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Wysing Arts Centre: First UK-based Visual Arts Organisation to Offer a Safe Haven Residency

Wysing Arts Centre have launched an open call for a Safe Haven residency as part of the ARTISTS at RISK network. The three-month residency will be given to a visual artist who is a target of politically motivated threats and persecution in their home country.

ARTISTS at RISK (AR), led by Perpetuual Mobile, is a human rights institution in the field of visual art. AR cooperate with organisations such as PEN International and ICORN (The International Cities of Refuge Network) to address the needs of persecuted artists and other art professionals.
As a platform dedicated to persecuted art practitioners, the work of AR encompasses mapping and advocacy of art professionals “at risk”, addressing their practical needs and advancing their artistic practice. To achieve this, selected key figures are granted short or long-term residencies at so-called “AR-Safe Havens” - not as asylum seekers, but as invited and honoured visiting art professionals. These artists not only greatly enrich their host countries, but are at the heart of rebuilding their often war-torn countries of origin.

Other residency locations that are part of the AR network include Athens, Berlin, Helsinki, Lecce in Southern Italy, Mynämäki in Finland, Oslo and Provence. Wysing is the only UK visual arts partner within this unique network that has been established to respond to current political conditions. Wysing will provide a three-month Safe Haven residency, from October to December 2017.

The first public call for AR Residencies has now been launched and will remain open until 15 May. An International Jury will come together in June to place the artists with each of the host institutions.

Across 2017 Wysing is working with a range of artists to explore a diversity of contexts and positions to help better understand the role of art, artists, and arts organisations such as Wysing, at this moment of global political change.

“During periods of political and social upheaval such as we are currently seeing, it is the responsibility for those of us running arts and cultural venues to make our resources available to those who need them most. We are very pleased to join this European network and very much hope that other UK residency venues might also consider offering a safe haven to artists; there has never been a more urgent time for the arts to re-think what its role can be.” Donna Lynas, Director, Wysing Arts Centre

For press information contact Nicola Jeffs – / 07794694754
Further details on the programme and how to apply can be found on Perpetuual Mobile’s website –

Wysing Arts Centre, established in 1989, develops new ways to support artists and enables art and ideas to engage a wide range of people in unexpected ways. Wysing’s large rural site near Cambridge comprises artists’ studios, a gallery and project spaces, a 17th century farmhouse and outdoor sculptures and structures. In 2017 a recording studio will be added to the site

Artists who have worked at Wysing in residencies over recent years, developing and making new work, include Ed Atkins, Michael Dean, Cecile B Evans, Evan Ifekoya, Lawrence Lek, Gustav Metzger, Elizabeth Price, Laure Prouvost, James Richards and Cally Spooner.


Posted by CAN network on 26th April 2017.