hear from artists who use a wide range of approaches to explore their ideas; including but not limited to: socially engaged, collaboration with communities, collaboration with artists, protest, organizing, writing, sound, conversation, food, performance, video, media, sculpture, research, installation and print.


The selected artist will work closely with our curator and will discuss any needs you have in advance and develop an access plan with you. The curatorial team is there to support the building and installation of works in the gallery ensuring the workload is manageable for the artist. 

Unfortunately, the A4 Sounds studio building is not fully accessible. The gallery is on the ground floor and is accessible. The bathrooms are accessed via a flight of stairs (approx. 22 steps) which may provide difficulties for people with movement impairments. 

If you have accessibility needs and are concerned about the suitability of the award, please get in touch with us via wowte@a4sounds.org and we will be happy to discuss with you.

To apply please:

  1.  Read in full about our programme here.
  2. Read our open call and complete the application form here.


Selection will be made by a panel that includes representatives from A4 Sounds, FSAS, MASI, and our consulting artists. There will be two stages to the selection process:

Stage 1: Eligibility check and shortlisting by A4 Sounds.

Stage 2: Panel Assessment by representatives from A4 Sounds, FSAS, MASI, and our consulting artists. 

The panel reserves the right to invite shortlisted applicants to interview. In this case artists will be invited to speak about their proposal and answer a few short questions with representatives from A4 Sounds, FSAS and MASI.


Applications will be accessed on the following criteria:

  • How the work relates to the theme We Only Want the Earth
  • Artistic Quality of the proposed work
  • Artistic Quality of previous work for works not yet completed
  • How the award will benefit the artist
  • Feasibility, relating to installation of work and/or proposed activities


Proposals received are processed as follows:

  1. Proposals acknowledged by email on the day of submission, 21st May 2023
  2. The review process will take place as set out above.
  3. Decisions will be communicated via email to applicants by 23rd June 2023
  4. Feedback will be included in our decision emails.



A4 Sounds is a non-profit artist-run workspace and gallery in north-inner-city Dublin. It is one of the biggest artist-led spaces in Ireland, currently providing facilities and professional development supports to 80 artists. Its mission is to transform the means by which cultural works are produced, accessed, and understood in Ireland, and by doing so to contribute to the development of a more just society. Guided by feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and LGBT-inclusive politics, A4 Sounds supports artists and activists who fight for change.


Located in north-east inner city Dublin, the Fire Station Artists’ Studios was established in 1993 to provide support for professional visual artists. Fire Station Artists’ Studios is a living and working environment where communities of professional practice, place and interest meet to develop art practices of quality and integrity. A key policy of the Fire Station is to contribute to the debate on collaborative and socially engaged arts practice, through processes that incorporate critique and commission. As an organisation they have a deep commitment to collaborative and socially-engaged practice that has developed sophisticated models of contextual art practice.


MASI seeks justice, freedom and dignity for all asylum seekers. MASI is a platform for us as asylum seekers to join together in unity and purpose. MASI came together after the protests in Direct Provision centres in 2014. They believe that speaking together in one voice, moving together in one direction, they are much stronger, their voices much louder and more difficult to ignore and dismiss. For them, MASI is a way to take back power and demand freedon, justice, and dignity for all asylum seekers. MASI demads an end to direct provision, the right to work and education, residency for all in the system, and an end to the brutal deportation regime.



A4 Sounds acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the personal data of applicants to and beneficiaries of the residency award. Privacy and data protection rights are important to us and we are committed to protecting the privacy of individuals in relation to processing of personal data that we may seek, collect, and use or disclose. A4 Sounds will treat all personal information volunteered or sought with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, in accordance with data protection law and regulation and best practice approaches.


A4 Sounds may seek, collect, and use or disclose personal information as part of its management of the We Only Want the Earth Awards. Information collected through the application process is used solely for the purpose of the management of the awards. Personal data will not be disclosed to any external third party, without consent, except where it is necessary to comply with statutory requirements. Application forms and supporting materials will be deleted after the selection process is complete.

We Only Want the Earth is kindly supported by The Arts Council’s Art Grant Funding 2020-2024.