‘To bear in mind at all times an original, inquisitive, open-minded, generous and unshockable approach to art in all its forms with a bias towards the visual arts.’ 

This injunction, laid down by the original Trustees of The Elephant Trust, embodies the spirit of its founders, Roland Penrose and Lee Miller, and remains the cornerstone of the Trust’s policy today. 

The Trust was set up in 1975 to make it possible for artists and those presenting their work to undertake and complete projects when frustrated by lack of funds. It is committed to helping artists and art institutions/galleries that depart from the routine and signal new, distinct and imaginative sets of possibilities.

The Trustees’ main objective is to support new work.  Given The Elephant Trust’s modest resources, grants have usually been limited to £2,000, but with the recent addition of the Shelagh Wakely Bequest some larger grants of up to £5,000 may be awarded. Priority is given to artists in the fine arts and small organisations and galleries who should submit well argued, imaginative proposals for making or producing new work or exhibitions.

Please apply using this form and complete as fully as possible.

Please note that the following categories are not supported:

Arts Festivals

Group Exhibitions 

Charities organising community projects 


Educational or other studies 

Residencies or research Symposia or conferences 



Projects taking place outside the UK

Projects by organisations or individuals who have supported by the Trust in the past 2 years 

Applicants are asked to consider these guidelines carefully, as well as the categories not supported, before applying to be sure that their project falls within the remit of The Elephant Trust.  

If you have not heard by 6 weeks after the application deadline then your application has not been successful.

Due to the volume of applications received, the Trustees reserve the right to discard any application which does not adhere to the guidelines.

The Elephant Trust