Past Project 2016

Lifeboat in 2016 ran as a residency and career support award for recent MA graduates from University of the Arts London.

Lifeboat supports up to 4 fine artists developing a practice and career in the first year after graduation by providing them with a free studio space (in ACAVA’s Limehouse studios), a peer mentoring group and bespoke crit programme. Awardees received feedback from, and built relationships with, established art world figures, including Cathy Lomax (artist and director of Transition Gallery) and Steve Fletcher (of Caroll/Fletcher)

Over the course of the residency we be conducted interviews with the resident artists about their experiences. You can listen to these interviews with Verity Slade and Roshanna Rubin Mayhew below or read an interview with Rosemary Cronin here. 

The selected artists for Lifeboat in 2016 are:

Rosemary Cronin, an artist concerned with psychoanalysis, gender and gender politics; often adopting the role of artist/archivist during the process of the work, her practice is driven by research and presented through performance, print, sculpture and installation. Taking off from ‘Anarchitecture’, a current research area is ‘Anarchivism’ particularly with female figures from history and pop culture, such as Dusty Springfield, Ida Bauer and Isadora Duncan. Work has been exhibited at The Wallace Collection, The National Portrait Gallery, ICA London and South London Gallery. Artist Educator projects/workshops inform the practice and research, working with: Tate, Centre Pompidou, The Photographers’ Gallery, Gerald Moore Gallery and South London Gallery.

Libby Heaney is fascinated by the underlying nature of reality.  She first started to explore this during her award winning PhD in quantum physics and now uses that scientific knowledge in an interdisciplinary fine art practice.  Libby makes interactive installations, prints and sculptures that challenge the audience to reassess the world around us.  Working in both natural materials and with digital elements including projection, sensors and robotics, she oscillates between working intuitively and spontaneously with her hands and working in a quick, analytical way with mathematics and coding.

Verity Slade is a London based illustrator and artist. She has a BA in Fine Art from the University of Reading and recently completed an MA in Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. She has worked as a freelance illustrator and t-shirt designer as well as a founding organiser of Brighton Illustration Fair. Her work focuses on the appropriation of American mass culture references and simulacra, and is often executed in a comic, graphic style. Having worked in a range of media including print, sculpture and installation work, she will be utilising the LIFE BOAT residency space to produce large scale and ambitious works that build upon the theme of her MA research; the great American road trip.

Roshana Rubin-Mayhew works with raw material, image, object and sound through a disruptive and transformative process, to create sculptural installations. In this constellation of things, she collapses notions of the infinite and intangible into physical form. Rubin-Mayhew’s work is interdisciplinary in thought, drawing reference from and connection between science, philosophy and psychology.

The award

The Lifeboat award provides:

  • A free shared studio space for 12 months
  • A bespoke crit programme with visits from gallerists, artists, curators and writers
  • Support in establishing a self-run peer mentoring group
  • Support in running a public event during the course of the residency


To be eligible to apply for this residency you must

  • Have completed an MA (or MFA) course at one of UAL’s colleges in the past year
  • Have an interdisciplinary fine art approach to your practice – fine artists whose work crosses the boundaries between arts practice and other disciplines such as filmmaking, performance, ceramics, craft/making, photography and writing.
  • Not be enrolled in a full or part time course of study at any level during the course of the residency.


Residency awardees must:

  • Attend the studio a minimum of 16 hours a week.
  • Produce x 3 pieces of online content over the course of the residency sharing your experiences of living and working as an artist.
  • Run your own peer mentoring group in addition to formally facilitated crits taking part as part of the LIFE BOAT programme.
  • Give a presentation about your practice to UAL students and graduates as part of the Careers and Employability department’s talk’s programme.
  • Organise and host a Pop Up Common Room event in your studio mid-way through the residency (additional funding will be available to support this)

This programme is funded by UAL’s ArtsTemps programme, with support from the Postgraduate Community at UAL. The programme is managed by Artquest in partnership with ACAVA.

Pop Up Common Room Event: Lifeboat Studio Residency

This event ran as part of the Postgraduate Community’s Pop Up  Common Room events series took place on Saturday 5th November 2016. Lifeboat residency artists talked about about sustaining their practices a year on from UAL.

The event was chaired by Lucy Day, a curator and arts professional with extensive knowledge of the UK art world. Lucy Day initially trained and practiced as an artist, graduating in 1989, going on to work as curator at the artist led space, The Commercial Gallery and Commercial Too and then as a freelance curator, writer and consultant in artists’ professional development. She joined SPACE Studios in 2000, leaving in 2005 as Director of Arts Training and Resources and Co-Director of Exhibitions. In 2006 she formed Day + Gluckman curating partnership with Eliza Gluckman. Their current project A Woman’s Place, recently received funding from the Arts Council of England and the National Trust. Lucy is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Visiting Practitioner for UAL, a commissioned writer on visual arts practice and exhibitions, and an advisor to arts organisations including a-n – The Artists Information Company and Artquest.