Applications open for £5,000 artist Bursary

The Maurice O’Connell Bursary, worth £5,000, is being given to commemorate the unique spirit of Maurice O’Connell, an Irish artist who lived and worked in Ireland, Northumberland and Cornwall.

Maurice brought humour and creativity together in a body of work which was distinctive for its engagement with non-professional participants. The bursary is to help an artist from any discipline to enhance or develop their skills in drawing participants into highly creative projects as Maurice did for so many people.

Maurice helped create the original vision for November Club. The thread of his imagination continues to run through our artistic programmes. Wherever he worked he always brought his unique sense of fun. He had a wonderful ability to engage and inspire audiences of all ages. He was a wonderful storyteller.

He said: “All my stories had some truth to them but rarely if ever were they as unreal as the actual events referred to... in the tradition of all story tellers it is not important if they happened but it is great fun to imagine they might have."

How to apply

Please send:
  • The completed application form.
  • A two page (A4) description of your proposal.
  • An outline budget, showing how you would spend the bursary.
  • A draft project timeline (note: projects must finish by 31 December 2020)
  • A CV including any appropriate YouTube/Vimeo links.
  • Up to 3 images.

Please send your proposal by email, with Maurice O’Connell Bursary Application in the title, to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Criteria for application

You must be a professional artist who has lived and worked for at least three years in either the Republic of Ireland, Cornwall or Northumberland during the last ten years.

Your work can be in any discipline.

Your proposal must be for a project that in some way allows you time to explore and develop an idea or a way of working that captures Maurice O’Connell’s spirit. The proposal should have participation and/or interaction with people at its heart. It might see you being attached to an organisation in some way, interacting with staff or visitors. Or may explore a theme or set of issues with a particular group of people you are keen to work with or engage.

We will not support proposals that focus on educational training or the purchase of large capital items though you may include the purchase of smaller essential items.

Your project can take place anywhere in the world. The bursary is in sterling and will be converted to euro if required, at the prevailing rate of exchange.

Your project budget is not limited to £5,000 if you can find additional funds from elsewhere. The project budget submitted to November Club should show the entire cost of your project.

As part of your project you should allow the cost of documentation so that you can tell us and others about what you learned and how you went about it.

The successful applicant will work remotely with our PR manager on sharing their project (throughout the project’s lifetime) with us through November Club’s social media platforms.

The Judges’ decision will be final.Maurice O'Connell

We will accept applications from 1 October 2019 - Monday 18 November at 5pm. We will not consider any submissions after this date. While we do not expect to hold interviews with shortlisted applicants, should the judges decide they need to do so we will inform applicants by 16 December 2019 and arrange interviews with the individuals concerned.

We will inform unsuccessful applicants by email. Unfortunately, we will not be able to enter into any correspondence with unsuccessful applicants.

The Maurice O'Connell Bursary has been made possible thanks to an annoymous donation.