How would you use this space? Artist residency at The Wilson June - August 2019

Artist Residency  The Wilson

June – August 2019       


This year The Wilson’s programme focuses on design and making.  Three key exhibitions provide the inspiration for our engagement programme. This started with The Art of Selling Songs: Music Graphics from the V&A Collection (16 March – 2 June) and will be followed by a Crafts Council touring exhibition in the autumn,Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine (7 September – 3 November). In November we celebrate the life and work of Ernest Gimson, described as the ‘greatest of the English Arts and Crafts architect-designers’, in the exhibition,Observation, Imagination and Making: Ernest Gimson and The Arts and Crafts Movement(23 November 2019 – 25 February 2020).

Misshapes :The Making of Tatty Devineshows original works, archival material, and works by other designers, to tell the story of how Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden met at art school, started making accessories and jewellery together through to their successful business which supplies iconic retail outlets such as Urban Outfitters and Harvey Nichols.

Observation, Imagination and Making: Ernest Gimson and The Arts and Crafts Movementis curated in-house and offers the unique opportunity to show hidden treasures in private collections, some recently discovered, and others out of our stores, which span the breadth of his work - furniture, metalwork, textiles, plaster work and drawings from the key archive of his life.  Examples from our extensive collection of Gimson’s original drawings rescued from destruction in the 1940s by DW Herdman, curator/librarian at the time will also be in the exhibition. In some instances we will be able to marry up the rescued drawings and surviving objects bringing home the importance of keeping archival material.  

Tatty Devine are renowned for their DIY approach to design which challenges conventional jewellery making.  Favourite materials include acrylic combined with recycled objects such as scraps of leather and guitar plectrums.  They are noted too for their collaborations with other artists, designers and musicians.  Creativity, self-expression and using hand-made techniques are key to their process. 

These qualities are central to Ernest Gimson’s work as well.  He was also interested in recycling, the process of making – drawing, testing ideas, taking photographs and gathering materials for inspiration. His work was integral to his whole way of living – a simple, authentic lifestyle with nature at its core as well as a sense of place – being aware of your surroundings and respecting them - as well as playing you part in the local community. 


To complement Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine and Ernest Gimson: Look,Design, Make and enrich the content of both exhibitions we would like to offer our second floor gallery space to contemporary makers to take part in our residency programme.

The timing for this is 15 June – 18 August 2019; we are offering 2 x four week residencies* during this period to lead us into the Tatty Devine exhibition and start awareness of our Gimson exhibition. *There is flexibility to reduce the duration of the residency for a suitable proposal

We would like artists/designers/makers working in any artform (craft, visual, sound, performance for example) and with any materials appropriate for working with public audiences to transform our second floor gallery into an engaging space. There will need to be an element for visitors to engage with/contribute to the making/share the making process with you.


There is a £1,000 fee per four week residency and this includes budget for all materials.

How to apply

Please send a CV and proposal outlining how you would use the space and work with visitors to engage them with your making process. No more than one side of A4.  


Please send this to Friday 24 May 5pm. We will inform successful candidates no later than Wednesday 29 May.


The Cheltenham Trust is a registered charity, which was incorporated in May 2014 and obtained charitable status on 19 September 2015.  The organisation has a clearly defined charitable purpose encompassing cultural provision, community engagement, learning and health & wellbeing for the benefit of residents and visitors to Cheltenham.  The trust measures impact, socially, culturally and economically.

The Wilson 

The Wilson was opened to the public on the 5th October 2013 after a major new build costing in the region of £6 million. Designed by architects Berman Guedes Stretton, the award-winning new building offers something for everybody, whether they are local to the area, or coming to Cheltenham for the first time. The Wilson houses an extensive fine art collection, a re-interpreted Arts and Crafts gallery (showing the world-renowned Designated collection), and includes two superb temporary exhibition galleries.  In 2016 we secured a grant from the Arts Council Museum Resilience Fund.  The fund is designed to support museums to adapt to the rapid pace of change they currently face and support sustainability for the future. The outcome from this work includes introducing a residency into The Wilsons programme.