Non-Absolute Horizons

Moving Image Commssion

horizon | həˈrʌɪz(ə)n | noun

The line at which the earth's surface and the sky appear to meet
The range or limit of any dimension in which one exists
A layer of soil or rock, or a set of strata, with particular characteristics

Obsidian Coast invites proposals from UK based artists and artist collaborations to produce a moving image project for a solo exhibition at Obsidian Coast in autumn 2020.

Sitting on the edge of our conceptual Coast*, ahead spans a curve of blue on blue. Constituting the circular parameter that determines the social, political and material conditions of our existence, horizons are boundaries that cannot be crossed and command realms of possibility. Bound to remain obscure, they pull us towards them as they infinitely recede. Horizons open up and close off, and encapsulate the remains and material imprints of times past. But rather than only representing the absolute, horizons are also malleable and contingent, and have embedded in them the potential of rupture.

Gazing at the view of our horizon from the Coast, we invite you to think past the foreseeable and expand the parameters of the possible.†

Obsidian Coast is a project space in Bradford-on-Avon, South West England, run by Nella Aarne and Sam Smith. To us as a collaborative duo, the space is a curatorial and artistic platform, and an ongoing experiment searching for new ways to live, work and build long-term friendships. Committed to feminist modes of practice rooted in generosity, alterability and sensitivity towards multiple needs and perspectives, we are constantly renegotiating the ethics of our daily interactions, and continue to learn from encounters with everyone who works with and visits us. The Coast is a site on a collaborative map, a waypoint for counter-hegemonic practice. Hosting this commission is therefore not only about the production of a new artistic project, but also about instituting specific conditions and social dynamics under which we think and work together.

With creative and artistic autonomy, the recipient of the commission will also share our values of openness and partnership. We are looking for artists with sustained interest in moving image and an aspiration to challenge established methodologies of film creation and exhibition.

In 2020 we are committed to constructing our installations with minimal environmental impact, considering the longevity and reusability of every material that enters and exits the Coast.

* Obsidian Coast is, in fact, situated inland on the River Avon, Wiltshire.
We can at least try.

What we will offer

The moving image commission will be presented as a solo exhibition at Obsidian Coast from October – December 2020. The artist or group and Obsidian Coast will co-produce the commission. An opportunity will be offered to the commission recipient to undertake a residency at Obsidian Coast during the production. Depending on the requirements of the project, Obsidian Coast will offer filmmaking resources‡ as support-in-kind during production and post-production stages.

Obsidian Coast offers a budget of £3,000 for the production of the commission. An additional budget will be offered towards the costs of the exhibition.

Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K digital camera, EF mount prime lens kit, DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone, Zoom H4N digital multitrack audio recorder, Senheiser shotgun microphone, Mac based video editing suite.

Key dates

Call for entries: Monday 28 October – Friday 29 November 2019
Informal conversations with shortlisted artists: Thursday 5 & Friday 6 December 2019
Decision announced: week commencing 9 December 2019
Development and production period: December 2019 – September 2020
Exhibition at Obsidian Coast: October – December 2020

How to apply

The commission opportunity is aimed at UK based artists and artist collaborations, who are not currently in full-time education.

Please submit a single PDF containing the following:

1. Project description (max. 300 words)
  • Overview of the concept, content and form of the project.

  • 2. Project realisation (max. 200 words)
  • Production timeline and method, any key contributors and provisional exhibition requirements.

  • 3. Statement (max. 100 words)
  • How the commission would support and expand your practice.

  • 4. CV (max. 1 page)

    5. Budget (max. 1 page)
  • A brief outline of expenditure for the £3,000 production budget.
  • If your project requires additional funds, please outline funding sources and indicate whether they are confirmed or expected.
  • Outlining installation expenditure is not expected at proposal stage.

  • 6. Visual material
  • Online link to video (max. 5 minutes).
  • Still images (optional, max. 8).

  • Email your submission to submissions[at] by midnight on Friday 29 November 2019.

    If you have any questions about the commission or application process, or would like to discuss your access needs with us, please email info[at]

    If a written submission is not your preference, we are very happy to discuss alternative ways to submit a proposal (e.g. in audio or video format).


    Open Call
    Open Call (large print, black and white)

    About Obsidian Coast

    Obsidian Coast is a space for unhurried artistic and curatorial practice outside the city proper, envisioned as an otherworldly destination opening unforeseeable horizons. We host exhibitions, residencies, events and a library project with a commitment to artist moving image and environmentally sustainable and feminist practice. Built upon a desire to approach, stay with and transform in the presence of others, the space is envisaged as a coastal ecosystem, in which ever-shifting assemblages constitute a resonant web of ideas and ways of being. On this mythical coast, the ethics of the most intimate interactions that compose everyday life constitute the fundamental conditions from which to pursue sensitive approaches to research, practice and political thought. Giving space for unhurried development of ideas and co-emergence of multiple perspectives in lasting encounters, the coast is a life-affirming abode for gathering with principles of care and generosity. Located in Bradford-on-Avon, Obsidian Coast is run by Nella Aarne and Sam Smith.