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Artist Call: The Royal Standard – Utopia

Deadline: 5th June 2020


The Royal Standard are inviting six outstanding artists from the North West to create a micro-commission for a new digital project responding to the theme of UTOPIA. 

Each artist’s work will be displayed on a landing page on our new website for 3 weeks at a time in between June and October. During this period, we will be working to develop a new website, gradually releasing aspects of it through the duration of our commission project. Throughout the project, we will work with artists to help them develop their project ideas – profiling their process through interviews and social media takeovers. 

Once the project is over, all the artworks will live on a project page within our online archive on the new website. 

Commission fee: £300 per artist  


Definition: Utopia – An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.

In a time of profound environmental, economic and social crisis, we invite artists to respond to ideas of UTOPIA – imagined spaces of societal perfection and a better way of living. Overnight, COVID-19 has drastically changed global living dynamics. Does this crisis offer us an opportunity to radically reinvent the world in which we live? Can we rethink how we act and connect? Can we live slower and more intentionally, bringing local and global communities together, reducing our impact on the planet and having a positive effect on a mass scale?

Utopian thinking aspires to a better world and has long been harnessed as a tool by artists to contribute to our understanding of culture and to map out future possibilities. However, some argue failed Utopian projects of the past prove radical ideas for social change are impractical and irrational schemes. We invite six artists to respond to such ideas and questions through their projects, plotting out visions and hopes for the future by responding to real or imaginary sites. 

Artists can respond to failed utopian projects, heterotopias or conceptual ideas and spaces of the artist’s own creation. Manifesting as a digital project which will mark the launch of our new website, the brief acts to prompt discussion surrounding social, economic and environmental change, technological shifts in society, and the artist’s place in social transformation. 


We will be accepting submissions from artists from a diverse range of media; including (but not exclusive to) digital, sculpture, photography, video/film, audio, illustration, installation, socially engaged practice and performance. We encourage emerging to mid-career artists to apply. 

A knowledge of online platforms will be essential during the project, however a background exclusively in digital art is not necessary and this does not need to be the basis of your practice. 


To apply for this commission, you must be:

– A visual artist living and working in the North West of England 

– Over the age of 18 

We are looking for proposals from artists of all backgrounds and abilities – we encourage artists from a BAME background &/or D/deaf or disabled artists to apply for this opportunity.


To apply, send the following documents to with the subject ‘Artist Commission’. 

– Send your CV

– An artist statement 

– A project statement explaining about your practice and how you will respond to the project brief (500 word document or 3 minute video recording)

– 5 images or videos of your practice and/or link to your website

The project fee should cover all materials and artists time in line with a-n’s Paying Artists guidelines. Responses may be image-based, but can include any format the artist wishes, including talks, video responses, online projects and reading groups. We encourage artists to consider this timeframe when making proposals, to ensure that you are paid fairly for your work.

DEADLINE: 5 June 2020 12 Midnight 

We will inform artists of our decision by 9 June 2020.

Commissions displayed on a rotating basis starting 22 June 2020.