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From ecofeminism to junkyard bath meditations, Yorkshire Sculpture Park sets out to discover the next big artistic talent in the region

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is launching its 2023 Yorkshire Graduate Award that offers a unique residency opportunity for a graduate artist to develop and showcase their talent.

Set in 500 acres of historically designed landscape, YSP is an international centre for the creation, display and appreciation of modern and contemporary sculpture. For over 45 years, residencies have been at the heart of YSP offering opportunities for emerging artists to reflect and move forward with their practice. To help nurture regional artistic talent, the Yorkshire Graduate Award was launched in 2018, attracting entries from across the region. This year’s residency is open to any recently graduated BA or MA artist, from any Yorkshire-based university, looking to work and stay on-site during the winter of 2023 or spring 2024.

The Award offers a residency for up to two weeks at the Park, onsite accommodation, access to facilities including metal and wood workshops, and time with the YSP technical team. The award winner will also receive a £750 fee and £250 for materials to develop new ideas and will receive invaluable support from YSP’s curatorial team.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for an emerging artist at what can be a difficult time after graduating”, explained Sarah Coulson, YSP’s Senior Curator. “They will be supported throughout their residency by YSP’s experienced curatorial and technical teams who have worked with artists from all over the world.

“We hope that applying for the Graduate Award feels like a positive experience for everyone as we aim to provide specific feedback to every candidate who applies.”

Previous winners include Ami Horrocks for the 2022-23 season, who explained: “I make iconic symbols of women in the landscape, I have a ritualistic practice, and am interested in the political and psychological ramifications of symbols on the feminist movement.

“The residency has been very important to me in further developing the nature of my practice, as an artist that needs environment and landscape to respond to, especially to weather and seasonal change. I have appreciated the opportunity to access this unique landscape at all times of day as a nature canvas to experiment and create within, to develop my video and sculpture-based work.

“The flexibility to spread the residency throughout the winter months enabled my work to gestate through a season and allowed winter’s ecological cycles of decomposition and regeneration to embed within the work I made. This flexibility also supported my practicalities as a single parent-artist, it has been particularly poignant to me and my practice to be able to bring my children along with me during the residency.”

Horrocks’ practice explores landscape through the female lens, lost female histories and goddess theory, drawing inspiration from her own experiences of motherhood. She explores principles of care in relation to the environment and landscape, considering the gestures and traces we make on the land.

Ably demonstrating a breadth of regional talent, the award supported Jessica Rost in 2021-22, a sculptor and performance artist who considers the sustainability of art practices and lives off-grid. During her time at YSP, the University of Leeds Fine Arts (MA) graduate continued her investigation into low impact living and temporary “homes” whilst researching the history of protest camps, environmental activism and the importance of plants.

Anyone who is interested in entering can submit a PDF document of up to 5 pages including a short statement on their current practice, any information about their final degree work, images of their work and a simple outline of their plans if they were to be offered the residency. This plan doesn’t have to be definitive and can change and evolve during the course of the residency.

YSP accepts the written elements of the application as audio recordings, videos or voice notes of up to 5 minutes. YSP welcomes applications from all artistic disciplines and any access needs will be considered.

Applications should be submitted to with a deadline of July 21, 2023.