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The Porthleven Prize – Bath Spa University

A rare opportunity to partake in a residency that encourages a cross-discipline fusion of creative thinking.

The Porthleven Prize, sponsored by The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust, is now in its eleventh year.

It empowers students from all year groups and disciplines to experiment and collaborate across professions, ultimately working together to create a touring exhibition of creative work.

How it works

15 successful applicants will be selected to partake in a five-day residency, where they’ll participate in workshops with leading academics from the University.

Seven of those students will then be selected for a further fully-funded, 14-day residency at the Porthleven Lifeboat Art Studio.

During the residency, Prize winners can either work together as a group to produce a single piece of work, or create individual works that are tied together by a common theme.

The project may take the participants beyond their normal fields of expression, including links through the visual and performing arts, music, poetry and spoken word.

The Prize will be integrated into the academic programme, enabling student involvement, where relevant, to be accredited toward their degree.

2024 theme: Provenance

Prize winners will be asked to respond to the theme "Provenance" – the place or source of origin.

Art historians, archaeologists and conservators are constantly concerned with the questions of where, when and by whom an object or artwork was produced. Stylistic considerations combined with aesthetic evaluations and comprehensive archive studies can usually provide answers.

But while provenance offers us a language in which to converse with artwork, the sense of belonging or responding to one's location has been a major preoccupation of the artist throughout history. The artist is often perceived as the vehicle by which a place and moment is truly captured.

Prefer to view a PDF? Download the ebook via Issuu.


Students from all courses and year groups are welcome to apply.

Key dates

  • First residency: Monday 15 January – Friday 19 January 2024
  • Panel presentations: w/c 29 January 2024
  • Second residency: Saturday 2 March – Friday 15 March 2024

Deadline for applications

9.00am (GMT), Wednesday 29 November 2023.

How to apply

Please email the Porthleven Prize Coordinator, Simone Hesselberg ( with the following information:

  • Your CV
  • Cover sheet with your name, student ID, course and year of study
  • Digital portfolio of recent work (eight images, eight texts, four films or sound recordings)
  • Application letter (no more than 500 words) explaining why you should be chosen and how the experience will benefit your personal practice

How applications are judged

From the applications received, Bath Spa University will select 15 students (from a range of year groups and disciplines) to participate in the initial five-day residency.

First residency

The aim of the first residency is for students to get to know both the place and each other and to develop ideas about how they would use the full residency to advance their practice and develop work for the exhibition in collaboration with other Prize winners.


Two weeks after the first residency, all students will present their proposals to a panel of judges. The judges will include Mr Trevor Osborne, a representative from Bath Spa, and two external judges. They will be looking for dynamic and confident students who are able to adapt their practices to accommodate other perspectives.

Students will give an online seven-minute presentation and have three minutes to respond to any questions posed. The panel will then decide which seven will go on to “win” the Porthleven Prize of the fully-funded residency and subsequent touring exhibition.

Second residency

Successful applicants will then participate in a 14-day, fully-funded residency, based in Porthleven. Students will be encouraged to produce a body of collaborative work in any discipline, which may include performance, text, film and visual art.

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