Square hanging Artwork in cave

My ONCA Story by Ella Husbands

2019 Artist in Residence

I’ve been an active member of Graduate Monthly, ONCA’s peer led artist support network, since its inception in August 2017.


ONCA has provided me with a range of real world artist experience, given me ongoing support in developing my personal art practice, and has connected me to a network of other emerging artists here in Brighton.

Through ONCA’s Graduate Monthly I have participated in several group exhibitions, including a 3 week exhibition at ONCA Gallery, ‘The Whole is Other (Than the Sum of its Parts)’. Here we curated artwork from our own artists and from an open call, and organised a programme of performances, residences and workshops to coincide with the exhibition. ONCA provided me with hands on experience in the curation and installation of the exhibition, as well as close involvement in the artwork selection process from the open call. I was able to carry these skills forward to several international and UK based group exhibitions that I had work in, including the finalist shows for 3 different UK emerging artist awards.

In 2019, ONCA held a 3 month long artist residency at ONCA Barge for Graduate Monthly members. It culminated in a site specific group exhibition where we showcased a range of artworks that we’d produced in response to the residency.

During the residency I was also part of the ‘Blue Surface Project’ with ONCA and RISE where I co-led art workshops for a group of young people aged 11-16. The project provided me with experience in workshop teaching, lesson planning and how to apply for funding and materials. I was also guided in how to attend to the specific needs of young people during the workshops, whilst working alongside an art therapist. I was able to directly transfer the experience and skills that I gained from the residency into my part-time job, working with children in SEN schools.

The ongoing mentoring that ONCA has granted me is invaluable. ONCA’s Graduate Monthly remains a constant support system and allows me to continue my art practice here in Brighton. I am incredibly thankful for all the time and support that ONCA has given me.


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