Gongoozler is an open call residency, exhibition, and professional development opportunity on the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes taking place between July – November 2017. Gongoozler has been created by the Canal and River Trust in celebration of Milton Keynes 50th Birthday, as part of a diverse cultural programme taking place across the city throughout 2017.

Visual or performance artists/collectives of emerging national significance are invited to apply *


A Gongoozler is a person who enjoys watching activity on the UK canals.

The selected artist(s) are invited to immerse themselves in the life of the Grand Union Canal through the locus of the MK Marina, on the towpaths, and from on board a dedicated canal boat. Welcomed into this fluid, waterborne culture; with access to a canal side studio and marina infrastructure – the artist will intimately explore technologies, relationships, species, architecture or motives at play within the alternative boater way of life.

The artist(s) will share their methods directly with boaters and towpath users on site and at the MK Gallery, through a series of workshops/events, meet established artists from Arts on the Waterway and MK Gallery, receive mentorship, and create new public artwork for performance/exhibition on site in October.

The artist(s) and the new work created will ultimately enable the re-discovery of canal life and contemporary art from new perspectives, bringing new audiences to the arts and more people to this unique place to re-imagine the canal, and each other.

An art writer will be commissioned to write a piece on the work that will be published through MK Gallery and the Canal & River Trust’s dedicated MK50 fanzine.

Following the residency documentation of the project will be exhibited in Milton Keynes.

Fee: £9500 inclusive of artist time (approx. 30 days) materials, installation/production costs and expenses.

*Artist or collectives of emerging national significance are described as: semi – professional artists, largely based in the UK, who can demonstrate an emerging trajectory, and / or are within 5 years or completing post graduate studies.

Closing date for applications: Monday 15th May 2017



Applicants are required to fill in a short application form, submit a one side A4 CV, and up to 5 videos / images via the portal.

Before you apply please ensure you are available for:

Interview – 8th 9th 12th June 2017

Canal Boat occupation 7 – 14 days within the period 1st – 16th July 2017


15th May 2017 Closing date for applications
26th May 2017Shortlisted artists invited to interview
8th 9th or 12th June 2017 (TBC) Artist Interviews at Canal and River Trust head office, Milton Keynes
W/B 12th June Successful artist / collective notified
W/B 19th June Successful artist / collective announced

Artist will be expected to be committed from July – November 2017 as follows:

July 2017 Initial research phase of residency including: - canal boat occupation 7-14 days within first two weeks of July - meeting selected artists working on Arts on the Waterways
August 2017 Second phase of residency including: - public engagement events or workshops x 2 - mentorship, Neville Gabie
September 2017 Third phase including: - preparation of work for exhibition / performance - mentorship, Neville Gabie
October 2017 Exhibition / performance on Grand Union Canal
November 2017Evaluation / reflection


Chair: Neville Gabie – Artist

Emily Nicholas – Development and Engagement Manager, South East Waterway, Canal & River Trust

John Best – Chair, South East Waterway Forum

Antony Spira – Director MK Gallery

Andrew Richards – Manager MK Marina

TBC – Representative Grand Union Canal Boaters


The residency is managed by Lisa Meaney on behalf of the Canal & River Trust
Contact Lisa Meaney: / 07984626380

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