Skip to main content

Call for Artists

We seek artistic reflections to enrich a 2025 exhibition for the Bristol University AHRC-funded Project ‘Mariners: Race, Religion and Empire, 1801-1914’.  

Call for Artworks and Illustrations:

Mariners: Race, Religion & Empire Exhibition

Date: 20/05/2024- 15/07/2024

Subject Fields: Imperial & Colonial History / Religious History / Post-colonial studies/ Maritime History

We seek artistic reflections to enrich a 2025 exhibition for the Bristol University AHRC-funded Project 'Mariners: Race, Religion and Empire, 1801-1914'.

Professional artists and illustrators are invited to submit proposals for works offering a visual interpretation or response to the project's research (see below), centring on the history of marine missions and the experience of seafarers in British ports in the nineteenth century. The exhibition will present a diverse range of views of marine missions including visual and textual evidence from archives and interviews with marine chaplains. We seek 2D works (or works that can be reproduced in 2D) in any medium or combination of media.

We ask that the work you submit connects in some way to the key themes of race, religion and empire. We also encourage submissions that relate to issues of wellbeing, community, ritual or identity within the context of the project's research. Following selection, the project team will provide further historical materials to inform your work and response.

Your artwork will be part of a travelling project exhibition which will be displayed in various locations in Bristol, Hull, Liverpool and London in 2025. Copies of your wok will also be on accompanying printed material and on our project website. Works are consequently required to be reproducible, in print or digitally. Artists will retain the original; the copyright will be under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC). You may also be required to provide a spoken description of your work and creative process, which would be recorded for viewing at the exhibition and on the project website.


Maximum size is 70x50 cm; reproductions will generally be at smaller size. Proposals may be for multiple works (diptychs, triptychs, series).


Proposals: Deadline now extended to 15th July 2024

Finished works: 1 October 2024

Proposal Procedure

Please send your proposal to by 17 June 2024. Selected artists will be notified in July 2024. 

Proposals must be sent as a single pdf, and include 

  • a description with a design/sketch of the artwork
  • an indication of size, medium, materials, technique
  • a work plan (max. 10 days)
  • a short artist's statement (max. 300 words)
  • a CV outlining qualifications and artistic professional experience, exhibitions, commissions, publications etc.
  • a portfolio of 5-10 representative works


The maximum fee is £2558 for 10 days of work (in line with UK Artists' Union recommended day rate of pay guidelines for professional artists with > 5 years of experience: This fee encompasses materials, time for research and consultation with the project team. Please indicate any special costs in the proposal. Payment will be in two instalments, after selection and after completion, with final payment subject to approval of the work by the project panel.  

About the project

'Mariners: Race, Religion and Empire in British Ports 1801-1914' explores the histories of missions to seamen in British ports. This three year research project is funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/W009803/1) and has two strands. The first explores the lives of British sailors and missions to seamen, while the second looks at lascars - the mostly South Asian seafarers who became an increasingly significant labour force within the merchant marine throughout the nineteenth century. This project illuminates the hidden histories of British seamen and seamen of colour, who have been neglected by both historians of missions and historians of Britain's maritime inheritance.

Academic team: Prof. Hilary Carey, Professor Sumita Mukherjee, Dr Manikarnika Dutta, Dr Lucy Wray.

Contact Information