Open Call

Open Call Sanctuary 2021: SPOOR

SPOOR : verb – to follow the track or scent of (an animal or person)

Sanctuary is a unique participatory art event exploring environment, technology and place in the stunning landscape of the Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park. The event is a laboratory for off-grid creative experimentation.

The next iteration of Sanctuary will take place 25th and 26th September 2021 and this year will be a much smaller event with artworks dispersed across the site which audiences can visit and explore during the day/early evening. 

We are looking for adventurous, participatory new works that might explore the multi-layered meanings of place through mapping, walking, speculative archaeology, games, investigations, performance, geocaching and more. We are not looking for artworks that stand and deliver but rather for work that is dispersed, camouflaged and needs to be traced, tracked and uncovered.

We are seeking new forms and methodologies that might range from the creation of new kinds of instruments for hearing or seeing to playful telepathic networks stretching throughout the site. 

The Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park is a specially designated area that is low in light pollution and Sanctuary takes place within the park. Remote, beautiful and mostly ‘electronically dark’, the event encourages people to consider the environment and the absence of pervasive contemporary technologies and creates a space to explore what is possible by being present in an unconnected place.

SPOOR will be focusing on ways of working that encourage exploration using the scale and scope of the site. Artists will need to consider how their work responds to and interacts with the environment and how to connect with both the human and more-than-human elements present.

We are offering commissions of up to £1750 each. Fee to cover all costs: fabrication, installation and travel.

To apply please send the following:

  • Description of your proposal – up to one side A4
  • Up to date bio/C.V
  • Link to website and/or up to 6 images of previous work

Please e-mail these to us at

Deadline for submissions of proposals 5pm, Monday 19th July 2021

Notification of successful applicants – 23rd July 2021

An additional commission is being offered for a young artist or artist collective from or with connection to Dumfries and Galloway. See HERE

We are happy to host existing or experimental work in progress that is looking for a site or audience and which resonates with our investigations – just get in touch. We are also interested in proposals for talks and are happy to facilitate open conversations that respond to any of the themes of Sanctuary.

Please contact us at if you need more information. We look forward to hearing from you. 

About the site:

The site is located at Talnotry, A712, Nr Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway. DG8 7BL

The site is extensive and includes a waterfall, river, hills (walk to Murrays monument with far reaching views) flat grassed areas, areas of woodland and McMoab’s extraordinary rock formations. We are entirely open as to where artworks may be embedded across the site. You may wish to interrogate a small area in detail or embed work across the entire site. Please contact us if you want to discuss the site. The site is open for visits at any time.


Sanctuary is free and suitable for all ages and key to the event is participation. All the artworks we commission are interactive; from digital and sound works to radio transmissions, video and performance. Sanctuary also runs experimental labs and open conversations.

Sanctuary is off grid so there are limitations on power available – we see this as an opportunity. Sanctuary takes place in a Dark Skies Park so visible light should be kept to a minimum for any proposals that will take place at dusk or after dark.

There is no audience camping this year, however commissioned artists will be able to camp overnight the Friday 24th/Sat 25th/Sun 26th as necessary. There will be no facilities onsite so artists will need to be self sufficient.

Please explore the site for information about previous years.
Images can be found at the following:

Artists 2017 Gallery 2017

Artists 2015 Gallery 2015

Gallery 2014