Engaging in the Commissioning Process for Public Art


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Presentation by artist/writer, Sarah Browne

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Engaging in the Commissioning Process for Public Art

  1. 1. Artlinks Engaging in the Commissioning Process Sarah Browne (artist, writer)
  2. 2. Residencies, Site-Specific Practice, Temporary Public Commissions (Practice & profession)
  3. 3. <ul><li>Inventive ways of engaging publics </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The public’ as a co-author in the work </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse tactics of distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple sites of reception </li></ul><ul><li>Micro-audiences </li></ul>Why become involved in ‘public art’?
  4. 4. The Gift , Dublin, 2003 independent work for BA degree, subsequently exhibited at EV+A 2004, Limerick
  5. 5. Details of sofas: patterns feature text from the Irish Constitution & a bag of Irish White Potatoes
  6. 6. Installation details, including a spread in Ireland’s Homes and Interiors , sample pattern book & artist’s book (edition of 2)
  7. 7. Project Participants : Messood and his friends; Donie and Jimmy; Thierry and Zoulika; Anne and Sarah; Liam and Mary
  8. 8. A Model Society , Iceland, 2005-7 participatory project resulting in series of photographs, installation and publications. Commissioned as part of Site-ations International: Sense in Place , 2005-6.
  9. 9. Site-ations International www.site-ations.org/senseinplace <ul><li>a pan-European programme of artist exchanges and exhibitions, involving Ireland, Iceland, Wales, Spain, Poland, Latvia over the year 2005-6 </li></ul><ul><li>Network of artist-led organisations around Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Previous projects in Wales (1999) & New York (2002) </li></ul><ul><li>2 stage application process: national shortlisting of open submissions followed by selection by individual curators </li></ul><ul><li>Additional funding supplied by the Arts Council & Leitrim County Council for the continuation of the work independently </li></ul>
  10. 11. Utopian knitting patterns
  11. 13. from A Model Society : Free Clean Water , modelled by Hedinn Jonsson
  12. 14. From A Model Society : Safe Jobs/ High Taxes , modelled by Vesna Danielsson
  13. 15. from A Model Society : No War , modelled by Arna Bara Karlsdottir & Jaako Anton Turgujeff
  14. 16. Installation view at the schoolhouse, Videy Island L-R: Free Clean Water, Rotten Politics, Safe Jobs/ High Taxes, Gossip, The Bank Owns Us, Awesome Daycare, Exclusive/ Isolation, No War
  15. 17. Installation views at the LAB, Dublin, October 2007
  16. 19. Dallas, Belfast , with Gareth Kennedy Commissioned through the Space Shuttle project On site at the Titanic Quarter, Belfast, August – September 2006
  17. 20. The Space Shuttle project www.spaceshuttle.org.uk <ul><li>Initiated by Paragon Studios Project Space (PS 2 ) / Peter Mutschler, Belfast </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland throught the National Lottery and the City Council through Celebrate Belfast 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>6 projects of ‘urban creativity’: a space to be used for creative and non-commercial means </li></ul><ul><li>Selected by invitation </li></ul>
  18. 21. Other artists & groups <ul><li>Interface (Research group at the University of Ulster) </li></ul><ul><li>Aisling O’Beirn </li></ul><ul><li>Shiraj </li></ul><ul><li>Mick O’Kelly </li></ul><ul><li>Salvation Army </li></ul>
  19. 23. Space Shuttle interior (film set)
  20. 26. Closing event at the Titanic Quarter, September 16th 2006
  21. 27. Episode 306: Dallas, Belfast , DVD, 12minutes, to be shown at Pallas Contemporary Projects, November 2007
  22. 28. Commission for Visualise Carlow, 2006-7 Sweet Futures
  23. 29. About Visualise Carlow <ul><li>Funded by the Arts Council & Carlow County Council, with local in-kind support </li></ul><ul><li>A series of temporary projects curated in advance of the opening of Visual, the new national centre for contemporary art </li></ul><ul><li>3 strands – international, national and local curators/ artists </li></ul><ul><li>Running since 2001. Previous artists involved include Douglas Gordon, Frances Hegarty & Andrew Stones, and Glen Loughran. Projects have included group exhibitions, community-based projects, durational projects such as Hedge School </li></ul><ul><li>Selected by invitation from the curator (in my case the ‘local’ curator, Ciarán Walsh) </li></ul>
  24. 36. National Sculpture Factory/ des/IRE conference <ul><li>Invited artist (proposal selected from 4 invited artists) to respond to the themes of the conference – </li></ul><ul><li>The des/IRE conference – designing houses for contemporary Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>Work in progress (Home Improvement never ends) – showcase event November 22 nd @ National Sculpture Factory, Cork </li></ul>
  25. 37. Entrant video stills
  26. 41. Before Making an Application <ul><li>Be proactive. Let regional arts officers and other possible commissioners aware of your work: not all public art commissions are advertised or selected by open submission. </li></ul><ul><li>Apply for artist panels </li></ul><ul><li>There are lots of interesting opportunities that may not be high profile but still be ideal for your practice. Be a voracious reader and researcher. (It helps if you have a clear idea of your practice as then this can be more targeted research: public art programmes/ commissions/ residencies located in rural areas or dealing with rural experience for example.) </li></ul>
  27. 42. <ul><li>In response to a brief - are the aims/ objectives of the commissioning body in line with your practice? Research the commissioning body and see what kind of work has been commissioned previously. Will there be good communication and support within the organisation? </li></ul><ul><li>Read the brief very carefully – how does it relate to your work and broader practice? (Be selective with your applications). </li></ul><ul><li>What could you learn from the experience and could you make a good contribution to this project? </li></ul>
  28. 43. Making Successful Applications <ul><li>Combination of good concept plus proven potential/ exciting and interesting practice </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in good quality documentation of your work & check what format is required for the application (don’t supply documentation that won’t or can’t be looked at) </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear and consistent in your presentation, e.g. all images same format, labelled clearly and properly (dimensions, materials, location, year etc) Screen resolution or print resolution? </li></ul><ul><li>Supply some images/ publications etc. in hard copy so that there is something to look at physically (rather than everything supplied on CD/ DVD). How will your work be looked at – do you need to supply applications in triplicate for example? </li></ul>
  29. 44. <ul><li>Make budgets as detailed as possible and don’t forget to allocate your own fee (be realistic about the timescale and costs associated with the project) Guide to costing work: www.a-n.co.uk (Artist’s Newsletter) </li></ul><ul><li>Be as clear as possible describing your ideas and previous work. If you need to submit an expression of interest then sometimes a kind of mission statement, or set of aims and objectives (when seen in the context of your previous work) may be more effective than a proposal where the outcome is very prescribed (depends on individual’s practice) </li></ul><ul><li>Target your application to the particular opportunity by presenting a particular selection of your work. Pay attention to the kind of language used in the brief and highlight particular aspects of your own work as appropriate. </li></ul>