Plymouth Platform mentoring opportunity 2020

Visual Arts Plymouth are offering a professional development opportunity for three early-career arts professionals to develop projects for Plymouth Art Weekender 2020 with support from a carefully matched mentor. 

Laura Edmunds (previous Plymouth Platform mentee)
A Soft Introduction, 2017
Image courtesy of the artist

Plymouth Platform 2020 is the third iteration of this initiative and is part of VAP’s successful project grant from Arts Council England for Plymouth Art Weekender 2019 and 2020.

VAP’s aims for the Plymouth Platform

Visual Arts Plymouth wants to continue to strengthen the development of high quality projects presented during the Plymouth Art Weekender by giving time, support and funding to realise these ambitions.  We also want to continue the creation of a Plymouth Platform peer group of professionals (both mentored and mentoring), supporting and augmenting each other’s practices and sharing techniques, research skills and practical expertise.

What’s included in the Plymouth Platform?

Following the selection process three successful applicants will be paired with a mid-career artist, curator or relevant arts professional to undertake a tailored ten month mentoring programme to include:

  • 1:1 sessions with mentors
  • support from Visual Arts Plymouth and Plymouth Art Weekender Coordinators Flock South West with finding venues and securing additional funding and professional documentation of their final exhibition/event.
  • Mentors and mentees will also be invited to present their work at Contemporary Art Membership Plymouth (CAMP) Supper Clubs.

The Plymouth Platform is expected to support early-career professionals in planning a project for the 2020 Plymouth Art Weekender. In addition to the mentoring support, each selected mentee will be awarded £500 towards their PAW 2020 project, to be spent on installation and production costs.

To create a truly bespoke mentoring programme, suitable mentors will be approached during the selection process and matched with applicants developing work in their area of expertise. Mentors will be paid a fixed fee to conduct at least five sessions and maintain dialogue between sessions.
Please note a fee is not offered to mentees.

Who should apply?

VAP will consider applications from early-career artists, curators or other professionals working within the visual arts e.g. producers, teachers, facilitators etc are also eligible. During selection we will be looking at strength of practice, promise of ideas for PAW and evidence of need for/potential benefit from mentoring. This opportunity is offered to professionals living or working in Plymouth or neighbouring rural areas. VAP is unable to offer additional travel expenses to either mentees or mentors.

Timeline & key dates

  • Deadline for applications: Monday 25th November 2019
  • Shortlisting of mentees & mentors: Week beginning 25th November
  • Interview of mentees: Week beginning the 9th December
  • Mentoring for selected applicants: December 2019 – October 2020
  • First CAMP Supper club: Date tbc January/February 2020
  • Progress review with VAP & Flock SW: Date tbc March/April 2020
  • Second CAMP Supper Club: Date tbc May/June 2020
  • Plymouth Art Weekender: 25th, 26th and 27th of September 2020
  • Evaluation session with VAP & Flock SW: Date tbc October 2020

To apply

Please send the following information as a single PDF or Word doc by email to by the deadline Monday 25th November 2019 with the subject ‘Plymouth Platform Application’:

  • Name, home address, email address, phone number.
  • Short artist statement (200 words max)
  • CV
  • Links to your work and website
  • Initial ideas about the Plymouth Art Weekender project you are interested in developing and the type of support you would want from your mentor (500 words max, which may be accompanied by max 4 images/illustrations)

Following the deadline, VAP Activators & Flock South West will shortlist applications and confirm mentors by mid December 2019 to initiate the Plymouth Platform promptly at the end of December 2019.

Interested in being a mentor?

At this point VAP are also keen to hear from mid-career artists/curators/professionals to mentor the selected artists. Eligible mentors will be added to a pool of possible mentors for consideration during the selection process and confirmed in December 2019 to start freelance contracts in Dec 2019/January 2020 (exact start dates to be determined between mentor and mentee).

Mentors will be paid £1000 to include fee and all associated expenses, we would also like selected mentors to give brief informal presentations at a CAMP Supper Club in January/February 2020 and attend the evaluation session with VAP & Flock South West in October 2020.

To register interest in being a mentor please send the following details to with the subject ‘Plymouth Platform Mentor’:

  • Your contact details
  • CV outlining relevant experience
  • Links to your work and website

If you registered interest in being a mentor for the 2017/2018 Plymouth Platform scheme your details have been kept for consideration in this third iteration of the initiative.