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Culture LAB: Inkhead

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Event Details

Culture LAB: Inkhead

Opening: 01/10/18 – 05/10/18 | Free



Metal, Laydeez Do Comics  &  ShelfAbuse.com present

Culture LAB : Inkhead

Mon 1 Oct – Fri 5 Oct 2018
Southend on Sea


Metal are working with artist Nicola Streeten from Laydeez Do Comics and Carl Doherty of ShelfAbuse.com to host a five day, residential, exploratory LAB with nine UK-based, graphic artists, alongside an artist and publishing house from India. The purpose of the LAB is to give artists the time and space to develop ideas for new work, as well as to share ideas and discussion with peers around graphic art, illustration, storytelling and publishing.


The LAB week is envisaged as an exploratory, research and development residency, with input from invited guest speakers, some optional facilitated sessions on some key subjects, and supported time for your own development of ideas and work. It is as an opportunity to experiment with the boundaries of your practice, try out new materials, develop new ideas for work and learn from peers with the hope that potential work will grow from here. The first two days will be dedicated to sharing ideas and hearing from invited guests. The rest of the time will be spent developing ideas collectively and individually. The evening of the last day will be dedicated to ‘show- and- tell’ scratch event with an invited audience.

We are able to offer a nominal participation fee of £250 for each selected artist and all travel expenses will be covered. Metal will also provide accommodation at a nearby B&B close to the sea and all meals will be provided.

Artists who are selected to take part in the LAB will be expected to commit to the full LAB week to ensure the best possible experience for everyone.

The LAB is designed to provide a peer-to-peer environment for an intensive period of development of your practice. It will include:-

•Input from invited guest speakers
•Support and input from the Metal, Laydeez Do Comics and ShelfAbuse creative teams
•Time and space to write, draw and develop specific aspects of a current project – or create ideas for new work/projects
•Working and social time with peers for discussion and exchange of ideas and practice.
•The opportunity to take part in a public discussion/event on evening of Friday 5 October 2018 at Metal’s venue in Southend-on-Sea.

Benefits to artists:-

•Focussed time for development of current and/or new ideas / projects
•Being in a peer environment – amongst other artists
•Opportunity to exchange ideas, share work and feed your practice through encountering the experience of others
•Input from inspiring speakers
•Opportunity for a public showcase of work / current books / new ideas

Criteria for Application:-

•There are nine places available on the LAB for UK-based graphic artists.
•Proven commitment to your practice as a graphic artist. This could include images of unpublished and/or published works; relevant education qualifications / courses attended; competition entries or awards.
•A strong, current project (or early idea for a project) that would benefit from a focussed week working on it.
•Living and/or working within the UK (all travel and accommodation costs for the week will be met by Metal)

How to Apply:-

•Complete the application form – follow this link
•Please write 500 words on how you would use the LAB to develop your practice – either with a specific project, or a new piece of work. Please tell us about your aspirations for your practice; and significant achievements to date.
•Up to 10 images of existing work. And/or a link to your website.
•Attach a CV (optional)

Deadline for Submission:-

Deadline: Thursday 6 September 2018
 Notification: Applicants will hear if they have been successful by Tuesday 11 September 2018


Representatives from Metal, Laydeez Do Comics and ShelfAbuse will select successful applicants based on how applicants meet the criteria outlined above.

The LAB – full details

Dates: Mon 1 – 5 October 2018 (all participants are expected to commit to all 5 days)

Times: 10am – 5pm daily (plus evening activities Tues 2nd and Fri 5 October)

Venue: Metal, Chalkwell Hall, Chalkwell Avenue, Southend on Sea SS0 8NB. Tel: 01702 470700.

Places: There are up to nine places for UK graphic artists available on the LAB, awarded by application and selection.

Fee: There is a nominal fee of £250 paid to each selected artist, for participation for the week.

Expenses: All accommodation, food and travel is covered by Metal for selected, participating artists.


About Metal

Metal is based in three UK towns and cities.  We work to create opportunities for artists working in all disciplines, from the UK and overseas. Our central aim is to provide the environment and support to encourage artists to make confident new works that stretch their practice. We emphasise freedom to experiment and explore without pre-prescribed outcome whilst encouraging conversation, collaboration and a sharing of knowledge across disciplines, communities and sectors. We believe this forges new thoughts and ideas that contribute in specific ways to the places where we are based. In 2017/8 we worked with 1586 artists across all our sites and programmes.

About Laydeez Do Comics

Laydeez Do Comics is a women-led but not women-only unincorporated voluntary organisation championing the works of female-identifying graphic novelists. The aims are to disseminate ideas and discussion around comics and graphic novel works with an autobiographical or domestic focus and to use innovative models to provide  platforms for testing new works and ideas within a social context.

Nicola Streeten is currently in receipt of an Arts Council England International Artists’ Development Fund towards Expectations a collaborative project with South Indian Kerala-based Kokaachi and Indian illustrator Priya Kuriyan

Partnering with Metal and ShelfAbuse, we have been able to build on Kokaachi and Priya’s visit to the UK to host this 5 day LAB which will enable UK artists to spend time alongside our international colleagues.

About ShelfAbuse.com

ShelfAbuse.com is the longstanding blog of Southend-based writer, graphic designer and web developer Carl Doherty. Carl has written about comics, movies and video games for numerous websites and publications, and through ShelfAbuse has championed indie and creator-owned comics for over a decade, as well as chronicling his own adventures in self-publishing.

ShelfAbuse regularly features guest posts from members of the comic community and its reviews have been quoted on many a graphic novel. Carl hopes to use the Inkhead LAB to help initiate and develop future platforms in support of local graphic artists.


The LAB is funded through Metal’s NPO grant from Arts Council England (ACE).


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