Call for Artists – Barnwell Verge Project

Barnwell Verge Public Art Commission

Expressions of Interest are invited to deliver phase 1 of Barnwell Verge Public Art Commission

Working with Abbey People, Biodiversity Specialist, local young people and the wider local community around the design and planning of an artistic, sculptural, colourful and wildlife friendly intervention on the specified piece of public land. 

We are seeking an artist for this project who has a strong community focused practice with experience of working directly with children and young people. The ideal artist will thrive on working collaboratively and has a track record of creating inspiring, colourful, fun, co-created, sculptural work for public spaces.  

Awareness and empathy towards biodiversity and climate change crisis, awareness of your supply chain and the carbon footprint of the materials, when considering possible materials for the artwork. A focus on re-purposed or natural materials would be appreciated. 

An interest in the environmental concerns of the project is essential but in-depth knowledge of biodiversity is not as you will be working with a specialist in this area. 

Please include in your expression of interest:

  • Why you are interested in this commission and biodiversity / climate crisis.
  • Your experience relating to co-production, socially engaged practice, community / young people, workshop-based activity, production of large-scale sculptural interventions.
  • Experience working in areas where people experience poverty, lack of employment opportunities and lack of green space.
  • Links to your portfolio of previous works.
  • Broad overview of your creative process / practice / materials and how you see yourself working within this commission.
  • Artist fee structure / travel costs.
  • Any limitations on your availability / time-frame for delivery.
  • Access requirements we need to take into consideration and accommodate.

Project details

The artist fee for phase 1 of this project is between £2,000 – £4,000. This budget includes artists fee, travel (material costs for workshops will be covered separately).

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 10th January 2022 at 9:00 AM.

Background for project

The verge along Barnwell Road (outside the front of The Galfrid School) currently and historically has a problem with people parking their cars on the grass. This churns up the grass, resulting in muddy verges, and also causes compaction of the soil, putting the verge at risk. Grass lawns do not aid biodiversity, and the area looks sad and unloved.

The point of the project is to take a problem area on one of the main roads through Cambridge, and improve it to have colour, art and wildlife, by planting wild flowers and other woodland plants along with installing original artwork on the verge.

The intervention will stop people parking on the verge and build intergenerational relationships in the community.

Key Project Outcomes:

  • Improve the biodiversity and increase visual appeal of the verges along Barnwell road
  • Improved access to public art
  • Increased understanding and experience of young people of good quality arts and culture
  • Improved aspirations and understanding of breadth of arts, culture and design careers
  • Participants report improved connections to each other across generations
  • Participants report improved relationship and connection to the local environment and nature
  • Creating new volunteering opportunities where new people access volunteering
  • Participants report an increase in connections and local friendships

Full details of the Open Call can be found here: Open Call Barnwell Verge Public Art Commission

Expression of Interest should be sent to by 9:00am on 10th January 2022.


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