IOU has created a rolling 6 month opportunity for artists to live, work and develop their creative practice at the IOU Hebden Bridge Hostel.

The Artist in Residency opportunity is open to artists specialising in any art form interested in IOU’s approach. The residency includes living rent and bill free in a private artist bedroom to develop their practice and create an art project  in response to time spent living at the Hostel.

Following an open call which received a high number of responses from artists of all disciplines and communities we have appointed Beth Cockcroft as Artist in Residence from May – October 2023.


Previous Artists in Residence

Alicja Mrozowska was the IOU Artist in Residence from October 2022-May 2023.

In May she led an IOU Making It workshop ‘Experimental Oils’ where 25 participants explored alternative painting techniques and canvases

“Working with IOU as Artist in Residence has been an amazing experience that has progressed my work and my confidence as an artist. Acquainting myself with Hebden Bridge and Halifax has prompted me to reflect on who I am as an artist, what the essence of my work is and observe things from the perspective of the audience through meeting guests, studio visitors and people in the community. The studio and hostel spaces are unique ecosystems with a great team, that have inspired me and encouraged new ideas to form and grow.

I have been able to realise ideas that lived in my head, develop these with critical feedback, validation and perspective. I have been able to build on knowledge of combining art forms including painting and projection mapping, and make work for different contexts with practical, technical and programming advice.”

square pattern in blue and green

To complete her time as Artist in Residence Alicja has completed a stunning painting that is now displayed in the Hostel dining and living space.  She is also developing  a programme of work to exhibit at IOU Walkway Gallery for the Calderdale Year of Culture 2024

“I feel that the hostel reception piece is an example of my confidence growing. I have elevated my painting technique to a larger scale, incorporated new ways of working with paper, used found materials and simplified the subject matter, content with saying less. Moving forward I’m excited for new challenges, continuing to learn and working with IOU in the future”

Charlotte Mellor Meecham
Artist in Residence May-October 2022

“My time at the IOU hostel was a truly unique experience and I am extremely grateful that I got to be a part of the project in my home town, whilst it was in its infancy.

Within my art practise, I work in many different ways. I am an illustrator but I am also a maker, often favouring projects where I can build 3-dimensional objects with my hands.



woman in red top and headscarf sits behind a silver desk
A wall display of decorative headresses and a mirror

As the artist in residence, I was able to design and customise nine different pairs of headsets so that they can feature not only as a creative display within the hostel, but as something that the guests can use to listen to music or have silent discos.

I love to make things that balance both function and form, plus I have years of experience making headdresses for festivals and events, so I was thrilled to be able to harness these interests and complete a project that will hopefully stay a unique feature of the IOU Hostel for years to come.”

See more of Charlotte’s work

Bodie Cameron
Artist in Residence May-October 2022

“A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there
But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home.
When I was 20 I talked to Dionne Warwick on the phone in a house I couldn’t afford to rent and eventually had to flee.
Dionne has a song called “A House Is Not A Home”.
It was written for her by Bacharach and David for a film of the same name.
The film is about a New York Madam called Polly Adler who ran a bordello in Manhattan.
When I was 33 I lived a few blocks away from Polly Adler’s in a flophouse on the Bowery, it was £10 a night and the rooms had no ceilings.
I’ve moved house a total of 38 times, I’m not sure if I ever moved home.

The work I am making at the IOU Hostel is about home- what makes one, what you call it, how it feels to get there.”

Bodie Cameron