Open Call for residency in Antwerp – Hydromedia: Seeing with Water

Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

Residency Period
1 April – 30 April 2023

Deadline application
24 February 2023


This is the open call for the first residency at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp which will take place in the month of April 2023. The second residency at the HKU in Utrecht will take place in Autumn 2023 and the third one at the HFG Karlsruhe will take place in Spring 2024. For each residency we will select four artists.

To address the climate crisis, we desperately need new methods for imagining the relationship between human and nature. The existing scientific or documentary images are either too complicated or too overwhelming to create the necessary sense of urgency.

Sidestepping the purely documentary approach that prevails today in the photographic imagination of climate emergencies, Hydromedia: Seeing with Water would like to develop and promote new, experimental and easy- to-use artistic protocols to visualise and narrate the ecological breakdown.

We invite artists to develop innovative tools based on the alternative photographic model of direct tracing through physical contact. By sharing these newly developed visual and/or narrative protocols with the general public, Hydromedia will give them the artistic means to reimagine their relationship with nature.

Stressing a multidisciplinary approach, artists will work together with scientists and environmentalists. To develop these novel methods and tools, Hydromedia will organise three residencies. Each residency is dealing with a local topic concerning ecological water management during a one month stay at one of the participating institutes in Antwerp, Utrecht or Karlsruhe.

For each residency we will select four artists. Each of them will receive a fee of 2000€, a working budget of 2000€, as well as the coverage of their travels, accommodation and subsistence during the residency period.

How to apply?


in Antwerp from 1/4/2023 until 30/4/2023

After the residency period the selected artists will have time to further develop their work which will be shown in a local exhibition starting September 2023

The deadline to apply for the first residency at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is set for February 24th, 2023.

The four selected residents will work in the Scheldt Estuary, the ecological zone alongside the Scheldt, a living climate laboratory, and a rare phenomenon worldwide. This area, determined by the ebb and flow of the river, contains brackish to saline to freshwater habitats and forms a unique ecosystem of mudflats and salt marshes. The wetlands and polders have great value as purification and flooding areas, important in the face of rising sea levels, and if managed ecologically these marshes can also store huge amounts of CO2, thus providing important services in the fight against global warming.

These aquatic nature reserves along the banks of the Scheldt are home to endangered species ranging from waterbirds and eels to otters, and are home to saltwater plants such as algae and seaweed that are seen as products of the ecological transition and a carbon-neutral future because they can store carbon from the atmosphere faster than trees. Specifically, we want to explore three sites: Kruibeke Polder – the largest flood area in Flanders; the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe – the largest brackish water salt marsh in Europe; and Droogdokken – a zone from Noordkasteel to Sasdok along the Scheldt where a new mudflat and salt marsh area is being developed.

Download here the conditions for participation and how to apply

More information