Patricia Sutcliffe Artist Residency – OPEN CALL

The Art House announces the new and inaugural residency to celebrate its 30th anniversary and three decades of breaking barriers

Named in honour of The Art House founder and artist Patricia Sutcliffe, and celebrating 30 years of the charity, this inaugural Residency is open to support a disabled artist working in any medium.

TAH is home to one of the most accessible residency facilities, Maker Spaces, studios and onsite accommodation in the UK. The residency is a proud celebration of Patricia’s vision, who championed for a better future for arts inclusively, and with the determination and support of those around her, created a place that was physically accessible and adaptable for as many artists as possible.

The Residency Opportunity

TAH are seeking expressions of interest from a disabled artist who would like to take up a one-month supported residency at TAH’s purpose-built accessible studios in Wakefield. The opportunity is to help develop the practice of disabled artists living and working in the UK. The successful artist is not required to make an object or final outcome, but they will receive curatorial and technical advice.

The dates can be flexible. We can support a residency taking place anytime between July-early September, and/or mid November–April 2025. We can break up the time periods to suit the needs of the artist.

The residency offers:

  • £2,500 for fee, materials and travel.
  • We suggest £1,500 for a fee, £750 for materials, and £250 for travel.
  • Studio space and accommodation in The Art House.
  • Flexible dates (> 1 month with options to spread across separate/broken up weeks).
  • Coaching and mentoring are available through 1-2-1 sessions with our Programme team to support artists to develop their critical understanding of their artistic practice, marketing, and developing audiences for their work (we will look at artists’ support needs at the start of the residency and put together a package of support).
  • Free access to a fully equipped Print Studio, with screen print, etching and laser cutter | Free access to a fully equipped Ceramic Studio | Free access to a fully equipped Darkroom – each includes the support of an onsite technician.
  • Simple expression-of-interest only application process

The Submission Process
We’d like to keep this as simple and straightforward as possible. We are inviting an expression of interest (EOI) application process.

Please give a very short summary of you, your idea, or what you would like to use the residency for. The is no standard process, but perhaps you can briefly describe your practice, the idea you want to explore, the art form, and content. Or you can briefly explore what you’d like to use the residency time for. This is all about establishing your ideas and how we can support you.

The opportunity is to support you and your practice. You are not required to have a project in mind, make an object or create a final outcome.

You can make your application using text, video, or audio. To keep the process simple, we suggest no more than one page of A4 text / or 4 minutes of video/audio. You only have to choose the option that is best for you. You can provide more if you prefer, but there is no need to offer more than what is suggested above. You can also send us links to your socials/website.

EOI proposals are welcomed from disabled artists working in all types of contemporary visual art practice, and from artists at all stages of their development.

The selected artist will engage in an initial online conversation TAH Programme Team to explore their aspirations for this residency, and what other support may be needed and available. We are very happy to discuss flexibility if any aspect of the offer needs adapting to suit your needs.

Large print and dyslexia-friendly versions are also available to download. We want to make sure that our opportunities are accessible to everyone. All artists are actively encouraged to apply and if any aspect of the application process is unsuitable, please contact us.

Proposals should be submitted to

Deadline for applications: 19:00, Monday 10 June  2024

Brief history of The Art House

It is no secret that accessibility in the arts is extremely important to us, and we are constantly improving our own accessibility and working towards better inclusivity for all artists.

Since The Art House was just an idea and an initiative driven by a group of individuals who saw a better future for arts inclusively, we have evolved enormously, while keeping its core values at heart. In celebration of our 30th anniversary we look back to share a brief history of where it all began.

The Art House was established in 1994 by a group of artists, led by Patrica Sutcliffe, with a determination and vision to provide studio space that was physically accessible and adaptable for as many artists as possible. With the Disability Act coming into fruition the following year in 1995, this marked an incredibly important time to instigate a shift in the arts. Patricia was an instrumental figure in the early stages and began our journey in Halifax, after she acquired office space in Dean Clough galleries to run workshops.

In the period 1994–2004, Patricia and a small group of artists and arts professionals worked to secure funding for arts projects, training events and artists’ residencies across Yorkshire and the Midlands. All in all, The Art House existed then similar to how it does today, but without a roof to house all of the creativity. Funding was acquired from a number of sources at this time, including the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the European Regional Development Fund, Wakefield Council and Yorkshire Forward. This enabled the artists to deliver more events and opportunities and work towards a larger goal, all with the crucial aim of disrupting an industry that is desperate for more inclusivity.

A new milestone was achieved in 2008 when The Art House opened a new building, exemplary in terms of physical accessibility, offering artists’ studios, accommodation, meeting rooms and community spaces. After 14 years, the vision was finally a reality. Patricia’s original ambition and vision were finally a reality, with the wonderful support and hard work of those around her, including two founding members, Michelle Leon and June Russell, and The Art House’s first Director, Liz Whitehouse, and many more.

Today, The Art House is a vibrant home for creativity in Wakefield. Our 48 studios, three Maker Spaces and two galleries house the largest group of artists and creatives under one roof in the city. We are also the only studio space purpose-built for accessibility in the region, and one of the few in the country.

Both our Darkroom, built with the support of The Disabled Photographers’ Society, and Ceramics Studio offer opportunities for artists with various access needs to flourish. Our custom-designed and built power control adjustable height enlarger bays, as well as our accessible Darkroom sink with an integrated archival wash, mean that we can accommodate up to 5 wheelchair users as they develop their photography practice. Equally, our Ceramics Studio is one of the few in the country with a wheelchair-accessible potters’ wheel, and our Print Studio is equipped with height-adjustable tables and an accessible electric etching press.

As well as our Maker Spaces, it is important to us that art can be enjoyed by everyone at The Art House. We are subscribed to the Social Model of Disability, and this year we launched our exhibitions by appointment; a much-needed new offer whereby visitors can book exhibition private views with our team. These sessions can be made Covid-secure and tailored to suit access needs. We also equip each exhibition with text in standard, large print and braille format, along with additional accommodations such as easier-read and Dyslexia-friendly interpretation, sensory ear defenders and more. Virtual exhibition tours are also readily available on our website for those unable to visit.

We are proud to maintain the same core values that our former artists and creatives did before us when The Art House began, and remain dedicated to developing the work that we do with and for the community. We are at an exciting stage, celebrating three decades of work at The Art House where we are doing more now than we’ve ever been able to do.

Find out more about Patricia

About Patricia Sutcliffe About Patricia Sutcliffe - Dyslexia-Friendly Version About Patricia Sutcliffe - Large print

Call Out version downloads

Open-Call - Dyslexia-Friendly Version Open-Call -Large Print Version