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We are seeking an Artist-in-Residence

We have launched Waterloo Well, a programme of creative and wellbeing activities for homeless and vulnerable people, and we are looking for an artist to work within a local homelessness centre.

Could you play a leading role in piloting this new service? We’re looking for an artist to complete a residency programme in collaboration with a day-centre in Waterloo dedicated to providing care and support to the homelessness community in the heart of London. This project is one of the series of exciting ventures we are launching in the coming weeks as part of Waterloo Well.

Waterloo Well is St John’s Waterloo and the Bridge at Waterloo’s response to Covid-19. We’re working with local hostels for homeless people and partner organisations to provide therapy, shared reading as informal group therapy, creative activities, gardening, employment and resilience training for homeless people and other local people for whom life’s challenges are now even more acute.

St John’s Waterloo is not only a landmark building in the heart of London but also curates a varied artistic programme of professional and amateur orchestras, ensembles, visual art, community events and the annual Waterloo Festival. As a community venue, church and organisation, we are deeply committed to being here for our community, using our own resources in partnership with other like-minded institutions. The artist-in-residence programme will sit at the heart of our creative engagement with the local homelessness community this winter.

The residency comes out of conversations we have been having with local homelessness organisations and homeless people themselves. We are seeking:

  • to develop new creative relationships between artists and the centre’s guests,

  • to increase creative engagement by centre’s guests,

  • to offer an opportunity for an artist to work in new environments,

  • to improve the wellbeing of all involved, and

  • to draw attention to the plight of the homeless through the powers of creativity.

At the core of this commitment are 12 days of in-house work at a Waterloo day-centre for the homeless, spread over a 5-month period between January and May 2021. The artist, who will report to the Artistic Director of St John’s and the day-centre’s Support Engagement Officer, will be asked to curate sessions which engage the residents through creative means. The artist will be asked to document their stay for both internal and external use.

What are we looking for? We are looking to introduce an artist to a local day-centre where they will set-up and run a creative programme of activities. This programme will be drawn up by the artist themselves in communication with the team at the day-centre who can advise, from their own experiences. At the end of the residency, we shall seek to exhibit the collaborative work created by the artist and the centre’s guests - in any form and in discussion with the Artistic Director - at Waterloo Festival 2021*.

Who are we looking for? We are looking for an artist who

  • has experience in co-creation and creative partnerships, particularly with people who are vulnerable,

  • will be able to build trusting relationships with homeless participants and with those who support them,

  • is committed to sharing their creative skills and interests with the guests of the day-centre,

  • would generate a creative programme that synergises their own artistic interests with the interests and aspirations of the day-centre’s staff and guests,

  • (whose) practice will benefit from interacting with other people, particularly vulnerable people who so often feel they are devoid of agency,

  • is ready to document the experience and work, for internal and external uses,

  • is empathetic, friendly, calm and accessible,

  • is reliable and organised,

  • can demonstrate experience of working flexibly and ethically to improve the mental health and wellbeing of vulnerable adults, and

  • is capable of adapting to changing scenarios and environments.

We particularly encourage applications from people living or working within Lambeth and Southwark, those with backgrounds that are currently under-represented or under-supported within the arts sector as well as people with knowledge or experiences of homelessness. We do not have a set preference for the genre of art (i.e. visual, digital, performance, music, etc.) within which the artist usually works though we are particularly interested in artists with experiences and/or interests across several fields.

Employer: The Bridge at Waterloo, registered charity of St John’s Waterloo

Accountable to: The Trustees of the Bridge at Waterloo

Line Manager: Artistic Director of St John’s Waterloo

This is a part time post of 12 days (specific days and times to be agreed), spread over 6 months.

Fee: £250/day + £400 bursary towards material costs

Looking after our visitors: St John’s and TBAW are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers interacting with these groups to share this commitment. This position will be subject to satisfactory DBS and reference checks.

To apply:

  • Send your CV, describing and including a list of your work as an artist with links or examples attached.

  • Attach a cover letter (max. 2 sides) explaining why you think you are suitable for this role, listing your skills, interests and previous experiences working with homeless/vulnerable people. We are particularly interested to hear how you would go about approaching this residency and what kind of activities you will pursue.

  • Additionally, send us the contact details of two referees and state whether we may contact them now.

Applications should be sent to Ewa Wicskowska at

For any further information, contact Euchar Gravina (Artistic Director, St John’s Waterloo) at

Closing date: 5pm, 1st December 2020

Interviews: Thursday, 10th December 2020

Start: first week of January 2021


*Waterloo Festival 2021, curated by St John’s Waterloo in and around the local area, will take place between May and June and feature a series of live events and online content. The Festival will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Festival of Britain (for which much of the South Bank and St John’s was rebuilt), capturing its post-war spirit of hope and creativity as we strive for a more egalitarian and sustainable post-pandemic future.

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