We are now inviting applications for Into the Wild 2020 – an artist development programme for recent BA graduates and those with equivalent experience.

About the Programme

Now in its sixth year, this unique, free course supports and challenges artists in the early stages of their careers by offering opportunities for creative development and by providing practical advice on how to survive and thrive in the world beyond art school. Such as, how to create opportunities, get funding, write applications, work with galleries/curators, be critical of institutions, build and work with audiences, work collectively, make your own art world, juggle things (metaphorically), stay confident, find spaces, expand networks, be proactive, create alternatives and change things.

This year Into the Wild will be led by artist Sophie Chapman and Artist Development Coordinator Rosie Hermon. Through talks, workshops and mentoring by artists and key industry professionals, participants will be empowered to explore their practices and better understand the diversity of ways to succeed and flourish in their lives and work.

Into the Wild 2020 kicks-off with a two-day intensive 1-2 February where participants will meet the team and each other and explore their development needs for the programme.

The taught course will run 10 February to 30 March 2020 on Mondays 11am – 5pm and will include inspiring and informative talks with invited guest speakers and Chisenhale Studio Artists, as well as some offsite visits.

Following the taught course, participants will complete tailored research projects in association with external organisations which will provide a context for developing new work. Throughout the year, there will be opportunities to work with external organisations and individuals, including via our partnership with Grow Hackney (a bar/ creative space in Hackney Wick), as well as encouragement and support to create self-led projects and events. Participants will also be matched with a relevant artist from the studios for a one-to-one mentoring session. The programme will culminate in a group show at Chisenhale Studios.

The 14 artists selected for Into the Wild will be expected to participate fully, attending all scheduled sessions each Monday for eight weeks starting February 2020 and committing to involvement in events, research/learning activities and the final group show, through to late October 2020. The expected commitment is a minimum of one day per week throughout the programme, from the beginning of February to the end of October. Into the Wild is supported by Arts Council England, Idlewild Trust and the artists at Chisenhale Studios who each pay a levy and give their time. There is no fee required to participate in or apply to Into the Wild.

Here’s a cacophony of what some of the previous Wildies said they gained from the programme: “authentic methods of being an artist and sustaining your practice as a long term career”, “shone light on the (mysterious) professional aspects of the arts that are severely lacking in schools”, “helped me to plant the seeds for the next few projects I’m working on”, “put in touch with really interesting practitioners and organisations with talks of working together on something in the future”, “because of Into The Wild I have a studio, close friends and lots of new artist friends”, “we were able to influence and shape the programme as we experienced it”, “the mix of schools and pedagogies made for fruitful conversation and debate”, “we have crits regularly, we go to see each other’s shows, we collaborate…my life is totally different now to when I started Into The Wild”.

Background Information

Chisenhale Studios is part of Chisenhale Art Place which occupies a unique position in London’s East End art community, providing a distinctive platform for local and international artists and audiences. Founded in 1980 by artists determined to find their own premises, Chisenhale Art Place now houses three flourishing and distinct initiatives: Chisenhale Dance Space, Chisenhale Gallery and Chisenhale Studios. The Studios provide affordable workspace to both established and emerging artists; their work promotes a wider understanding of a broad range of contemporary artistic practice through events, residencies and an award-winning public programme of which Into the Wild is part.


Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 February 2020 and Mondays between 10 February and 30 March 2020 (11am-5pm daily). External research projects will be in spring/summer 2020 – duration and location responding to themes that emerge during the course. The programme is based in the ground floor Education Room at Chisenhale Studios, Chisenhale Art Place, 64-84 Chisenhale Rd, London E3 5QZ but there will be occasional travel to other local sites and paid for trips outside of London. Chisenhale Studios education room is fully wheelchair accessible and has an accessible toilet.

Who can apply?

Practicing artists based in England who have completed BA degree courses at least 1 year ago, but less than 4 years ago (2016, 2017 and 2018 graduates) and are keen to explore practical and inspiring ideas to develop and sustain their careers. We will also consider artists who don’t have an arts BA but have undertaken an equivalent level of training/education and are at the same stage in their careers. We will not consider artists who have completed an MA. Please do not apply if you cannot commit to participating fully.

We are looking for artists who are ambitious, open, questioning, and supportive of others. We will select artists on the basis of how much we think they will gain from and contribute to the programme. 14 artists will be selected for the programme, covering a range of practices.

Into the Wild specifically seeks to address the inequality that exists within access to development opportunities in the arts. Therefore, there is an emphasis on underrepresented voices and those that feel they are facing barriers in access to the artworld. For example, this could be associated with race, disability, age, gender identity, sexuality or class, or other economic, social or geographic barriers. We would also like to address the historically London-centric focus of the programme, so this year we are aiming to recruit 50% of participants from outside of London.

Travel: To encourage non-London based artists to apply we offer a small travel bursary fund to artists travelling from beyond Greater London. Please state on your application if you would like to be considered for this.

How to apply

You can apply through a written or a video application.
Download the application form templates:
Written Application
Video Application

To submit application please email: intothewild@chisenhale.co.uk

If you have any questions in advance of applying or would like to discuss your application, you can email rosie@chisenhale.co.uk by 16 December 2019.

Deadline: Applications for a place on the programme must be received by midnight Sunday 12 January 2020.

Submissions must be sent in ONE of the two following formats:

  1. Download and complete the written application form template, which includes space to answer the application questions (which you can also see below) and to insert images or attach links to your practice. Once completed, please save with your name in the document (for example ‘Jane Smith Into the Wild’) and submit as a PDF or Word Doc that does not exceed 5MB.
    Written Application


  1. Download and complete the video application form template, which includes space for you to add a link to a video file, up to 5 minutes in length and which answers the application questions (which you can also see below), and space to insert images or attach links to your practice. Once completed, please save with your name in the document (for example ‘Jane Smith Into the Wild’) and submit as a PDF or Word Doc that does not exceed 5MB.
    Video Application

Application Questions:

  1. Why do you want to take part in the Into the Wild programme & what do you want to get out of it? Your response could include questions you feel are unresolved from your time studying, or issues you have faced in being able to make your work since. (max 300 words)
  2. Why is it important at this stage of your career? This might include examples of ambitions you have for your work in the future, what you feel your practice is lacking at the moment, and what you have done to date. (max 250 words)
  3. Please reflect on and tell us about any challenges or barriers that you feel you are facing as an emerging artist. For example, these could be related to finding peers or a place for your practice, personal challenges, or reflections on inequalities within the art world or wider society that you feel are impacting your work. (max 100 words)
  4. Name 3 art/life things you have done since you left college, that give us a sense of who you are and what you’re up to. This could include holding shows or events with your friends, gigs you have played, drawings you have made, moving house, getting other work or learning something new. (max 250 words)

Supporting images/media:

Include in your application text, media links and images from previous/current projects or pieces of work (or illustrations of ideas for development). No more than three A4 pages, with images saved at a low resolution. It may be useful to annotate documentation with captions to give context. We will only view/listen to one minute of a supporting media content, so if submitting links to sound/video please give extracts or note which part you want us to look at.

Applications must be received by midnight on Sunday 12 January 2020.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified by 17 January and will then be asked to complete a creative task, before final selection is made by 20 January.

More information on previous years of Into the Wild can also be found a dedicated website here.

Download this call as a pdf here.