ABF step change programme

The Artists’ Benevolent Fund no longer supports artists directly. We have chosen to work in partnership with Higher Education to support artists and to help them sustain or develop their professional careers, following graduation. Funding is available to visual artists and makers in any medium.

The ABF Step Change Programme is currently working with Manchester Metropolitan University and Cardiff School of Art and Design.  Applications are made through partner universities for those artists wanting to take a step up the ladder. Please note we can only help visual artists resident in England and Wales.  Artists in Scotland should apply to the Scottish Artists’ Benevolent Association. We cannot make awards to practitioners in other fields such as music, literature, dance or drama.  Certain applications in respect of disability or loss will continue to be considered; please contact the secretary.

If your Higher Educational Institution is not currently partnered with The ABF, ask your tutor to contact us to find out more about the Step Change Programme.


Chloë Laycock

Chloë Laycock graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University in 2018.  Her research based practice is centred on the rescuing of ancestral voices, utilising the archive and the gaps left in the official records to build narratives.  By reflecting on the ancient practice of oral history she treats the gaps in the archives as a lapse in memory, using film and writing to find ways of replicating the mechanics that aide in the act of storytelling.  The ABF award will help her to buy equipment to document and produce work to a high professional standard.  It will also provide her with a unique opportunity to embark on an international research trip that will inform her ongoing practice.


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Olivia Sparrow

Olivia Sparrow graduated with a BA (Hons) in Interactive Art from Manchester School of Art in 2016. Olivia’s work explores themes based around sexuality, dissociation, loneliness and the city, predominantly drawing on interpretations of their personal history based on self-mythologised memory and experience, all presented with a hint of black humour and a cold aesthetic. Olivia works within a variety of mediums but most frequently within text, video and performance. The ABF award has allowed Olivia to devote all of their focus on developing their practice, and has provided access to resources and materials that has developed their practice and professional development.

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Anna Rogers
& Gweni Llwyd

Anna Rogers graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Cardiff School of Art and Design in 2017. Her practice is an ongoing exploration of fragmented environments and the relationship of the architectural and geometric to the natural and biometric.

Gweni Lloyd graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Cardiff School of Art and Design in 2018. Her practice explores sensory themes through the use of both video and physical mediums.

The ABF award has allowed both Anna and Gweni to develop their practices, by providing them with the opportunity to undertake international research trips, as well as allowing them to buy equipment.