Critical Mass:
Call for applications

Deadline: Sunday 8 March 2020, 5pm

Critical Mass is a new artist learning and development project by Mark Devereux Projects. Providing a comprehensive programme of critical conversations, skill sharing and career development support – the content will be fully tailored to the requirements of each individual artist.

Designed in response to the needs of artists, Critical Mass has been created to offer responsive, affordable and accessible learning and development for ten practitioners who have been outside of undergraduate education for three or more years.

Critical Mass is an eleven-month programme, punctuated by five creative retreats (each up to 4 days) in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Each retreat will be centred on a specific theme (see below). Individual sessions and workshops within the retreats will be tailored to the requirements highlighted by the participating artists. The programme will be designed and delivered by Mark Devereux Projects and invited guest speakers.

The retreats will provide a holistic approach to learning through the combination of information-led workshops, peer sharing and hands-on practical experiences. Participants will be encouraged to test and develop new approaches within the making, presentation and display of their work through producing their own events, interventions and informal exhibitions during the creative retreats.

Participating artists will benefit from regular Skype one-to-one mentoring/advice sessions with Mark Devereux every 6-8 weeks.

We will ensure each artist concludes the programme with the knowledge, tools and information they need to take the next steps in making their work and gaining opportunities for their future careers. As an entirely independent programme, we can be responsive and reactive to each individual’s practice.

Critical Mass builds on our vast experience within the sector, leading projects including: StudioBook (2015/16 & 2017) and Dialogues 5 (2018). Over the last 6-years we have worked with over 140 artists and numerous industry professionals and organisations around the UK including: HOME, Manchester Art Gallery, Standpoint Gallery, The Whitworth, The NewBridge Project, Heart of Glass, Kitty Anderson, Gavin Wade, Gilda Williams, Hetain Patel, Bedwyr Williams, Steven Bode, Ann Bukantas, Nathaniel Pitt, Marielle Neudecker, David Bethell, Nicola Ellis and Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine.


Critical Mass costs £1,045 (£95 per month), which goes directly and wholly to the planning, facilitation and delivery of the programme by Mark Devereux Projects and invited speakers. Payment for the programme can be made in full or by monthly installments.

Travel and accommodation costs will apply in addition to the fee. Mark Devereux Projects will support selected artists with any individual funding applications to enable participation.

Costs for the programme apply to successful applicants only – there is no charge to apply.


The first retreat will take place at The Old Sunday School, Roe Street, Macclesfield, SK11 6UT,

The location for the following retreats will then be agreed in relation to the content of the programme and requirements of the artists.

Draft programme

Retreat 1: w/c 25 May 2020 – Communicating your practice
Retreat 2: w/c 29 June 2020 – Developing your artist voice
Retreat 3: w/c 14 September 2020 – Testing new approaches, methodologies and ideas
Retreat 4: w/c 16 November 2020 – Building opportunities and networks
Retreat 5: w/c 1 February 2020 – Sustaining your practice

* All content and dates will be confirmed at the start of the programme

Further information


For further information and questions please email Mark at mark[at]markdevereuxprojets[dot]com

Application process

Application deadline: Sunday 8 March 2020, 5pm
Shortlisted artist interviews: w/c 23 March 2020
Artists notified by: Friday 27 March 2020

We are looking for artists that display a commitment to furthering their practices and long-term careers. Applications from artists throughout the UK are welcomed. Artists must have been out of undergraduate education for three or more years.

We aim to select a diverse range of artists that show a desire to undertake intensive critique through one-to-one and peer learning activities. Practitioners can be working within all areas of visual arts, including (not limited to): sculpture, painting, photography, video, drawing, printmaking, performance and socially engaged practice.

The selection process will be decided by a panel that will assess the quality of work and the potential impact Critical Mass might have on the artist’s respective practice and career trajectory. Shortlisted artists will be invited to an interview via Skype or in Macclesfield w/c 23 March 2020. All applicants must be available for interview.

To apply please send the following:

  • Completed application form (link below) including;
    • a statement on why you would like to participate in Critical Mass (max 300 words)
    • a general statement about your work (max 300 words)
  • Your current CV (2 pages max)
  • Up to 5 images or links to other relevant material (e.g. Vimeo, YouTube)
  • A letter of support from a professional contact

Applications may be made via video or audio to support those unable to make their application in writing. Please note that any applications not including the information requested will be ineligible.

Download your application form here.

Please send your application via WeTransfer (only) to mark[at]markdevereuxprojects[dot]com

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