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The Porthleven Prize – Bath Spa University

The Porthleven Prize – sponsored by The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust

The Porthleven Prize at Bath Spa University is now in its eleventh year, and offers students across all year groups and disciplines the opportunity to work together to create an exhibition.

The interdisciplinary nature of the prize has enabled unique collaborations and insight into the work and practices of our creative community, and this year we’re expanding.

The Porthleven Prize is offering 15 students from Bath Spa University the rare opportunity to work collaboratively and learn from each other, and to produce work for a touring exhibition of creative work. Students from all courses are welcome to apply.

15 students will be selected to partake in a five-day residency, where they’ll participate in workshops with leading academics from the University. Seven successful students will then be selected for a further fully-funded, 14-day residency at the Porthleven Lifeboat Art Studio.

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.

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.

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

Important 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


Open call. Students from any year group and any course from across the University are invited to apply.

How to apply

Please apply by submitting the following information by email to Poppy Clover (

  • Letter of application (500 words max) - explaining why you should be chosen and how the experience will benefit your personal practice
  • Digital portfolio of recent work (eight images, eight texts, four films or sound recordings)
  • Your Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover sheet with your name, student ID, course and year of study

Application deadline

  • 9.00 am (GMT), Wednesday 29 November 2023

How applications are judged

Bath Spa University will select 10 students from the applications received to participate in a five-day residency, consisting of workshops from leading academics. Selected students will be from a range of year groups and disciplines.

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.

Students will give a 7-minute presentation and have 3 minutes to respond to any questions posed. The presentations will take place online. The panel will then decide which 7 will go on to “win” the Porthleven Prize of the fully-funded residency and subsequent touring exhibition.

Successful applicants will then participate in a fourteen-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.

The judges are looking for dynamic and confident students who are able to adapt their practices to accommodate other perspectives.

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