Clare Thornton

Clare Thornton Memorial Residency

Artist opportunity

Call-out to go live in November 2019


Before her death, Clare set aside funds to establish a memorial residency opportunity in Plymouth for a mid career artist, such as herself, using her old studio space at KARST.

A successful crowdfunding campaign recently came to a close which seeked to raise additional funds to match Clare’s own contribution. All donations and pledges for rewards will go towards making the residency an even better experience for the supported artist. Due to the success of the campaign we’re now hoping to run the residency over 3 years.

The residency aims to provide the successful applicant with the time, space, funds and critical engagement to develop and resolve new artwork and culminate with an opportunity to show it publicly either at KARST or other public space and time befitting the work. This will include:

  • Free, 24/7 access to a studio space at KARST for a period of 25 – 30 days (to be used over an agreed period of time, in ways most useful to the selected artist)
  • Paying the selected artist a fee for the residency – to support them to spend focussed time developing and resolving new artwork
  • A budget for other expenses including materials, childcare, travel, accommodation etc.
  • Bespoke opportunities for peer critique with fellow studio holders and visitings artists/curators as proposed by the artist and/or developed with the host
  • A studio visit with Plymouth-based curator Ben Borthwick (Tate Britain, Artes Mundi, Plymouth Arts Centre)
  • The possibility of a public sharing activity, immediately following the residency or at a later date, including the technical, administrative and marketing support to help make this happen.

We hope that during their residency, the selected artist will also meet a range of people in Plymouth and the wider region – from other artists & arts professionals based in the city, to those in the wider community (depending on the artist’s own interests and project idea). This will be facilitated by specialist producers from Flock South West, who are managing & supporting the residency in partnership with KARST at Clare’s request.

Project timeline:

  • April-May 2019: Crowdfunding campaign
  • November 2019 : Open call for artists goes live
  • February 2020 : Selection of residency artist
  • July-August 2020 : Selected artist undertakes the Clare Thornton Memorial Residency

Who will be able to apply for the residency?

The residency will be open to those artists who consider themselves to be ‘mid-career’ and applications will be welcome from individuals working in all areas of contemporary visual and live art practice.

Applicants will need to be a professional artist who has been making work for a minimum of 7 years and may be based in the UK or internationally. The panel for selection will include Dane Watkins (artist & Clare’s husband), Cheryl Jones (director of Grand Union), Carl Slater (artist and director of KARST) & Emily Speed (artist).


KARST Studios is a dedicated production space that houses nine studios for contemporary artists working in the city. From its humble DIY beginnings, KARST has established a studio culture that provides a professional, dynamic and critically engaged environment where resident and studio artists are proactively encouraged to respond to its exhibition programme, peer critique, collaborative projects and dialogue with visiting international artists/curators.