Fourth DARE Art Prize opens for applications


Challenging artists and scientists to collaborate on new approaches to the creative process, the next DARE Art Prize, awarded by the University and Opera North, is open for applications.

Now in its fourth year, the prize is part of the ground-breaking DARE partnership between the the University and Opera North, in association with the National Science and Media Museum and The Tetley. It will be awarded to an innovative, ambitious artist with an original proposal for creative works in partnership with leading scientific researchers at the University.

The prize offers a bursary of £10,000 paid quarterly over twelve months, a budget of up to £5,000 for resources to create and present new work, and the chance to engage with scientific researchers and artists who share a vision, and whose specialist expertise can support the creation of something new.

There are further opportunities for residencies at the National Science and Media Museum and The Tetley. Access to musicians, studio space and resources from Opera North may also be available.

Previous winners

The three past prizewinners have each interacted with the work of the University and Opera North in very different, but equally inventive, ways; bridging the gulf between two fields that are often seen as mutually exclusive.

Poet and visual artist Redell Olsen won the prize in 2020-21 and overcame pandemic restrictions by working remotely with scientists at the University’s BioDAR insect radar unit, singers and music staff at Opera North, and objects in the collection of the National Science and Media Museum. 
Poems, collages and a Handel opera restaged for moths were among her unexpected, often poignant, body of works “somewhere between artistic, poetic and scientific research”, in the words of the artist.

Artist and researcher Anna Ridler (2018-19) spent her tenure investigating the points at which artificial and human intelligence coincide. Applying theories about the brain’s response to unfamiliar tasks, with the collaboration of staff in the School of Psychology, she taught a machine to draw and employed an algorithm to process musical scores.

Samuel Hertz, winner of the inaugural prize, worked with low-frequency infrasound to delve into climatology, the environment and the paranormal, with outcomes including a musical transcription of a glacier melting.

How to apply

Individual, independent artists or collectives working in any discipline are invited to apply for the 2022/23 DARE Art Prize by submitting a CV and a 500-word proposal or a video (up to a maximum of five minutes), that summarises the area of their scientific interest and a genuine wish to engage with academic researchers, expertise and resources at the University. The proposal could be part of an existing body of work or an entirely new project for the artist.

Applications should be sent to before 12 noon GMT on Thursday 31 March 2022. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview on 6 May to discuss their practice and their proposal in greater detail.

Further information

For media enquiries email University of Leeds Press Officer Emma Barnes at