News & Events

Launch of WaterLANDS call for artists

Published: Thursday, 03 November, 2022

Image of wetlands with text opportunity for artists

The Horizon 2020 WaterLANDS project, which is co-hosted by the Earth Institute with UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, has launched an ambitious programme promoting artistic engagement with restoration works through part time residencies spanning four years. 

The EU-funded project announced six open calls for artists in residence in Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. WaterLANDS will provide funding to support artistic engagement with the protection and restoration of wetlands as well as with local communities.

Funded under the EU Green Deal, WaterLANDS is a five-year, €23.6 million project led by University College Dublin. WaterLANDS aims to restore damaged wetlands across Europe and lay the foundations for upscaling protection across wider areas. Initial landscape restoration works will be targeted at six “Action Sites”: Dragoman Marsh (Bulgaria), the Pärnu catchment (Estonia), Cuilcagh-Anierin Uplands Special Area of Conservation (Ireland), Venice Lagoon (Italy) the Ems-Dollard estuary (the Netherlands), and the Great North Bog (United Kingdom).

Each of the six Action Sites will employ one artist to complete a residency. The residency will be on a part-time basis of up to one month per year for four years (2023-2026). Artists will receive a fee, as well as funding for travel and production costs. Exact arrangements  vary per site and are specified in the individual country briefs linked below. Each artist will work with a host institution who will support and manage their residency. A Residency Coordinator based in University College Dublin will support the artists and facilitate cross-pollination and communication across the six sites.

The residencies will require artists to engage with the Action Site and the surrounding communities to create work that is informed by the site and local landscape restoration. At the end of each year, artists will participate in public workshops, which will be facilitated by the Residency Coordinator. 

By the final year of the project (2026), resident artists are requested to create artwork(s) inspired by the local landscape restoration. This will culminate with an exhibition at the final project event, where the artwork will be represented. Artists will travel to the final event and participate in a panel discussion to reflect on the creation process.

Wetlands have influenced and intrigued their local communities for centuries, inspiring many aspects of culture from music to poetry, art and social rituals. This residency program is a key part of WaterLANDS’ holistic, interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to creating resilient, healthy wetland landscapes that will both co-exist with, and support their local communities. 

Caitriona Devery, WaterLANDS Residency Coordinator, Earth Institute, UCD said,

“Art and science are both driven by curiosity. They each have the power to captivate audiences and communicate complex ideas. By working with artists on the WaterLANDS project, our goal is to bring artists’ unique perspectives into the scientific and community engagement processes and to promote greater understanding of wetland ecosystem restoration. I’m excited to get this collaboration underway and to work with artists all over Europe on this ambitious initiative”.

Deadline for applications is 13 January 2023.

For more information about the call for artists, including application criteria for the six sites:

Find out more about the project: