Creative Dundee

Interdisciplinary Residency at Hospitalfield


A guest feature for Creative Dundee by Laura Simpson. 

The Interdisciplinary Residency at Hospitalfield has been devised to appeal across all artforms. We provide a scenario in which to focus on the development of your work and a close network of connections with the other practitioners for conversation while on the residency and to take with you afterwards.

The Interdisciplinary Residency is becoming one of our most international programmes. This year it will have hosted, among others, a designer from America, a visual artist from India, a curator from Canada and a translator from Croatia as well as practitioners from art, design, architecture and theatre backgrounds from the UK.

This residency isn’t supported directly with public funds which means that each applicant selected needs to come with their own way of financing their stay. As we offer the residency at a subsidised cost of £40 per day (full board including studio provision) many people choose to pay for themselves. Others look to their local artists or writers award, their professional agency, private trusts, their employer or the arts council of their country.

While at Hospitalfield the residents all work in different ways. Some come to finesse the culmination of a project, others to review or reassess past working patterns, and some to generate ideas for their year ahead. Each comes seeking a situation where they can have clarity and make progress with their task.

The residency life at Hospitalfield is practically simple – we have a great Chef called Rod Linton who cooks delicious meals which the group enjoy together. The mealtimes become the focus point for interaction when the residents converge on our Refectory where artists have been eating together for the last 114 years. Often people tell us they are astonished just how much time is freed up by not shopping, cooking and cleaning.

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Conversely the intellectual life at Hospitalfield is intense. The programme starts with presentations by each of the residents – an opportunity to meet the discipline of a 10 minute introduction to the state of play with your practice and to share information which will seed further conversation.

The after dinner discussions often also include guests: selectors and others who can bring stimulation to the group. We ask the guests to bring a Burning Question, one which they are tackling within their work. The idea being that when someone speaks about why a certain quandary is relevant to them they can get something out of the conversation with the group as each one unpicks their own position to this question and the resulting relevancies.

The selection panel were really pleased by the high standard of the applications which we received for our Interdisciplinary Residency deadline earlier this year and it has been inspiring witnessing those two residencies unfold this spring and summer. This has prompted us to schedule in another two-week slot for November this year. The deadline for this is 22 September 2014. You can find out about the process of applying on our website:

And please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions.

We have an Open Weekend on 6 and 7 September 2014 so if you wanted to come and visit, let me know and I can show you around, visit

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Photo credit: Ross Fraser McLean


Laura Simpson is Programme Manager at Hospitalfield Arts and has been working on artist’s projects in Dundee and elsewhere since the dawn of the new millennium.

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