Open Call: Self-funded AIR (Winter 2021)

The Bag Factory's accepting applications for its self-funded AIR (artist in residence) programme from international artists who would benefit from a period of uninterrupted time to focus on developing their work. Joint applications are also welcome for a maximum of two people.

Please kindly note that this is a self-funded residency; as such the Bag Factory will NOT be able to assist with costs of the residency, accommodation, travel or living expenses.

If the selected artist is applying for funding we will support your application with a letter of invitation confirming the residency dates and costs. 

Start Date for Residency: 1 June 2021
End Date for Residency: 27 August 2021

Application Deadline: Sunday 1 November 2020, midnight (SAST)

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by 30 November 2020. The successful artist will be required to sign a Residency Agreement and pay a non-refundable deposit equal to one month's residency costs by 26 February 2021.

About the Bag Factory:

The Bag Factory is a professional studio space, located on the border of the vibrant suburbs of Fordsburg and Newtown in Johannesburg. We have been operating for more than 29 years and have a stable community of artists from a wide variety of backgrounds. The studio space and its community strive for an open, non-hierarchical creative environment that promotes exchange and experimentation. Artists from all over the world have come to the Bag Factory to work alongside our talented artists and to meet, work, and grow within South Africa’s economic capital. International artists will benefit from additional administrative and peer support, and an introduction to the Johannesburg art scene, from Bag Factory staff. 

Residency Costs:

1 person: R 21,000 (approx. € 1,100 / $ 1,300) for 3 months (includes studio rental, office support, and participation in an open studio event at the end of the artist's residency).

2 people sharing: R 23,000 (approx. € 1,200 / $ 1,400) for 3 months (includes studio rental, office support, and participation in an open studio event at the end of the artists' residency).

The artist(s) should budget approx. R 15,000 (€ 700 / $ 900) per person/per month for accommodation and basic living expenses.

About the Studio:

One studio measuring approx. 23 square meters.

Studios are strictly non-residential and are accessible 7 days a week.

There is WiFi access and studio artists will have access to all communal facilities in the building including a shared kitchen.

The Bag Factory building is a converted factory warehouse with poor insulation and studios are only divided up to 2.4 m. As such we are unable to provide effective heating to the studios. We can provide a gas heater, but please note that the cost for refilling gas bottles is at the artist's expense (approx. R 220 per week).

The Bag Factory is unable to provide accommodation but we can recommend affordable options in close proximity to the studios.

Selection and Eligibility:

Applications are open to self-funded artists based anywhere in the world.

The artist must be able to cover their own costs for travel, visa, insurance, living and residency, or provide confirmation of funding by 26 February 2021. 

Application Procedure:

  • We accept digital applications only.
  • Your application should include the following in ONE PDF file only:
    1. A portfolio containing a minimum of 20 images of different artworks
    2. A curriculum vitae
    3. A cover sheet with name, contact address, e-mail and telephone numbers, plus confirmation that you will be available from 1 October, if selected. The residency dates are non-negotiable.
  • Applications that do not follow this format will not be considered.
  • Please note that there is a 10MB limit on pdf submissions. If your file is not in pdf format or is over 10MB your application will not be reviewed.

For more information or TO APPLY, email:

Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed.