Astrid Butt at YSP

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) has launched the 2024 Yorkshire Graduate Award that offers a residency opportunity for a graduate artist to develop their practice.

For over 47 years, artist residencies have been at the heart of YSP, offering opportunities for emerging artists to reflect on and move forward with their creative practice Launched in 2018 to help nurture regional artistic talent, the Award attracts an eclectic mix of entries that feature a variety of mediums including sculpture, performance, film, photography and audio sound. The residency is open to recently graduated BA or MA artists, from any Yorkshire-based university. The winner will be invited to work on-site during the autumn/winter of 2024 or spring 2025.

The Award offers a residency of up to two weeks at the Park, including onsite accommodation, access to facilities such as metal and wood workshops, and time with the YSP technical team. The recipient also receives a £750 fee and £250 for materials to develop new ideas, as well as invaluable support from YSP’s curatorial team.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for an early-career artist to reflect on their practice, experiment with new ideas and consider next steps” explained Louise Lohr, YSP’s Deputy Curator. “Every year we see exceptionally talented graduates submitting their work, so it is in an incredibly difficult task choosing just one award winner.”


Previous winners include Leeds-based Astrid Butt in 2023-24 who uses animal-human hybrid characters to explore gender, motherhood and domestication. Studying for a Master’s Degree in Fine Art at University of Leeds, her work has developed from a feminist perspective. Influenced by the mood and style of classic David Lynch horror films, Butt utilised YSP’s 500-acre parkland to full effect shooting expansive and atmospheric footage for her new short film.

Butt explained: “When I began applying for this award last year, I couldn’t have envisioned the doors that it has opened for me artistically. This has been my first residency and it has been life changing to say the least.

“Getting the Yorkshire Graduate Award has been an incredible opportunity. The time I have spent at the Park has been unforgettable. As a Fine Art graduate, it is increasingly difficult to find a fulfilling career that matches your skillset or balance a full-time job with your artistic practice. Yorkshire Sculpture Park has given me the opportunity to balance my skills, compensate me for my work and time, and given me a platform to share my art with the public, for which am endlessly thankful.”

Anyone who is interested in applying for the Award can submit a PDF document of up to 5 pages including a short statement on their current practice, information about their final degree work, images of their wider work and a simple outline of their plans if they were to be offered the residency. This plan doesn’t have to be definitive and can change and evolve during the course of the residency.

YSP accepts the written elements of the application as audio recordings, videos or voice notes of up to 5 minutes. YSP welcomes applications from all artistic disciplines and all access needs will be considered. For more information about the scheme go to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park website. Deadline for entries is July 19, 2024.