Open call Hjemmefra #1

The Union is offering an artist-in-residence program “Hjemmefra/low-residency” for Norway-based visual artists working or wanting to stop working in various creative fields to stay at home and to engage in non-creation, non-production, non-thematic and non-research residency activities. The residency will offer an intimate space for reflection at the intersection of art and life practices.

The online initiative is a two-month remote and non-presential residency program for five visual artists, to work as artists in residence from their own home. This low-residency format aims to run along with the artist’s life as it is;  no relocation, no change of job, family responsibilities remain almost intact, and community involvement becomes part of the household fabric. The residency will connect participants with relevant art agents from Norway and abroad through peer-to-peer sessions, and it will provide access to an online program for sharing and exchanging ideas and processes.

Key Dates
Start of the Open Call: June 28, 2020 at 12:00
End of the Open Call: July 5, 2020 at 23:59
Start of the residency: July 15, 2020
End of the residency: September 15, 2020


“Hjemmefra/low-residency program for visual artists”
[*A low-residency program, in this context, is a form of distance artist-in-residency period designed for artists whose work and life demands both a rigorous engagement with an artistic community as well as flexibility, fluidity and a self-directed approach.]

This residency program is the first fully remote low-residency program for artists in Norway, to focus on ecologically sustainable solutions to address questions connected to the collective confusion and economic instability experienced by artists during the COVID-19 time; How to make open, inclusive, and flexible home-work models for artists? How could solidarity funding encourage the vitality of Norway’s diaspora of contemporary artists in these uncertain times? How to create creative conditions to face this unstable economic and social situation?, and most importantly, how to foster and maintain the plurality of intellectual and non-intellectual artistic narratives in Norwegian society today?

As a way to provide insight into the extraordinary situation of being confined to home during the current pandemic and as the weeks go by, the artists will collectively explore the shared challenges of being at home; the frustrations, boredom, anxiety, but also the capacity to reflect, create and connect. We do not expect the applicants to make a project proposal in advance or at all; the residency allows new ideas to develop without pressure on the completion of a piece of work or project, rather focusing on the process-oriented aspects of the artistic practice: thinking, practicing, exploring, refreshen, and experimenting on issues, challenges, and lifestyles originated since the virus outbreak. Without implementing the dynamics of pressure and fast-pace that are common in traditional artists in residency models, rather we are focusing on new, slow-pace, and unexpected approaches.

The program also aims at introducing experimental peer-to-peer support sessions by international art agents, the peers will engage in conversations about the impacts of 24/7 productivity, the productive body, doing nothing, collective rest, individual self-care, anxieties, unrest and sleep, speed and pace. This again might be a good moment in time to rethink artistic and social patterns and behavior and to remaster creative habits and rituals. Our two peers are Peruvian art writer and researcher Miguel A. López and Kenyan-German artist Syowia Kyambi.

In accordance with the non-production aspect of the residency, we’ll encourage the auto-production of the self and the refreshment of artistic practices, life and art governances, for which we give the artists the possibility to decompress and to reflect on the already known relationships generated between home (the private) and professional life (the public). This is achieved through a remote connection and inconsistent presentation of reflections, gestures, attitudes, and extended coffee breaks via remote connections. Having The Union’s team and the peers as active mediators and supporters (on a personal and professional level) at the service of the artists in residence. As well as giving the artists the possibility and the tools for sharing knowledge, progress or no-progress, and feelings, while working side by side in a virtual way. Hoping this will create a sense of community also during a home residency.


A total of five artists will receive individual monthly grants for a total of two months; the size of the monthly grant is NOK 8 000, a total of NOK 16 000. The grant is only available as a part-time endeavor (50%).

*In solidarity with Norway’s diaspora of contemporary visual artists, The Union is allocating three out of the five residency slots to members of this minority group.

Potential residents

Professional visual artists can apply for this grant to invest both in their artistic and personal training if they are working in Norway, a professional artist who is a Norwegian resident living abroad, or an artist with a close connection to Norway (e.g. the applicant has previously lived and worked in Norway). The grant will be paid monthly for two months, from July to September 2020.

This grant is not available to:

Organizations, duos, or collectives (Artists with collective and collaborative practices are welcome to apply yet individually)
Full-time students
Applicants who have another overlapping grant for the period from July to September 2020 or are the grantees of any ‘Arbeidsstipend’ and/or ‘Statens kunstnarstipend’ grant scheme in 2020

Language & engagement

Second-hand English is the common language, however, peer-to-peer sessions and follow-ups can be held in Spanish, Portuguese, German, Bantu Swahili, Slovak, Italian, Czech, and/or Norwegian (+Scandinavian).

The residents are expected to be proactive and non-active, fully and partly engaging throughout the residency period. The Union understands that these are unusual times and therefore we will provide more flexible times and schedules.


The decisions on the grants to be awarded will be made by visual artist and architect Apolonija Sustersic, Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) Director Katya García-Antón, and The Union on the basis of a peer review. Aiming to achieve a very short processing time.

To Apply

In order to safeguard the already vulnerable socio-economic situation for all artists, The Union proposes a concise and short-time method of assessment of applications in which the artists will not have to invest any money nor an unbearable amount of hours into the application process.

The application form is open, please click on the link to apply

Open Call launch: 28 June
Open Call deadline: 5 July
Announcement of grantees: Saturday, July 11
All applicants will be notified about the decisions by email and on The Union’s website

*Experimental and bold ideas will be prioritized

More information and contact details

The Union’s website:
for inquiries

Hjemmefra artists-at-home residency, 2020 is made possible with the kind support from Arts Council Norway.