Craig Easton, Mohammed Afzal, ‘Birdman of Bank Top’, 2020. Courtesy the artist.

Student Micro Commission Opportunity: Is Anybody Listening: Our Time, Our Place

Are you a final year BA student or current MA student with an interest in socially engaged and documentary photography? Do you want to gain valuable experience of being commissioned to make new work? – ideal for your CV!

We are inviting applications from students in response to the exhibition Is Anybody Listening: Our Time, Our Place. The exhibition includes 2 series of photographs by alumnus Craig Easton, Sony World Photographer of the Year 2021: Bank Top and Thatcher’s Children.

Deadline: 9am, Tuesday 9th May 2023.


It is a significant occasion for a Northwest artist – Craig Easton – to win Sony World Photographer of the Year (2021) with his series Bank Top, created in Blackburn, as well as second place in the documentary category for Thatcher’s Children, made in Blackpool. Due to Covid-19, we were unable to celebrate this achievement within his home region.

Easton tackles stereotypes and responds to the negative way in which the main-stream media often portrays Northern communities. The relevance of Easton’s work has resurfaced in a new light as communities endure the cost-of-living crisis and face new challenges and segregation. Our Time Our Place is a touring exhibition, engagement programme and symposium delivered in partnership with University of Salford, LeftCoast, Open Eye, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery and the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum. The exhibition is displayed at Blackpool School of Art from 11th April – 31 May.


We are offering four graduating artists an opportunity to make new work, along with a platform to showcase it, and mentoring to support the process.

The commissions aim to bridge the gaps between graduation and career launch – as well as developing connections between the University Art Collection, audiences and heritage. The four selected artists will take the exhibition Is Anybody Listening? Our Time, Our Place as a starting point – assessing how it engages people – and then take steps to involve themselves more deeply in the issues and communities of their own lived experience.

We are offering four awards of £1500 each for commissions in response to the themes in the exhibition. As well as the cash award you will also receive mentoring by Gwen Riley Jones. The selected photographers will be expected to produce new work between June – September 2023, which will be displayed in New Adelphi atrium from Nov – Dec 2023 (coinciding with the Craig Easton exhibition in New Adelphi Exhibition Gallery which launches in September and also runs to

How to apply and the selection process

Micro residency (University of Salford, School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology)
Please send a CV, images of past work and a covering letter no larger than 10 MB to: by 9am Tuesday 9th May (Extended Deadline).

Explain why you are interested in this opportunity (300 words) and how you would respond to this brief (300-500 words). Please keep your CV no longer than 2 pages of A4 and include two references from recent or current employers/ clients/ lecturers. All applications will be acknowledged with an email receipt. Should you be shortlisted, we will invite you to interview.

Interviews expected to take place Wednesday 24th May.

For more information please contact: Rowan Pritchard:


A total of £1500 is available per micro-commission. This includes your fee and all expenses such as materials, public liability insurance, expenses, site visit, meetings, user events, administration, meetings, VAT.

Is Anybody Listening? Our Time, Our Place – Timeline

Open Eye, Liverpool – Exhibition and engagement programme
January 2023 – April 2023

LeftCoast and Blackpool School of Art – Exhibition and engagement programme
April 2023- June 2023

Blackburn Museum and Arts Gallery – Engagement programme
June 2023- July 2023

University of Salford -Exhibition and engagement programme including micro-commissions
September 2023- December 2023

Williamson Art Gallery and Museum – Exhibition, engagement programme and symposium
January 2024 – March 2024