Best Foot Forward: A Guide to Applying for UKYA City Takeover

 Impulse Collective Theatre Company - The Canterbury Tales Photo by Sammy Hu.

Impulse Collective Theatre Company - The Canterbury Tales
Photo by Sammy Hu.

200 ARTISTS
3 CONTINENTS
150 EVENTS
7 DAYS

07 - 13 FEBRUARY 2019

2019 marks UKYA’s 10th birthday. Over the past 10 years we have delivered four large scale national festivals in the East Midlands. To celebrate our birthday, we are amplifying the ‘national festival’ - more artists, more days; venues; partners; events. We are calling this the ‘UKYA City Takeover’.

UKYA City Takeover: Nottingham 2019 will span the city, immersing visitors in an array of extraordinary, innovative and contemporary work from over 200 selected artists from three continents. Visual arts, performance, music and words will animate cultural spaces and unusual places across Nottingham.

The UKYA City Takeover: Nottingham 2019 promises to be provocative, exciting, discerning and unique. Presenting art across borders, countries and nationalities; taking risks and opening minds.


UKYA has put together this guide to applying for UKYA City Takeover: Nottingham 19. It includes advice and top tips from UKYA and our expert selection panel. It covers the four application form questions related to you and your work, and provides advice on submitting supporting media that puts your best foot forward and sets your application above the rest!

We recommend reading all of this before filling in an application form, as well as downloading our City Takeover C4E Info Pack that gives you all the facts and support you need about being involved and lays out our Terms and Conditions and some FAQs.

If you still have questions after reading these information packs, you can always get in touch with the team. Contact us using the form.

What are we looking for throughout your application?

  • Artists must demonstrate an original voice within their work

  • Artists must demonstrate an appetite to develop their work or practice

  • UKYA would like to see how they are able to support the practice and development of selected artists through their work

Writing About Yourself and Your Work

When applying for the UKYA City Takeover, we ask you to tell us about your practice and about the work you are submitting. This section asks you to tell us about the technical requirements of your work, as well as four questions that require some short writing.

These are:

  1. Artist/company biography (100 words)

  2. Taking part (up to 200 words)

  3. Description of the work (150 words)

  4. Further relevant information (up to 150 words)


Here’s some guidance and top tips to help you with each of these sections!

1. Writing your artist/company biography: (100 words)

If you are successful in your application, the information provided in this section will be used in full or in part within printed publicity materials and on the UK Young Artists website. They may also form part of the content of press releases sent out about the City Takeover. Therefore you should be happy for the information you provide to be made public.

  • Present a short summary of your practice… what medium do you work in? Do you have a particular method, style or technique? What influences your work?

  • Outline some (but not all) of your major accomplishments as an artist, we suggest from the last two years of your practice

  • Write in third person, for example, ‘Joe Bloggs is a painter…’

  • Avoid using jargon or artspeak - this bio will be read by a range of different audiences so should be accessible

  • Keep it simple and snappy. Vary your sentence length and avoid sentences longer than 40 words

  • Keep it to the word count (100 words max)

Example:
Joe Bloggs is a multimedia artist. He uses video, sound, text and installation to reconstruct fragments of memory and dream. Bloggs is interested in multisensory experiences and creating environments that can transform a space and transport his audiences. Recent exhibitions include: Abingdon Studios (solo show), Bonington Gallery (group exhibition) and BE Festival (solo show). Originally from Glasgow, Joe graduated from Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University in 2014.

2. Taking part: 200 words

UK Young Artists is about both exceptional art and creating a space for dialogue and intercultural exchange between young artists. As well as showcasing your work in the City Takeover, you will be able to meet 200 artists from across the globe and participate in workshops, talks and symposia. We are looking for artists that demonstrate an original voice within their work, who demonstrate an appetite to develop their work or practice and that UKYA are able to see how they are able to support the practice and development of selected artists through our work

This information will not be used in public promotions and materias. This statement should cover:

  • How you think your work would benefit from being part of the City Takeover

  • Your interest in connecting and collaborating with artists from other disciplines

  • Why you think your professional development would benefit from participating

3. Writing the description of your work: (150 words)

If you are successful in your application, the information provided in this section will be used in full or in part within printed publicity materials and on the UK Young Artists website. They will also form part of the content of press releases sent out about the festival. Therefore you should be happy for the information you provide to be made public.

