Join us for an opportunity to be inspired by a rich mix of creative provocations, aligning with stars, the milky way and summer astronomical phenomena. With input from astronomy specialists, archaeoastronomers and multidisciplinary artists, all of whom are connected, via their practice, to the theme of the night sky, this residency will take place virtually, offering opportunities to workshop, discuss and share ideas with a group of like-minded people.

Following our sold-out virtual residency in November 2020, we are delighted once again to partner with the Royal Astronomical Society to deliver this fascinating new opportunity.

There are few things like this where it’s all about inspiration, collaboration… done in such a way that it’s purely inspirational” Residency participant, Nov 2020

Join us for a series of evening workshops designed to wake up your creativity with an insight into new skills and practices.

Apply here

About This Residency

This group residency takes place virtually between Monday 24th May and Friday 28th May 2021. Taking place over Zoom, participants will also be invited to join a dedicated ‘Slack’ workspace, to connect, discuss and share with fellow residents in a supportive learning environment. (We will send out detailed instructions ahead of time on everything tech related and will offer support in navigating these platforms if you are not already familiar.)

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 exploration of RAS Archive materials, access to which is usually reserved for members only. Alongside this, 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.

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.

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.

“I found it really, really inspiring… It had been really great for thinking about things differently… and coming up with a different way of working” – Residency Participant, Nov 2020


Artists will have the opportunity to contribute to a Starlight Residency exhibition in a virtual space, which will be widely shared via RAS and Mayes Creative social media and website.

Alongside this, we will invite participants to contribute to our online sketchbook (example of previous work here:, 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 also be invited to join the Mayes Creative Artists Network (for a small subscription fee); 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. There will also be exclusive opportunities available only to the Network.

Confirmed speakers for Starlight virtual residency:

**Melanie King – Ancient Light

Artist and researcher Melanie King will discuss and share her work titled Ancient Light Film and First Light, a project about using astro-photographs seeing how they are altered with alternative photography processes. Meteorites, photo-etching using her home-made ‘meteorite ink’.

**Joanna Mayes – Stars and Stones

Joanna talks about her PhD research into alignment of stars with stone rows on Dartmoor, collaborative performative outcomes and how this influences her practice today. Joanna will also talk about her current practice with organic and ecologically-conscious analogue filmmaking.

**Lucinda Offer (RAS Education and Outreach Officer) – Starlight, Star Life

A talk that delves into the role stars have as being the building blocks of life. Light and life through growth and an introduction to astrobiology. Looking at the many stars in our galaxy, how do we use them to learn about where can we look and what type of life could we come across?

**Dr Sian Prosser – RAS Archive Exploration

An exclusive tour of the Royal Astronomical Society’s archive collection with Librarian and Archivist Dr Sian Prosser, focusing on Herschel and Proctor. A chance to look at library and archive materials which tell the story of how astronomers moved from seeing stars as fixed points of light to regarding them as physical objects in their own right. Powerful telescopes and new techniques in spectroscopy and astrophotography allowed astronomers to find out what stars are made of.

**Carolyn Kennett and Cheryl Straffon – Stars in the megalithic eyes

Cheryl will talk about stellar alignments here in West Cornwall, such as the Pleiades and Merry Maidens. Carolyn will talk about her work on Bodmin Moor at the Hurlers stone circle and the links it has to the Milky Way.

**Simon Ashbury – Gaming as Creative Adventuring

Simon, a creative technology artist, will explore the connections between astronomical adventures and games design. He will discuss how artists can use game-driven narrative and systems to open up their work to new audiences and enable alternative storytelling and ways of sharing process

**Lisa Pettibone – Cosmic Light Reflections

Lisa will discuss her arts practice and its connection to astronomy, underpinned by stargazing and an interest in cosmology. She will share her experience as artist in residence at Mullard Space Science Laboratory in 2019 when she followed the Euclid Mission and its search for dark matter in the universe.

** Plus, a live heritage walk streamed from Cornwall to your home; creative provocation activities including ‘Walking the Stars’ navigation experience; daily check-ins and sharings of creative responses; and collaboration opportunities during the week.

Title: NASA ID PIA07841
Middle images l-r: Carolyn Kennett, ESA ID 432826


£179 full price

£50 Limited concessionary rate places are available to Cornwall residents in need of support. This will be chosen by need, enthusiasm and artist portfolio and/or statement.

There will also be an opportunity for one artist to contribute a workshop to the residency, in return for a discount of £50 off the full price. There will be an opportunity to apply for this within the application form.

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

Apply here