We Only Want The Earth Residency 2

We Only Want the Earth | Residency Award TWO

A4 Sounds in partnership with Fire Station Artists’ Studios (FSAS) and Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland (MASI) invite applications from artists who have sought or are seeking international protection in Ireland for a six-month residency award as part of the We Only Want the Earth 2022 programme. The residency will run from July to December 2022. The residency opportunity aims to support an artist based in Ireland to develop their arts practice.


About We Only Want the Earth

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.

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 ignored, or who are spoken about rather than listened to. As part of meeting this aim, this 6-month residency award will support an artist who has sought or is seeking international protection in Ireland to develop and exhibit a body of work, and will provide the selected artist with an opportunity to make contacts and identify resources that might help them to further develop their artistic practice.

Please note that the artist is free to 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’.

What the award involves

The award includes

  • Free 24-hour access to studio space at A4 Sounds.
  • A monthly stipend of €1,500 towards materials and residency costs (Total €9,000).
  • Artist fees of €700 for exhibiting a body of work and artist talks
  • A dedicated website for outcomes and digital dissemination
  • Access to a range of professional development, training and technical supports.
  • Access to the facilities at A4 Sounds, including personal and shared workspace, sculpture workshop, photography darkroom, printing suite and equipment.
  • Gallery space and a materials/exhibition budget of up to €2000 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, representatives from Fire Station Artists’ Studios (FSAS), Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland (MASI) and our consulting artists.

Aims & Expectations of the Residency

The selected artist is expected to

  • Be available to work from the studio for the duration of the residency. We understand that there are restrictions in place for artists living in direct provision. We will work with the successful artist to develop a manageable studio schedule.
  • Participate in studio life and take full advantage of resources and learning opportunities available.
  • To disseminate their work as a solo exhibition at the A4 Sounds Gallery.*
  • 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.

*A solo exhibition here is meant in a broad sense and can also include work off site, a series of talks, a publication, performances and so on.

Please note: this residency carries a significant workload for the successful applicant and will require a full-time commitment. We have included a schedule template with our application form to help you map your time and to ensure what you are proposing is feasible and manageable for you.

However, we do understand you may have additional work commitments to support your living costs. If you do, please keep these in mind when writing your proposal, and describe how you will balance those commitments and your studio time.

Who is eligible?

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

Due to the significant workload of the residency, artists who are currently in full-time undergraduate or post-graduate education cannot apply.

Please note: Due to the high rental costs and difficulty securing accommodation in Dublin this award may be best suited to someone who currently lives in Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Meath or Louth. We welcome applications from outside these areas but please let us know on your application form how you will manage your accommodation and/or travel to Dublin.

For artists who are currently living in direct provision we will work with you to ensure suitable accommodation is available for you when travelling to Dublin.

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 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.


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.

The studio itself is private but shared with two other artists. It has LED lighting, a comfortable chair and is generally quiet, but at times there may be loud sounds leaking through the building from our workshop. Members of staff will be available on weekdays to offer in person support. If you have specific accessibility needs and are concerned about the suitability of the award, please get in touch with us via residency@a4sounds.org and we will be happy to discuss with you.

How to apply

To apply please:

1. Read in full about our programme here.
2. Complete the application form here.

PDF Version of guidelines here:

Selection process

Selection will be made by a panel that includes representatives from A4 Sounds, FSAS, MASI and our consulting artists. There will be up to three 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 will either

a. Select an artist for the award, or
b. Decide to shortlist and invite applicants for a short interview.

Stage 3: Shortlisted 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:

  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 (5-6 months)

The Assessment Timeframe

Proposals received are processed as follows:

  1. You will receive a confirmation message on screen once you hit submit.
  2. Proposals will acknowledged by email on the final day of submission.
  3. The review process as set out above, will take place shortly after the deadline of 8th June.
  4. Decisions will be communicated via email to applicants by 28th June .
  5. Applicants may seek feedback on their applications for two weeks after receiving the panels’ decision.

About A4 Sounds & Our Partners

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.


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.

movement of asylum seekers ireland (masi)

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.

Data Protection

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.

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 2020-2022.