The Horniman Residency

Past Project 2016 2017 2018

Annual research residency from Artquest in partnership with the Horniman Museum and Gardens from 2016-18

The Horniman Residency is part of an ongoing series of research residency partnerships with small London museums, beginning with the Foundling Museum Residency (2013-15) and continuing with the Conway Hall Residency (2019-ongoing).

2018: Helena Hunter

Helena Hunter works with methods of fictioning and performativity as critical, creative and speculative tools in her art practice. Combining visual-poetic text, performance and assemblage her practice seeks to reimagine cultural narratives in relation to objects and forms of materiality.

In 2020-21 Helena returned to the Horniman Museum for her exhibition, Falling Birds, which was developed during her residency. A series of X-ray photographs and poetic texts were on display at the Horniman Museum and Gardens to highlight the extinction and decline in bird species around the world.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More information is also in the interviews, made as part of her residency, below.


2017: Alex Julyan

The 2017 artist in residence was Alex Julyan. Alex bases her practice in London. Her work is about the ways we encounter the everyday, collectively and individually. Her aim is to disrupt and reconfigure that experience. Working with poor materials and in public spaces she makes objects, drawings, films and live events that provoke conversation, laughter and intrigue. Many of her projects are collaborative and defined by interactions and exchanges across other disciplines and with the public. Her work as a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow focused on the built environment, culminating in a 5-month construction project: The Poplar Pavilion.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In her interview below Alex talks about the discoveries she made in the music collection and her closing event, Harmony and Hullaballoo. Hosted in the Horniman Museum and Garden’s conservatory, this event included a handling display of musical instruments and maquettes, live accordion performances and a talk that took the audience through Julyan’s explorations of the museum’s world class musical instruments collection.

2016: Joshua Soafer

The 2016 residency was awarded to Joshua Sofaer who is centrally concerned with modes of collaboration and participation, which he explores through social sculpture, performance, installation, exhibition and publication. After a BA in Drama & English at Bristol University, Joshua went on to complete an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design and was subsequently awarded a PhD from Dartington College of Arts. Sofaer was a winner of the first Bank of America CREATE Art Award and was the first Artist Fellow on the 2010/11 Clore Leadership Programme.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Joshua  produced a blog about his experiences on the residency that you can read here.

In this  series of  interviews, artist Joshua Sofaer introduces his practice and talks with Horniman Museum and Artquest about his discoveries during the residency.

The Award

The selected artists received:

  • An award of £3000 to engage with the work and collections of the museum
  • An additional award of £850 towards a public facing event showcasing the thinking and research undertaken during the residency
  • Privileged access to museum’s music collection objects and curators

About the Horniman Museum

The Horniman Museum and Gardens was established by tea trader Frederick John Horniman, who began collecting objects, specimens and artefacts ‘illustrating natural history and the arts and handicrafts of various peoples of the world’ from around 1860. His overarching mission was to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill’ and educate and enrich the lives of the local community.