Manchester Museum Hermit Project

The Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester, wishes to engage an artist in residence who will inhabit a hermitage in the tower of its splendid Victorian Gothic Building for a period of up to eight weeks between May and July 2009.

This is a fascinating and unique opportunity to explore a tradition, with a long history and extending across many cultures, of men and women who made the decision to flee the company of their fellow humans to dwell alone in retirement and total solitude, often living on islands, in caves, or in the desert. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it became a tradition at the grand houses of England to house a `hermit' in a Romantic folly or hermitage somewhere in the grounds as a curiosity for guests. The Manchester Museum now offers an artist a wonderful opportunity to seal him or herself off from modern day hassles and live within a closed and magical space inside one of the finest Museums in the world, with a large and important collection of natural history, archaeology, Egyptology, anthropology and other specialist subjects including numismatics and archery, reflecting, with a contemporary eye, on this evocative and secretive way of life. They will also be expected to communicate this experience with the outside world during their period of isolation, which coincides in part with the Manchester International Festival.

The artist will be expected to reside permanently in the tower for up to two months, having previously had access to all of the Museum's permanent exhibits and collections, both public and hidden, and to the expertise of Museum and University staff. This open brief offers the hermit the freedom to respond to the process of residing within and among the Museum's collection of four and a half million objects, reflecting on issues concerning biodiversity, climate change, extinctions and the future of the planet.

The opportunity is open to artists working within every artform or practice. You might be a performance artist, a writer or poet, a visual artist, sculptor or musician…

Fees, Budget and other support
A fee of between £8,000 - £12,000 will be available (dependent on the duration of the project). This should cover initial research and development, and post-residency time to prepare any legacy publications or other outcomes. A materials budget is also available which will be agreed with the artist on awarding the commission.

The space where the residency takes place is split between a work area at the top of the tower and a living area located two floors below accessed via a spiral stair case.

Power, heating, lighting and internet access will be available in both areas. The Living area will include a bedroom with shower / toilet and a lounge with a small kitchen for food preparation.

Deadline: Mon 19 Jan 2009

Visit this link to download a PDF with further information about the Hermit Project.
Manchester Museum Hermit Project


What: Manchester Museum Hermit Project
Further Details:
Visit this link to download a PDF with further information about the Hermit Project.
Contact: David Gelsthorpe: david.gelsthorpe@manchester.ac.uk, (0161) 3061601
Deadline: Mon 19 Jan 2009