Watching the Universe: Virtual Arts-Science Residency 

Monday 30th November 30th to Friday 4th December 2020

Join us this winter, for an opportunity to be inspired by a rich mix of creative provocations, with input from astronomy specialists, archaeoastronomers and astrophysicists alongside multidisciplinary artists, all of whom are connected, via their practice, to the theme of watching the universe. This residency will take place virtually over different platforms, offering opportunities to workshop, discuss and share ideas with a group of like-minded people.

£120 for a full priced place on our 5 day virtual residency.

£50 for a supported place for Cornwall residents, see further information below.

We are keeping this very low cost to make it accessible for all, with 4 places available for Cornwall residents at £50.

Please send expressions of interest for Cornwall residents’ places to Deadline Wednesday 25th November  or apply through curator space link below.

To apply, please click here

About The Residency

This group residency takes place virtually between Monday 30th November and Friday 4th December 2020. The main input and sharing days will be Monday, Tuesday and Friday of that week, with talks and workshops taking place in the morning, afternoon and evenings of these days. These will typically be delivered over Zoom, with sharing, collaborations and support being provided over Slack. (Further information and help with how to use these platforms will be available to successful participants, so don’t worry if you don’t know what Slack is yet.)

We will run a creative follow-on meeting on Thursday 10th December, and will meet again in the new year to discuss outcomes and next steps. During the course, participants will have access to a relevant collection of assets from previous residencies and projects, a network of arts-science professionals, and ongoing supported conversations with fellow participants.

We welcome all art forms – there will be lots of opportunities for sharing work/ideas with others on the virtual residency and we encourage everyone to bring ideas, enthusiasms and any relevant research to share. We are also keen to include researchers/enthusiasts of all disciplines; if you know anyone who you think would be interesting to include (collaborators perhaps?), please encourage them to apply.

No outcomes are required, but we will create a publication of creative outputs to which participants can submit work. This folio will be printed in a limited run, and will be lodged into the Royal Astronomical Society Archive.

Alongside this, we will invite participants to contribute to our online blog, which will be shared across our social media platforms. If taken up, each artist will have a section on the Mayes Creative website dedicated to their work on this residency. Participants will also be eligible to submit work to future physical exhibition/collaboration opportunities, which are in the planning for when Covid-19 restrictions ease.

Participants will be invited to join the Mayes Creative Artists Network (for a subscription rate of £10 per year); designed to continue working relationships and collaborations, provoke conversation and discussion, and offer informed advice on funding, project development and working in the arts-science-heritage cross-section. The asset collection will also still be available to the network, allowing for further exploration on your part.


Your practice is your own; if you want to create as you take part, please do, but there is no pressure to do so. As part of the residency, we will be offering a back catalogue of assets from Mayes Creative, including films, research, information, and outcomes from years of working in this field.

As part of our working relationship with the Royal Astronomical Society, we are delighted to be able to offer participants exclusive opportunities including a live tour of the RAS Archive, access to which is usually reserved for members only. And, in the publication, your own work could be housed in this very same archive and in the RAS Library for years to come.

Alongside the RAS talk and tour, we are excited to host artists and scientists, side by side, to deliver a mix of practical learning and sharing opportunities, as well as inspiration for your practice.

Confirmed for the 2020 virtual residency:

** ’The Sun is a Star’ – a talk and discussion on the life and death of stars with Dr Sheila Kanani of the Royal Astronomical Society

** Discussions with practicing artists including Melanie King and Justin Wiggan about how they work at the cross section of arts and science and how they have developed their working practice

** ‘Watching The Sun’ – an interactive talk on the story of Cornwall’s solar watchers by Carolyn Kennett FRAS and Cheryl Straffon

** An exclusive tour of the Royal Astronomical Society’s archive with Librarian and Archivist Dr Sian Prosser

** Artist Peter Beeson will talk about the ‘Seventeen Suns’ project he began in lockdown, which has expanded to hundreds of paintings of the sunrise

** A talk and discussion with artist Steve Geliot on his role as Artist Ambassador for the Eden Project and his ongoing campaign for the protection of dark skies

** Successful Art Science Collaboration: A conversation between Dr Joanna Mayes and Carolyn Kennett FRAS about their approach to working together and their perspectives on making successful art-science collaborations

** Plus, a live heritage walk streamed from Cornwall to your home; daily check-ins and sharings of creative responses; and collaboration opportunities during the week, along with a supported network that will continue after the residency has ended

** A curated publication of participants’ work, made and produced in collaboration with participants themselves, to be lodged into the Royal Astronomical Society’s Archive and Library

This residency is produced by Mayes Creative and kindly supported by CLLD using EU Funding.