We Only Want The Earth Project Award 1


A4 Sounds in partnership with Firestation Artists’ Studio and Dublin Central Housing Action invite applications from artists who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness – this could be any form of homelessness including living in emergency accommodation, living in hostels, sleeping rough, as well as sofa-surfing – for a six-month project award as part of the We Only Want the Earth 2020 programme. The award will run from January to June 2020. The award opportunity aims to support an artist or group of artists based in Ireland to develop their arts practice.

Deadline: 5pm, Thursday 7th November 2019


We are living through a time of sudden and unpredictable social change caused by interlinked issues of global warming, the collapse of the neoliberal order, a resurgence of violent misogyny and nationalism, growing inequality, housing and homelessness crises, and the growth of ecofascism. We Only Want the Earth is a 12-month 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.


A central aim of the We Only Want the Earth programme is to give material support and a platform to artists who are often silenced, or who are spoken about rather than listened to. As part of meeting this aim, this 6-month supported project award will support an artist or group of artists who are experiencing or who have previously experienced homelesness to a develop and exhibit a body of work, and will provide the selected artist or group of artists with an opportunity to make contacts and identify resources that might help them to further develop their artistic practice.

Please note that the artist(s) are free to work on any topic of their choosing; there is no requirement that the work deal with issues of homelessness.


The award provides free 24-hour access to our shared studios at A4 Sounds, to work on a focused artist-led project that responds to theme We Only Want the Earth.

The award includes a stipend and artist fees of €3000, an activities budget up to €2000* and access to a range of professional development and technical supports. The award also allows the artist(s) access to the facilities at A4 Sounds, including sculpture workshop, photography darkroom, and printing suite. Gallery space and a materials/exhibition budget of up to €1,000 will be provided to support an exhibition or series of events during the last month of the residency.

Throughout the residency, advice and mentorship will be provided by A4 Sounds technicians and curators, a dedicated community engagement worker, and representatives from Firestation Artists’ Studios (FSAS), Dublin Central Housing Action (DCHA), and consulting artist Kerry Guinan.

This award does not include a dedicated studio space, but it does include access to all shared studio spaces and facilities and therefore is open to groups of artists to apply.

*The activities budget is imagined for for artists working collaboratively or in a socially engaged way to disseminate their work during the award in the form of talks, workshops or actions that may carry additional costs including fees for other speakers or facilitators. This budget may not apply to all applicants.

Please note: this residency does not include accommodation as part of the award. Due to difficulties sourcing affordable accomodation in Dublin, we envisage that the award would be best suited to artists who are already based in or near to Dublin. However, all applications will be considered.


What A4 expects from artists:

  1. To be available to work from the studio for the duration of the award.
  2. To participate in studio life and take full advantage of resources and learning opportunities available.
  3. To disseminate their work in at least 2 ways. Examples of this could be:
    • Exhibition in the A4 Gallery
    • Workshop
    • Article or Podcast
    • Interview or documentary video
    • Curating an event
    • Intervention or Action
  4. The artist(s) should document their progress and make the documentation available to A4 for use.

What the artist (or artist group) should expect:

  1. To be provided with a monthly stipend towards materials and residency costs. Total €2500
  2. To be provided with artist fees for exhibiting a body of work. Total €500
  3. To be provided an additional exhibition budget to cover some or all of dissemination costs. Up to a maximum of €1000
  4. To be provided with an additional budget for activities taking place during the award and where appropriate to cover the costs of professional fees of collaborators. This could include artists talks, panels, workshops or art actions. Please note this may not be applicable to all applicants. Up to a maximum of €2000
  5. Ongoing support throughout the residency from the A4 team and partner organisations
  6. To be provided with 24/7 access to the studio including shared workspaces, facilities and equipment.
  7. To be given suitable storage for works and project material.
  8. Training and support where needed on available equipment and facilities.
  9. Free participation in all our public workshops and courses for the duration of the residency.
  10. Access to gallery space or other areas for dissemination of work


Unfortunately, the A4 Sounds studio building is not fully accessible. The studio space and bathrooms are accessed via a flight of stairs which may provide difficulties for people with movement impairments. We understand that this may exclude some artists from applying for the award, and we apologise for this. We hope to source funding to make the building more accessible in future.


