THREAD RESIDENCY, Senegal in partnership with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Thread is a residency program and cultural center that allows local and international artists to live and work in Sinthian, a rural village in Tambacounda, the southeastern region of Senegal. It houses two artists’ dwellings, as well as ample indoor and outdoor studio space.

Thread’s socio-cultural role is most pronounced in its function as an agricultural hub for Sinthian and the surrounding villages. Its staff provides the community with sustained agricultural and organizational training, while the physical site offers several gardens that locals cultivate for sustenance and as an income source. In addition to being served by a bore well, the building’s roof collects and retains rainwater, creating an ongoing water supply for these agricultural projects, which is crucial during the eight-month dry season.

Thread was designed to be a flexible and evolving public space, and the local population uses it in a variety of ways. It hosts celebrations, school performances, classes in language and health, village meetings, and an annual soccer tournament that draws thousands of people to Sinthian each fall.

The team behind Thread speaks to its collaborative nature. This is a project about connection and linkage. Between two distinct points, persons, places, or perspectives. To be like thread by forming connections that run through us, and not around us. Together we are using art to develop connections between rural Senegal and other parts of the globe.

This residency is an opportunity for artists to focus on their own work while being artistically flexible in adapting to the unique creative environment at Thread. It is entirely possible to work alone in a studio based manner but great flexibility is needed with regard to materials. Collaborations with the local community can happen but usually evolve in an organic manner. Artists are not expected to create a certain kind of project or have a certain kind of impact.

The residency will run from 1-31 August 2020 ie four weeks (please note there will be another artist in residence while you are there). Please note that we are closely monitoring the situation regarding Covid-19, the residency is due to run over August but may be pushed back later as necessary.


What counts here—first and last—is not so-called knowledge of so-called facts, but vision—seeing. Seeing here implies Schauen (as in Weltanschauung) and is coupled with fantasy, with imagination. – Josef Albers, Interaction of Color


Thread is used year-round as a socio-cultural centre, agricultural hub, and vocational training facility by the community of Sinthian and its neighboring villages. The residency program is one component of this space, and as a resident you will be a guest in the community.


Sinthian is a remote village. If arriving in Dakar, artists will be driven the seven hours to Tambacounda city (the largest city in the Tambacounda region), and then on to Sinthian, which is one hour drive from the city. This isolation is one of the great luxuries of Thread, and while residents will have the opportunity to go to the city once in a while for supplies, cell phone service, and internet when they need to, Thread is not the residency for those that need to stay “in-touch” at all times.


Each residence contains a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, and private indoor studio space. This is in addition to outdoor studio space, and the main, public area of the building, which is used by many different people and children from Sinthian. There is plumbing and electricity in each residence, though these utilities should be used modestly. The building is designed using local techniques to create airflow and natural air conditioning. The studios are blank spaces.

Meals and basic materials are provided as is all transport in Senegal. Reasonable costs for international flights will be covered.


It will be possible to buy basic materials such as pens, crayons, and paper during trips to the city of Tambacounda. If you want to work with quality paper, or any specific materials, you will need to bring these with you.


French and Pulaar (along with a few other West African dialects) are spoken in Sinthian, along with some English.


You will be staying during the rainy season when it rains tumultuously but briefly most days.


Mattias Persson

the Josef and Annie Albers Foundation

Matthias Persson manages Contemporary art & Project direction at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. As an artist in his own right he has won a number of awards and residencies, he is also a curator and highly experienced arts project manager.

Clare Burnett


Clare Burnett is British artist living and working in London. She is President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. She studied Architecture and Social and Political Studies at Cambridge University and Fine Art at the Byam Shaw School of Art. Solo exhibitions include Leighton House Museum, William Benington Gallery and the University of Leeds. She has shown in group shows at Contemporary Sculpture Fulmer, the Venice Biennale, the Royal Academy, the National Gallery, the Jerwood Space, the RIBA and the Royal Society of Sculptors. She has completed site-specific installations in spaces such as Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation, Brompton and Norwood Cemeteries and Bishopsgate Square. This year her first public sculpture was installed in China.

Sokari Douglas Camp


Sokari Douglas Camp was born in Buguma, Rivers State, Nigeria. She studied fine art at Central School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art. Sokari has represented Britain and Nigeria in National exhibitions and has had more than 40 solo shows worldwide. Photo credit: Ininaa Camp

Entry Fee

The entry free is £23.00 and is open to society members only.

Entry Process

To complete this application, please provide the following:

  • Five images of recent work
  • A CV of no more than two pages long including a link to your website
  • A statement telling us how an exchange of ideas might impact your practice (200 words)

The closing deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 17 April 2020. Unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive feedback will not be given at this stage. The winners will be announced 15 May 2020.


Deadline for applications17 April 2020, 5pm
Winners announcement15 May 2020
Residency takes placeAugust 2020

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