Apply ︎


Deadline: 31 August 2023
Apply here
INCCA is pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative, Art After Baby, a project supporting artists who are mothers, parents, or have been impacted by pregnancy and/or any associated loss.

To initiate the project, we are excited to put out an open call and invite visual artists based in Gauteng to apply. We are appealing specifically to those who are trying to juggle art-making with motherhood, parenting, or have been impacted by pregnancy or any associated loss. We acknowledge that artists are generally “zero-hour workers” with a sporadic and unreliable income, and that many child carers do not have the financial cushion to continue their practice. We also acknowledge that, whether they are caregivers or not, countless women are impacted by pregnancy and associated complications, and that this can have a deep effect on their ability to work.    

Art After Baby is a collaborative project, supported by the National Arts Council South Africa (NAC) Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP 4). 

Apply by 31 August 2023.

From the applications, we will identify two successful candidates who will each receive a living wage per month for two months, to spend as they please, as well as an artist fee to participate in a selling two-person exhibition of their work at Keyes Art Mile in Johannesburg in November 2023. They will also participate in two workshops during this period hosted by arts professionals on practical topics related to motherhood or loss, and the arts industry, with counsellors present due to the sensitivity of the topic, and will be interviewed by writers who will each publish related editorial on our website.

The overall aim of Art After Baby is to confront a somewhat taboo subject, to find pathways for the accepted applicants to participate in an industry often still dominated by men and/or privilege, and to explore how art-making itself can be a cathartic salve for the many challenges of motherhood, and/or trauma and loss. We aim to establish an ongoing programme that provides artists with a short period of breathing room to focus on their work, and motivates those who are battling to juggle a career in the arts to find avenues to continue producing.
In addition we hope to establish routes and approaches for others in similar positions.

We also hope to underscore how art-making and parenting can co-exist under the right circumstances and can allow for an important and cathartic synergy. This project is heavily influenced by the research and work of British writer Hettie Judah, who interviewed around 60 artist mothers about their experiences in 2021, resulting in a manifesto, and ultimately a book titled How Not to Exclude Artist Mothers (and other parents). It presents a solutions-based approach on the subject, looking at benchmarks all over the world. Ultimately, Judah suggests that what the art industry risks by not taking intersectional contexts into consideration is remaining more homogeneous, precluding “participation by all but the wealthy and carefree”.

To apply, please fill out this form by 31 August 2023, but please pay close attention to the eligibility requirements below.

Eligibility requirements here. 

Who can apply?

This is a project concerned with one of the many intersectional issues with the arts industry, with a focus specifically on visual artists and motherhood, parenting, pregnancy and/or associated loss. To apply:

  • You need to be a visual artist AND mother, parent and/or have been impacted by pregnancy or associated complications or loss. Please note that you do not necessarily need to identify as a woman or a mother to apply, but we will be focussed primarily on motherhood – recognising that the responsibility for childcare currently falls overwhelmingly on mothers and women – and/or those impacted by pregnancy and associated issues.
  • You need to be based in Gauteng, South Africa. For this edition of the project we are unfortunately limited to the area in which we are based. We hope to expand to other parts of the country in future editions.
  • You need to be a visual artist working in any medium, who has created a body/bodies of work that can be illustrated in a digital portfolio in the form of a PDF, supplemented by a written artist statement. We are appealing to those who are dedicated to pursuing a career in contemporary art and have previously made work, but are struggling to juggle this with the challenges of motherhood, parenting, pregnancy or loss. Unfortunately we are not appealing to those who would like to start a career in the arts. Applying artists need to have previously made work, but do not need to be formally trained or have exhibited extensively. We will be considering the quality of work previously made, not your experience or age.
  • You should not be in full-time employment. We are looking to support those who are visual artists and are freelance, independent or zero-hour workers (ie. you only receive casual work). We will give preference to those in financial need.
  • You should have a body of work in progress that you have started and need to complete and/or exhibition ready work that you have not had the opportunity to show.
  • You DO NOT need to make work on the subject of motherhood. We are looking to support those affected by, not necessarily focussed on the subject of motherhood. We will consider work by artists covering any and all subjects and will judge the work based on its conceptual and formal strength and quality.  

How to apply

Fill out this form by 31 August 2023 and provide all required information, which includes an illustrated digital portfolio in the form of a PDF, supplemented by a written artist statement. Submissions via email or any other form will not be accepted. We will not accept any physical portfolios.

How will the artists be selected?

The applications will be judged by a jury of arts professionals, based on the quality of the work as well as the eligibility of the applicant. We will select two artists for this year’s edition, who will exhibit alongside one another in the final exhibition.

What will the two selected artists receive?

  • You will receive R10,000 per month over the course of two months to help you finish/create work that will form part of a two-person exhibition in Johannesburg. You will also receive a R5000 artist fee to participate in the exhibition as well as commission on any sales. You will therefore receive, at least, a total R25,000 to participate in the project. These funds will be paid in three tranches and can be spent in any way you see fit, however we will ask selected artists to be pragmatic and consider how this budget can be most economically spent based on the project requirements and your needs.
  • You will participate in two workshops at a venue in Johannesburg hosted by arts professionals on practical topics related to motherhood or loss, and the arts industry, with counsellors present due to the sensitivity of the topic.
  • Your work will be presented as part of a two-person exhibition that will take place at Keyes Art Mile in Johannesburg for a period of three weeks, starting in November 2023 and INCCA will manage all marketing, installation, general admin and endeavour to sell the work on display. You will receive a consignment agreement and a fair, industry standard percentage on the sale of any work. All work not sold at the end of the exhibition will be returned to you.   
  • A writer will be employed by INCCA to interview you on your practice with a resulting editorial or Q&A to be featured on our website.
  • INCCA will endeavour to create a network for future opportunities and offer mentorship wherever possible.

Independent Network for Contemporary Culture & Art