To apply please:
1. Read in full about our programme here.
2. Complete the application form here.


Selection will be made by a panel that includes representatives from A4 Sounds, Firestation Artist Studios’, DCHA and our consulting artists. The open call will be advertised through usual visual arts channels as well as other networks such as through agencies who support people affected the homelessness crisis.

Applications will be judged on (1) Quality of the project in respect of the theme We Only Want the Earth (2) Potential of the artist(s) to-self develop through completion of the project (3) Feasibility of the project

Time Frame
26th Sep- 7th Nov: Applications open, applications will be acknowledged by email.
7th Nov: Applications Close.
8th Nov: Applications checked for eligibility, (does the application respond to the theme We Only Want the Earth?) Eligible applications are circulated to the selection panel.
18th Nov – 22nd Nov: Applications will be reviewed by the selection panel.
We endevour to inform applicants of the outcomes within two weeks of the selection panel. Decisions will be sent by email.
When all applicants have been informed and the award is accepted, we will announce the recipient on our website.
Applicants may seek feedback on their applications for two weeks after recieving the panels’ decision. Feedback will be given by email only.


A4 Sounds

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.

Firestation Artists’ Studios

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.

Dublin Central Housing Action (DCHA)

Dublin Central Housing Action, organise in the Dublin 1, Dublin 3 and Dublin 7 areas, to support those affected by the housing crisis and communities to fight back. Dublin Central Housing Action formed out of the Bolt Hostel in the summer of 2015. After three months in the Bolt Hostel on Bolton Street, they were finally taken to the High Court and evicted. A community had grown out of their actions and they felt it was time to build on that. Over 3 years, Dublin Central Housing Action has been involved in local housing and homeless support, organising and action, as well as working with other groups around the country as part of the Irish Housing Network.  

Central to all their work has been the setup of a Support Group for anyone facing homelessness or housing problems. They have been involved in many actions. They have supported tenants taking their landlord to the RTB, challenged letting agents and management companies, supported sit-ins at the council, challenged the homeless services over conditions and care, supported tenants in emergency accommodation to occupy their homes on Mountjoy St, challenged slum landlords in Mountjoy Sq and Ballybough/Summerhill, worked in other groups as part of the Apollo House occupation and supported campaigns on public land and fair and affordable communities. Dublin Central Housing Action are a member of Irish Housing Network Ireland.

Kerry Guinan

Kerry Guinan is an artist, researcher, and curator exploring the relations of art, place, and capital in a neoliberal context. She is a graduate of Fine Art & Visual Culture at the National College of Art & Design, Ireland (2014) and is currently undertaking a Masters by Research to develop the practice of ‘relational socialist realism’ at the Limerick School of Art & Design, Ireland (2021). Guinan’s work involves interventions, social experiments, and performances in the contested public sphere. These have included the purchase of a gallery’s identity (126 ©Kerry Guinan, 2014), a performative candidacy in an Irish General Election (Liberate Art, 2016), and an intervention supported by the A4 Sounds Artist-in-Residence Programme, which led to the artist being questioned by Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) (Presenting the Cultural Quarter, 2017). Her research has included The Impact and Instrumentalisation of Art in the Dublin Property Market (2016), a monograph demonstrating art’s impact on Dublin property prices. As a whole Guinan’s work considers the unseen, oppressive implications of contemporary art practice, including the practices of socially engaged art. Guinan was awarded the Arts Council of Ireland’s Next Generation Award in 2018 and is Curator of TULCA Festival of Visual Arts: TACTICAL MAGIC in Galway, Ireland, 2019.

Data Protection
A4 Sounds acknowledges its responsibilty 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.

Data Management
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 soley 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.