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Call for Artists: RELAY 2023

By 13/02/2023March 28th, 2023News, PhotoIreland, PhotoIreland Festival, RELAY
RELAY Mentorship Programme

RELAY Mentorship Programme
2023 Call for Artists


PhotoIreland opens a call for Irish and Ireland-based artists to join the new artist-driven mentorship programme RELAY, running over a period of three months (April-May-June), and to present the resulting output during PhotoIreland Festival in July-August 2023.

RELAY is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin City Council, and The Digital Hub. The RELAY mentorship programme for the 14th edition of PhotoIreland Festival is open specifically for artists of the African diaspora living in Ireland. The facilitator selected for the 2023 mentorship programme is artist Alice Rekab. 

PhotoIreland invites all artists who consider themselves emerging or feel they may not receive the same opportunities or visibility as their peers to participate and benefit from the programme. Some examples of such artists may be recent graduates, those who are making a career change, artists who are self trained, those who are parents, or who self-identify as part of an underrepresented community.

PhotoIreland focuses on practices engaging broadly with representation, identity and the image, and with RELAY, it encourages cross-disciplinary approaches; it is aimed at those who wish to experiment and expand the ways in which they make their work and to cultivate new ideas on what they make and how it is presented or seen and experienced in the world. Artists of all visual arts practices are invited to apply, from filmmaking, textile, painting, photography, sculpture, performance etc.

The mentorship programme will reflect and engage every year with the changing themes and ambitions of PhotoIreland Festival, which in 2023 aims to draw conversations from the African diaspora in Ireland. Details about PhotoIreland Festival 2023 announced soon.


  • The RELAY mentorship programme for the 14th edition of PhotoIreland Festival is open specifically for artists of the African diaspora living in Ireland.
  • Submissions are free and open to artists based on the island of Ireland, working in the arts at any level, who feel their practice is at a suitable stage to avail of this opportunity.
  • Artists must show a track record of a practice. Even if not extensive, we are looking for evidence of dedication and serious intention to your work
  • The selected artists are expected to commit to the programme over the three months of the mentorship. Artists’ contracts will be provided to all participants. The engagement will be a hybrid between online and in-person, group and individual meetings, to fit the individual artists and group needs.

What does PhotoIreland provide?

  • Three-month mentorship by artist Alice Rekab
  • Artist fee of €2,000 to each participant
  • Production budget for the exhibition
  • Local travel costs to attend in-person sessions
  • Participation in group presentation as part of PhotoIreland Festival 2023
  • A temporary studio space for the period of the mentorship, kindly supported by The Digital Hub
  • A research space in Dublin at The Library Project, providing access to PhotoIreland’s Collection of photobooks and core visual culture resources
  • Curatorial and administrative support throughout the programme

Application Process

Three artists will be selected by PhotoIreland and mentor Alice Rekab. Applicants should send the following documents to

  • A brief description of who you are, the work you make and why you make it, such as an artist statement, or a personal reflection on where you feel your practice currently sits. 250 words max.
  • Portfolio of 4 artworks, through a PDF or an online link. You may also wish to use a file transfer service such as WeTransfer or Dropbox.
  • A brief description of what you would like to focus on during the mentorship—here you can talk about a specific project or art piece you may wish to develop, or what kind of professional development guidance you are seeking.
  • Optional: Equal Opportunities form. This is not mandatory and can be sent separately to your application. The data is collated for monitoring purposes only.
  • Optional: if you have any accessibility needs, please outline them with your submission

Please, note:

  • All documents should be sent as a single PDF.
  • Images should be sent as Low Res files (eg. 144dpi 2000px on the longest side). They can be sent separately or within the main document. Please do not send TIFFs or High Res files.

Late submissions will not be accepted. It is very important to give yourself plenty of time in case of technical errors or to ask any questions, as problems cannot be resolved in the final few hours of the submission.

Accessibility and Inclusion

If you find any part of the submission process inaccessible for any reason and wish to discuss an alternative method of submission, please contact us directly by email or phone at 086 074 0059 (calls between the hours of 11am-5pm)

We also invite participants to submit information of their access needs with their application.

Timeline 2023

6pm 5 March Submission Deadline
12 March All applicants receive communication on their application
13 March Artists announced
April-June Mentorship and development process
July Presentation at PhotoIreland Festival


RELAY is a new artist-driven and artist-focused mentorship programme by PhotoIreland facilitated every year by a different mentor; responding to the focus of the PhotoIreland Festival in each edition, it aims to support the development of artists while encouraging multidisciplinary approaches and critical engagement with representation, identity and the image. RELAY provides an artist fee, working space, peer critique, as much as curatorial and administrative support throughout the programme.

The participating artists are taken full circle through the preparation, installation, and presentation of a new piece of work, in turn learning core skills of an artist’s work, including practical and conceptual strategies, as well as expanding their own peer network.

RELAY is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin City Council, and The Digital Hub.

About Alice Rekab

Alice Rekab’s practice is concerned with expressions and iterations of complex cultural and personal narratives. Alice Rekab takes their own mixed-race Irish identity as a starting point from which to explore experiences of race, place and belonging. Over the last ten years Rekab’s practice has centred around collaboration and interdisciplinary work from which they produce film, performance, image and sculpture, creating new intersectional narratives and objects for exhibition and public commission. Recent Projects include Mehrfamilienhaus: A Home To More Than One Family, Ricochet #14, Museum VILLA STUCK , Munich (2023); FAMILY LINES Project, Douglas Hyde Gallery (2022); Mountain Language, Galway Arts Centre (2022); Concealed in the half-light, Catalyst Arts Centre, Belfast (2021); Truth, Flags, Identity, Temple Bar Gallery+Studios // Culture Night Dublin (2021); The Nomoli/Father Talk, VERY Project Space, Berlin (2019); and The Open Object, Stanley Picker Gallery, London (2018).

Rekab completed a PhD in Art at Kingston School of Art London in 2018 and an MA at Goldsmiths College London in 2010. Their work is in the collections of Trinity College Dublin, The Cathal Ryan Trust, The Irish Museum of Modern Art and The Arts Council of Ireland. Rekab is a recipient of the Visual Arts Project Award 2021 and the Visual Arts Bursary Award 2020.