  • What is the work? Be specific..if ceramics then is it stoneware etc, or painting - oil or acrylic etc?

  • What is the work about?

  • What’s different about your work? Why makes it stand out from the crowd?

  • How might people feel when they’ve seen your work, i.e. is it uplifting, thought-provoking, funny?

  • Any other information you think is relevant and interesting

  • Try to avoid artspeak and technical jargon. This will be read by a range of audiences.

  • Keep it to the word count (150 words)

  • Avoid oversharing and be professional

Examples:

Visual Art
Jasleen Kaur - Cairns

Cairns is a series of three touch lamps influenced by the act of my parents who for 30 days ritualistically prepared a joth (ghee candle) and placed it on a derelict plot of land by their house within a shelter of bricks and tiles, adhocly put together from rubble found on the site. They were advised by a saint to light the joth at sundown for thirty days to ward off negative energies. This project is explicitly personal, and explores the disparity between Indian and Western rationale through an object that expresses a confluence between two cultural ideas, values and aesthetics.

You are welcome to turn the Cairns on and off by gently touching the chrome components.

Performance
Impulse Collective Theatre Company - The Canterbury Tales

Following their smash hit Exposed at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival, young East Midlands based company Impulse Collective present their anarchic new take on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. With their trademark mix of mesmerising stories, physical theatre and projection, woven together with some of their own autobiographical tales, this show is what happens when 2014 meets the 14th Century. Expect tales of love, lust, murder and mayhem suitable for inquisitive young audiences and mischievous grown ups.

3. Further relevant information up to 150 words

This information will not be used in public materials and is your chance to tell the panel any more relevant information about the work you’re submitting. It might include:

  • Themes and concepts of the work and it’s wider context in your practice

  • Processes, techniques and methods involved in making the work


Guidance for Supporting Media

When applying for UK Young Artists’ City Takeover, we require that artists provide examples of their work to accompany their application. This is so that our selection panel can gain a deeper understanding of artists’ work and practice and make a judgement as to whether the work is appropriate for the festival. We work with artists from across all creative disciplines, so your supporting media might take various different formats, such as:

Images
Video work
Video documentation of work (performance, music, spoken word etc)
Audio files
Written words (poetry, literature)

UKYA receives a very high volume of applications for all of its opportunities, meaning that the selection panel usually has only 1-2 minutes to look at each application. Your supporting media is the first thing that the panel will look at, and this will form most of the 1-2 minutes. You might write an excellent application that addresses all of the selection criteria, but if the panel can’t see/hear/understand what your work will look like or how it will be presented, your application will not be considered. So make sure it represents your work accurately and in the highest possible quality.

UKYA has put together some guidance for providing supporting media, with tips for each format to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward.

Images
You may submit up to five images of the work that you are applying with. If successful in your application, these images will be used in press and promotional materials for the City Takeover, and across UKYA’s digital channels. Make sure these images are:

  • Clear and light, showing your work accurately and against a plain background where possible

  • For visual arts, sculpture, installation etc, it is helpful to see images of your work in situ to get a sense of the size and scale

  • For textiles and paintings or work with a high level of detail and technique, close-up images that clearly show detail are very useful, in addition to images that show the entire work

  • Maximum file size: 3MB

  • Permitted file types: jpg, gif, png, tiff

  • Images must be print quality – i.e. 300dpi - you can find this out by looking at the ‘properties’ of the image by right clicking on it in Finder (mac) or your Files window (Windows)

Here’s some examples of good image documentation:
clean and clear which shows a range of colour and potential presentation of work

  Eluned Glyn - Minimus Maximus. Image belongs to the artist.

Eluned Glyn - Minimus Maximus. Image belongs to the artist.

  Sophie Southgate Ceramics. Image belongs to the artist.

Sophie Southgate Ceramics. Image belongs to the artist.

