The Rea Garden - Artist Residency Programme

Brief overview

The Rea Garden is an outdoor artist project space managed and overseen by Behind Closed Doors, based in the centre of industrial Digbeth, Birmingham. The space itself was cut-off from the public for around twenty years due to a fire in the adjoining warehouse which resulted in the location being boarded up. In 2008 artist group Behind Closed Doors re-opened the space and begun the transformation process for The Secret Garden Project which was staged there. Now during 2009 and 2010 Behind Closed Doors are hosting four artist residencies at The Rea Garden, offering artists the opportunity to spend time in the space, producing new site responsive works and exhibiting the work to the public.

About the Residency

The second residency within this programme will take part during January February and March 2010. The selected artist will have access to work in The Rea Garden for 10 weeks. This will culminate in a two week exhibition, open to the public with a private viewing.

The resident can access the space at all times. It must be noted that the residency will involve the space being open to the public at least one day a week while the resident artist is working there (this will usually be Fridays). The resident artist will also take part in one artist led activity i.e. artist talk / workshop during their residency.

There is a bursary of £1000 to cover artists’ fees, as well as a budget of up to £500 for materials and equipment.

Behind Closed Doors will mentor and support the resident artist throughout their residency. They will also be responsible for advertising and publicity of the residency, public engagement activity and the exhibition.

The residency is open to artists at any stage of their career. However, due to the specific environment it is expected that the artist will enjoy working outdoors (in varying weather conditions!). Behind Closed Doors are highly interested in site specific artworks related to The Rea Garden.

How to Apply

Applications are currently being taken for the January – March 2010 Artist Residency.

In the first instance it is recommended that interested persons visit The Rea Garden prior to submitting an application. Please email or phone Arlene Burnett to arrange a visit to the site.

The following dates are available to visit the site:
Friday 13 November 2009
Friday 20 November 2009
Friday 27 November 2009
Monday 30 November – Sunday 6 December 2009

For the application please submit the following:

An up to date C.V (max 2 pages)
An artist statement
6 – 8 images of previous works (jpeg)
A statement of intent for the proposed residency (up to two sides of A4)

Deadline for submissions for the January 2010 resident artist commission: Thu 17 December 2009. Email submissions to


Applicants may be contacted to discuss their proposal in further detail. The successful applicant will be notified by Tue 22 December 2009. Behind Closed Doors have the right to make the final decision. Unfortunately we are unable to discuss reasons for this decision.


To arrange a visit to The Rea Garden or for any other enquiries, please email or phone Arlene Burnett or Paul Newman: 07814929169 07766187030
The Rea Garden

What: The Rea Garden - Artist Residency Programme
Where: The Rea Garden, Floodgate Street, Digbeth, Birmingham
When: Jan - Mar 2010
Contact: 07814929169, 07766187030
Deadline: Thu 17 December 2009