We Only Want the Earth Project Award 2

We Only Want the Earth Artist Project Award 2

A4 Sounds in partnership with Fire Station Artists’ Studios and Migrants and Ethnic-Minorities for Reproductive Justice (MERJ) invite applications from migrant and ethnic minority artists, including members of the Travelling community, for a six-month project award as part of the We Only Want the Earth 2020 programme. The project will run from May to October 2020. The award aims to support an artist or group of artists based in Ireland to develop their arts practice.


Application Deadline: 5pm, Tuesday 31st March 2020

About We Only Want the Earth

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.

About the Award

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 from migrant and/or ethnic-minority backgrounds, including members of the Travelling community, to 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 race, ethnicity or migration.

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

What the award offers

The award includes

  • Free 24-hour access to studio space at A4 Sounds.
  • A monthly stipend of €500 towards materials and residency costs (Total €2500).
  • Artist fees of €690 for exhibiting a body of work and artist talks
  • An additional budget up to €2000 for activities taking place during the award*
  • Access to a range of professional development, training and technical supports.
  • Access to the facilities at A4 Sounds, including shared workspaces, sculpture workshop, photography darkroom, printing suite and equipment and suitable storage for works and project materials.
  • Gallery space and a materials/exhibition budget of up to €1000 will be provided to support an exhibition or series of dissemination events during the last month of the residency.
  • Access to all A4 Sounds public workshops and courses for the duration 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 Fire Station Artists’ Studios (FSAS), Migrant and Ethnic-Minorities for Reproductive Justice (MERJ) and our consulting artists.

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.

Aims & Expectations of the award

The selected artist is expected to

  • Be available to work from the studio for the duration of the residency.
  • Participate in studio life and take full advantage of resources and learning opportunities available.
  • To disseminate their work in at least 2 ways.
  • We will work with the successful artist to document their progress and ask that aspects of the documentation be made available to A4 for use.

Who is eligible?

Individual artists or artist groups from ethnic-minority backgrounds including members of the Travelling Community and migrant artists who are currently living in Ireland.

What what types of proposals are we seeking?

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 a visual ways.

We are keen to hear from artists who are critical and who use a wide range of approaches to explore their ideas; including but not limited to: conversations, protest, organising, writing, sound, food, performance, video, collaborations, media, sculpture, research, installation and print.


Unfortunately, the A4 Sounds studio building is not fully accessible. The studio space and bathrooms are accessed via a flight of stairs (approx 22 steps) 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.

How to apply

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

Selection Process

Selection will be made by a panel that includes representatives from A4 Sounds, Fire Station Artists’ Studios, MERJ and our consulting artists. The open call will be advertised through usual visual arts channels as well as other antiracism networks.

Applications will be accessed on the following criteria:

  1. How the proposal responds to the theme We Only Want the Earth
  2. Artistic quality of the proposed work
  3. Artistic quality of previous work
  4. Potential of the artist to develop their artistic practice and how the award will benefit the artist
  5. Feasibility of the proposed work within the timeframe of the award (3-4 months)

The Assessment Process and Timeframe

Proposals received are processed as follows:

  1. Proposals acknowledged by email
  2. Proposals checked for eligibility – all eligible proposals then progress to the assessment stage
  3. A selection panel reviews all proposals, associated materials, then scores and makes decisions
  4. Decisions are communicated in via email to applicants
  5. Applicants may seek feedback on their applications for two weeks after receiving the panels’ decision.

A4 Sounds endeavours to process applications as quickly as possible however it may take up to 5 weeks from the closing date to making a decision.

About A4 Sounds & Our Partners

A4 Sounds

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.

Fire Station Artists’ Studios

Located in north east inner city Dublin, Fire Station Artists’ Studios was established in 1993 to provide support for professional visual artists. Fire Station Artists’ Studios (FSAS) provides subsidised combined living and working studios for Irish and international artists, large scale sculpture workshop facilities and training opportunities for artists. Fire Station Artists’ Studios training programme has expanded to include digital and film training and we continue to host technical training and master classes which incorporate critical reflection. A key policy of FSAS is to contribute to the debate on collaborative and socially engaged arts practice, through a commissioning process that incorporates critique.

Migrant and Ethnic-Minorities for Reproductive Justice (MERJ)

MERJ are a group of migrants and ethnic-minorities living in Ireland fighting for reproductive justice for all people. MERJ was founded in September 2017 by migrant women of colour who had been actively involved in the campaign for abortion rights in Ireland for years. MERJ was started to create a platform for the often hidden faces and voices of migrants and ethnic minorities in Ireland that were all but missing from Irish feminism. They want to challenge the whiteness, maleness and settledness of the left and fight for their place in the movement. They want to fully participate in radical politics in Ireland on their own terms. They want to broaden the scope of their work beyond a single issue because as Audre Lorde said, “we don’t live single issue lives”. And most importantly, they want to create a space where migrant and ethnic minority women, non-binary and trans people could come together and share their politics and experiences, learn from each other and support one another in the struggle. They have made a significant contribution to the feminist discourse in Ireland in the short time they have existed.

Consulting Artist for the award: Fiona Woods

Fiona Woods works with aesthetics and critical spatial practice, often in a co-productive capacity with others. She employs social, public and institutional circuits to explore ideas of what we have ‘in common’. She is currently producing an event-space, Laboratory of Common Interest to coincide with the 12-day centenary of the Limerick soviet, April 2019. The work features collaborative actions and performances, including a temporary ‘currency’ project operating across the city.Her public art project, Walking Silvermines, is part of the Arte Util archive initiated by the Cuban-American artist Tania Bruguera. Woods has carried out commissions and research residencies in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Lithuania, Australia, Canada and the US. She devised, curated and produced the Ground Up programme of rural public art for Clare County Council and co-curated Yak Yak, rural/art dialogues for the Swan Hill Regional Art programme in Victoria (AUS, 2013).Fiona lectures at Limerick School of Art & Design, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, working across theory and practice. She has been a contributing lecturer on the MA in Social Practice, LSAD (2013 – 15); the MA in Socially Engaged Art at NCAD, Dublin (2017); a visiting lecturer at BAVA Sherkin, (DIT); the University of Newcastle (AUS) and the University of Flensburg (DE). She is currently a PhD researcher at TU Dublin, a recipient of the 2015 Fiosraigh scholarship.
Fiona Woods | Collection of Minds
Free*Space | Laboratory of Common Interest

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.

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