  Ant Hamlyn - The Boost Project (left), Anna Garrett - Glitter. Garden. Garbage (right). Photo by David Severn.    This image provides context for how the work will be shown

Ant Hamlyn - The Boost Project (left), Anna Garrett - Glitter. Garden. Garbage (right). Photo by David Severn.
This image provides context for how the work will be shown

  Conor Rogers - multiple works. Photo by Laura Evans.    This image from Conor shows the scale of the work

Conor Rogers - multiple works. Photo by Laura Evans.
This image from Conor shows the scale of the work

Video
For video and performance work, you may submit up to four minutes of actual footage from your work. If successful in your application, some of these clips might be used in trailers for the City Takeover. Please make sure that the video you provide satisfies these criteria:

  • Clearly audible where there is sound

  • Clear and high quality video. Don’t submit video that is dark and blurry as the panel will not be able to properly see the work

  • If you have footage of an entire performance, select snippets of the video and create a trailer/showreel that allows the panel to get a sense of the work in a short space of time

  • Equally, if you are submitting screen based work (moving image, animation etc), editing a trailer or highlights reel is an effective way to communicate the quality of your work in a short space of time

  • Make sure that the video file is in an accessible format, for example MP4 or MOV, so that the panel can open it. If you are submitting a vimeo or YouTube link, make sure the video is publicly accessible or UKYA has been given the necessary access/passwords

Links here to examples of good video documentation:

Dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m10-QEVBiIM
Theatre: https://vimeo.com/131528896
Mixed Media Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7eeFbtzeD0
Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1lXV4doG5s
Spoken word: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFboPoSgDiA

Audio
Artists submitting work across music and sound art can submit up to four minutes of audio files, which can be across up to four separate tracks. Please ensure that the files meet these criteria:

  • Clear and high quality sound recording

  • Files must be in an accessible format, for example MP3, AAC, WAV

  • For sound work that is longer than four minutes long, please submit an edited audio showreel of the work so that the panel can grasp the progression or different stages of the work

  • You must provide some contextual information that coincides with each clearly labeled file. For example, ‘Filename “Concerto Robot” is an original composition for string quartet and MacBook. The recording is from a performance of the work at The Music House, Amsterdam, February 2018. The recording consists of short extracts of a 30 minute piece, edited to demonstrate various stages of the work’

Literature
Artists working with written words, for example poetry, storytelling or literature may submit examples of this work for the panel. If your work is usually performed, i.e spoken word or performative storytelling, we recommend that you submit video examples of this. If the work is not performed in this way then please follow this criteria for submitting work:

  • You may submit up to four examples of your writing, each no longer than 500 words

  • Please submit these in PDF format

  • If you are submitting a short story or collection of short stories, write a brief synopsis of the work or collection at the beginning of the document

  • If submitting examples of poetry, include a brief summary to contextualise the examples you have provided

How to submit your supporting information

UKYA requires you to collate all supporting media, along with your CV, in a Dropbox folder and provide the link in your application. Please follow these steps to ensure that you do this correctly. Submissions with an incorrect Dropbox link can not be considered.

  • Go to www.dropbox.com and sign in or register for a free account

  • Once logged in, go to ‘Files’ and ‘Create Folder’

  • Name this folder ‘Your Name UKYA Application’ e.g. ‘Joe Bloggs UKYA Application’

  • Upload your supporting media and CV into the folder, ensuring that they meet the file format requirements stated above

  • Check that videos and images are uploaded correctly and working within the dropbox previewer

  • Go back to ‘Files’, you should see your folder listed

  • Click on the ‘...’ to the right of the folder name

  • In the dropdown box, click ‘share’

  • When the dialogue box appears, click ‘create link’, then ‘copy link’

  • Paste the link you just copied into the ‘DROPBOX LINK’ section in your application

  • DO NOT copy the link from your browser address. This will simply direct to Dropbox Home and will not allow UKYA access to your folder

  • DO NOT share by inviting UKYA to the folder by email. The panel will use different email addresses to access the folder so it is vital to provide the sharing link to the folder

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You’re all set! Head over to the application form and submit your work for UKYA City Takeover: Nottingham 2019.

For more information about UKYA and the City Takeover, check out our Call for Entries Information Pack.

Thanks to the artists that have let us show their work and writing as excellent examples to put your best foot forward.

Jasleen Kaur
Impulse Collective Theatre Company
Eluned Glyn
Sophie Southgate
Ant Hamlyn
Anna Garrett
Conor Rogers

Laura Evans