We Only Want The Earth Residency 2


A4 Sounds in partnership with Fire Station Artists’ Studios (FSAS) and Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland (MASI)  invite applications from artists who are seeking or have sought international protection in Ireland for a five-month residency award as part of the We Only Want the Earth 2022 programme. The residency will run from July to November 2023. The residency opportunity aims to support an artist based in Ireland to develop their arts practice.


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 research and development of new, ambitious and critical work that resonates with the themes of the We Only Want the Earth Programme.

This award will support an artist who is seeking or has sought international protection in Ireland to research and develop a body of work at the A4 Sounds Studios and 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 develop their ideas and skills, experiment with materials and approaches in making new work, foster new relationships with communities and or collaborators, and to deepen their understanding and approach to their practice.

Please note: 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’.


The award includes:

  • Free 24-hour access to a studio space at A4 Sounds.
  • A monthly stipend of €1,500 towards materials and residency costs (Total €7,500).
  • 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.
  • Access to all A4 Sounds public workshops and courses for the duration of the residency.
  • Opportunities to experiment with ways to disseminate their work in public

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

Please note: this residency does not include accommodation as part of the award.


The selected artist is expected to:

  • Be available to work from the studio for the duration of the residency at least 3 days per week
  • Participate in studio life and take full advantage of resources and learning opportunities available.
  • 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 fully engaged with their practice and spend time developing their ideas and understanding of the themes in the proposed work.
  • To develop new work across a five-month period*
  • 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.

*Artists who engage fully in the residency to take full advantage of the supports offered may apply to our exhibition awards in 2024 with the work produced on residency.


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

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.


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. 

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.

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.

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


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.