Cressing Temple Barns Artist-in-Residence Commission

Posted: 27th June 2019

Location: Town Centre

Closing: 5th July 2019

More information

We are inviting artists to apply for a three-month residency running from August to October 2019 in the unique and beautiful setting of Cressing Temple Barns, Braintree, Essex. The selected artist/s will be given their own studio space in The Dairy and a £10,000 commission to create an artwork that responds to the site which will form part of a new Cressing Temple art trail.

About the Site

Cressing Temple Barns is a site rich in ancient history. Built in the 13th century, the Grade I listed Barley and Wheat Barns are amongst the oldest timber barns and some of the few surviving Templar buildings in England. The Granary, another Grade I listed timber-framed building, was built just after 1575 and is the largest granary in Essex. During the Saxon period, Cressing belonged to English royalty until Queen Matilda granted the land to the Knights Templar in 1137. It was their most important landholding in Essex and by 1313 the site included a chapel, hall, brewhouse, dairy and smithy, not to mention a large range of livestock including peacocks.

Complimenting the barns is Cressing Walled Garden, built c. 1550-1600 as a formal pleasure garden situated to the rear of the Great House. When the Great House was demolished, the garden was retained to serve as a kitchen garden for the Farmhouse. The present garden, laid out and planted in 1994-95, is based on historical Tudor principles. It contains elements that can be seen in representations of gardens to be found in 15th and 16th century illuminated manuscripts and early printed books.

Following years of restoration, this historic site and the additional farm buildings are now open to the public. The site is a key visitor attraction in Essex, as well as a unique wedding venue and a popular site for large events.

Studio Space
The studio space will be in The Dairy (12m x 2.5m) situated opposite the Farmhouse in the central part of the Cressing Temple site. The space has its own access, good light, power and water. There is free parking and the option of 24-hour access. Sound constraints may apply during the day due to visiting public and weddings, and evenings due to neighbouring residents.
This is the first of an annual Artist-in-Residence and commissioning programme at Cressing Temple Barns. Artist/s will be invited to respond to the site in its broadest sense from its rich history through to it being a visitor attraction, event and wedding venue. The site has a strong farming/horticultural heritage and has many unique spaces. There is a strong volunteering culture at Cressing Temple Barns including beekeeping, gardening and a Community Shed.

The Residency Brief
We are looking for an artist or artists using any media to take up this studio opportunity in The Dairy as a 3-month Artist-in-Residence (August – October 2019). Space would be offered free in lieu of providing 1 public workshop and a minimum of 3 Open Studio Days over the course of the residency.
The selected artist would be given £10,000 (including fee, travel, materials and installation), to create an artwork for Cressing Temple Barns which will be left as a permanent legacy of the residency that visitors to the site can enjoy for years to come. We are open to all ideas/mediums that would add to the public realm either externally or internally, but that would require minimum ongoing maintenance or complicated installation. This pilot commission will form the basis of a new Cressing Temple art trail, adding to the overall visitor experience. The residency will include:
- Participatory workshop for either children, adults or families (please expand in letter of application)
- Open studio events that invite visitors into the resident artist’s space to better understand the work of the Artist-in-Residence
- A residency legacy / output. Selected artist/s will have Park Rangers to assist with basic installation of artwork/s if required.

Selected artists/crafts people would be DBS checked and formally contracted.

To Apply
Please email by Friday 5th July:
1. Your CV
2. Portfolio / link to relevant website for images (one pdf file showing examples of relevant past work. This should be between 10 – 20 images or links to video/audio works, or a combination of both (e.g. 10 images and 5 links). The works should include short captions or descriptions.
3. Covering letter of no more than 750 words outlining:
• How your practice engages with this brief / your interest in this opportunity
• Outline ideas for the final commissioned work
• Ideas for the workshop
• How this residency supports your career development
• Your relevant experience for this residency

5th July 2019 Deadline for artists to send CV/Images and Expression of

Interest letter
16th or 19th July 2019 Interviews at Cressing Temple Barns
w/b 22nd July 2019 Artist site visit
August –October 2019 Residency