Applications Now Closed

A two-day artist development programme led by artists and curators – to connect, support and develop emerging artists from across the North West, with a focus on how creative technology or digital media as well as collaborations and collectives can develop or expand artistic practice.


Hosted in the unique location of Barrow-in-Furness located on the rugged West Cumbrian Coast, the two-days will provide an exciting programme of activities led by a diverse mixture of influential artists and curators working in the North.

The days will introduce hands-on skills in using creative technology as well as practical sessions, one-on-one portfolio crits and panel discussions designed to support each artist in sustaining a career working in the North West both inside and outside of major cities. It will also provide a space for conversation and cross-disciplinary exchange, with the aim of nurturing new collaborations amongst the artists involved.

The lab includes the opportunity to take part in a funded exhibition, either by submitting a proposal individually or collaboratively with other practitioners from the group, as part of the wider platform programme.

who should apply

This programme is suitable for artists at the early to mid stages of their career, who are either living or working in the North West.

We actively encourage applications from artists who are working outside of major cities within the North West.

Applicants do not have to have any previous experience of working with technology in their practice, however must demonstrate a keen interest in using technology, digital media or collaborating with those who do. This might include film, photography, programming, sound or installation work.

Minimum age for applicants is 18 years of age.

Sessions will include:

Practical workshops in creative technology / digital media (these will be tailored based on the group’s experience)

How technology can expand artistic practice

How collaboration and collectives can benefit artistic practice

How to sustain a career in the arts outside of major cities

Methods of disseminating your work, including self-publishing The benefits of artists self-publishing






Ellie Barrett is a sculptor, curator, teacher and researcher with a particular investment in artist-led activity. As an artist, her practice investigates the societal relationship between material culture and art theory. As a curator, she has eight years of experience working with a variety of arts organisations, including The Royal Standard in Liverpool and Your Beautiful Collective in London. Currently, she is a co-director of GRAFT Lancaster CIC, working to create new opportunities for emerging artists, and to connect with schools and young people, promoting the importance of creativity in educational contexts.



Daniel John Jones is an artist and software engineer whose work explores new ways in which sound and technology can illuminate our understanding of the world, translating patterns and data into living musical forms. His BAFTA-nominated practice spans topics ranging from bacterial dynamics to network infrastructures, and has been shown at venues including the Barbican, the Museum of Science and Industry, IRCAM, the Southbank Centre, and the Royal Institution of Great Britain.


John Darwell is an independent photographer working on long-term projects that reflect his interest in social and industrial change, concern for the environment and issues around the depiction of mental health. To date he has had eighteen books of his work published, eleven with Cafe Royal. He is currently Reader in Photography at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle.



Thomas Ireland is an artist and curator living and working in Blackpool, UK. Spanning a variety of media, Ireland’s practice is centred around broad notions of space, distance and the things which fill it; he is interested in what these things are, both physically and ideologically, their interaction with one another and how they operate within the world to shape our individual and collective understanding. He has presented work and projects at Deptford X Festival (London, UK) titledateduration (Manchester, UK) ArebyteLASER (London, UK); The Atkinson (Southport, UK); David Dale Gallery (Glasgow, UK); Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art and Baltic 39, Newcastle/Gateshead, UK)  and Eastside Projects (Birmingham, UK).

Ireland is also founder, director/curator of Supercollider Contemporary Art Projects, a curatorial platform delivering contemporary art projects in Blackpool. Supercollider aims to make meaningful contribution to the redevelopment and regeneration of Blackpool’s cultural offer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02:  The Digital Archaeology section of the Barbican's #DigitalRevolution on July 2, 2014 in London, England. The exhibition brings together artists, designers, film makers, musicians and architects who push the boundaries of creativity that digitial technology can offer, and runs from 3 July until the 14 September 2014 at the Barbican Centre.  (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images for Barbican Art Gallery)


Dani Admiss is a curator and researcher working across art, design, and networked cultures. She adopts world-building and co-research strategies to collectively explore changes happening to our social and technological worlds. Her curatorial work includes projects with Abandon Normal Devices and the Barbican, London.

She is Founder of Playbour- Work, Pleasure, Survival, an art and research platform dedicated to the study of the worker in an age of data technologies. Her current research is looking at play utopias and histories of behavioural technologies. She is finishing her Ph.D at the Faculty of Arts and New Media at Sunderland University on world-building practices and curating world systems.



Paulette Terry Brien is curator at The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool and former co-director of The International 3 gallery, Salford. Paulette has, over the last 25 years, worked part-time and freelance for a number of organisations including Arts Council England and Creative Industries Development Service. She is regularly invited to deliver presentations within academic and professional development settings, has written articles, critical texts and catalogue contributions for a range of organisations including AXIS web, A-N, Manchester Art Gallery and Drawing Room, London and works as an artists’ mentor. 



Jack Welsh is a freelance arts producer, writer and researcher based in Liverpool. He has over 10 years experience of working across contemporary art and academia, including Liverpool Hope University where he leads the second year Professional Practice module. He is currently working as a Producer for Mark Devereux Projects, where he produced StudioBook, an intensive artist development programme; and also at Liverpool Arab Arts Festival. His arts writing is regularly published for outlets including thisistomorrow, Corridor8 and Artlyst. Welsh has worked extensively delivering projects across both artist-led and institutional contexts, including: Arts Council England, Bluecoat, Creative Organisations of Liverpool (COoL), Liverpool Biennial, Islington Mill, Places Matter!, and Tmesis Theatre.



Sam Meech is  an artist and videosmith based in NW England, whose practice combines digital image making, projection design, community engagement, and machine knitting. He is interested in the overlap and interplay between analogue and digital media, and the possibilities of combining the two in production and performance. He is also a co-director of Re-Dock – a not-for-profit arts organisation, developing projects that explore ways in which communities relate to digital media, ideas and public space. Through Re-Dock he developed the Small Cinema project, exploring the role of cinema in relation to community.



Manchester Digital Laboratory (MadLab) is a grassroots innovation organisation, based in Manchester UK. Their primary areas of focus are science and technology; arts and culture.

They support a diverse range of communities and activities from monthly meet-ups through to public experimentation with new & emerging technologies, and collaborating with others to deliver new, interesting and exciting projects.

Close Menu