Research Residency Opportunity

Image from Belfast Exposed Archive

Image from Belfast Exposed Archive

The North East Photography Network (NEPN), in partnership with Belfast Exposed Gallery, is offering a research residency opportunity for a photographic artist from the North East of England.  Interesting parallels between the industrial, economic and social histories of Newcastle and Belfast can be drawn and both cities and regions have a rich photographic history and a strong tradition of photographers developing relationships with the city and its inhabitants.

Proposals are sought from photographers who are interested to explore their own interpretation of ‘socially-engaged practice’ in the context of Belfast and the long history of photographers who have worked in the city and with its communities.

Founded in 1983 as a community photography initiative, Belfast Exposed Photography now functions as a gallery for contemporary photography with emphasis on commissioning and publication of new work. It holds a community photography archive and runs an extensive educational outreach network.
The production of socially and politically engaged work and dialogue is the driving force behind all aspects of the Belfast Exposed project.    The North East Photography Network was set up in 2009 to develop and promote photography in the North East of England. The region has a reputation for producing high-quality photographers and has supported a diverse range of practices.  NEPN’s aim is to build on this history, providing a context for the future development of the region’s photographic culture. NEPN engage with a broad range of contemporary photography, including documentary and photojournalism alongside lens-based visual arts practice. NEPN current research interest is the relationship between the photographer and the public, exploring notions of socially engaged practice and the intersections where photography and the public interact.
Photographers should consider what they could bring from their own practice to contribute to this dialogue.


A space to work from will be provided by Belfast Exposed. The selected artist will have access to chemical and digital darkroom facilities at the University of Sunderland. The selected artist will be asked to make an introductory talk/ presentation to be delivered at the gallery’s ‘Exchange Space’.  The photographer will also be expected to present a work in progress in Belfast and in North East England.


Applicants should maximize the benefit of the opportunity presented and view it as an experimental platform from which to develop a new line of enquiry or body of work.   Photographers should think about how to make the best us of the knowledge, history and resources available.

Applicants should be able to undertake the opportunity between April- September 2012 and initial research visits will need to be undertaken by June. A £3000 award is available to incorporate artist fees, materials and all expenses.  We are not able to accept applications from those undertaking studies at undergraduate level.

A proposal of a maximum of two pages is required which should briefly outline your intended area of enquiry and how this opportunity would benefit your practice.  You should also include a CV and up to 5 images representative of you work, which should be sent as jpegs and must be a max of 72dpi.

It is anticipated that a project would develop over a period of a few months to allow for natural development and reflection and we would not expect applicants to spend long block periods of time in Belfast.  Initial research visits will need to be undertaken in May/June to maximise the resources and support available.

Deadline for submissions:  9 March 2012, 5pm.


Applications should be emailed to:

Download this information as a pdf

This opportunity is supported by the National Lottery through Grants for the arts, University of Sunderland and Belfast Exposed Gallery.

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