Opportunity for two public art commissions at Black Rock for local artists

Work has begun transforming the Black Rock site, relocating and expanding the local wildlife site and starting to make some well needed adjustments to the public realm to increase accessibility to the area.

Alongside these works, there are some aesthetic changes planned in the form of several public art installations and as part of this we are delighted to announce an opportunity for two new artists’ commissions.

The overall approach for the artworks is to enliven and engage with the space and create a memorable encounter.

Black Rock and the Sea Kale: Friends with Benefits

These commissions are seen as the first phase of what might be larger programme of public art interventions that are delivered as the site is developed.

In order to provide a coherence to these and future commissions a Black Rock Public Art Strategy has been developed setting out a curatorial theme, Black Rock and the Sea Kale: Friends with Benefits, which all of the artists will be required to respond to as the starting point for their proposals.

The theme relates to and builds on some of the key aims of the project, namely the improvement of the environment and the relationship between people and local habitats. 

Biodiversity improvements are imperative to the project as a whole, being identified as a main priority by the community consultation for the project, as well as aligning with our pledge to be a carbon neutral city by 2030.

Marker Sculptures

One of the art commissions is to create a series of three permanent marker sculptures.

These sculptures will sit on top of support masts at the end of the three sections of the new boardwalk which lead across the beach, from the shore towards the sea. 

Acting mainly as an aesthetic improvement or potentially acting as locational or wayfinding markers, these bespoke sculptures will build on the key aims of improving the local environment and ecology while providing another element to this part of the seafront.

Three shortlisted artists will be provided with a small fee of £300 to outline their approach and present to the selection panel in early September with a fee of £6000 + VAT for the successful artist and fabrication and installation costs being met by the contractor..

We welcome applications from artists in all disciplines, but especially tattoo and street artists for the markers.

You can find a downloadable application form for the marker sculpture commission on the culture in our city website.

The Face of Black Rock

The other commission is for the Face of Black Rock, a design for the textured finish for a new wall that is proposed for the site.

Much of the Black Rock site is characterised by the existing retaining wall finishes. This new finish will represent the next generation of this and create additional habitats for local flora and fauna.

The successful artist, informed by the curatorial theme for the site, will develop their detailed proposals for the concrete finish in collaboration with the project team, notably the contractor, fabricator and project ecologist.

Three shortlisted artists will be provided with a small fee of £300 to outline their approach and present to the selection panel in early September, there is a fee of £8,100 + VAT for the successful artist with the fabrication and installation costs will be met by the contractor.

We welcome applications from artists in all disciplines, though given the nature of the commission we anticipate this may appeal in particular to those with a practice in sculpture or similar large-scale work with innovative approaches to form and materials.

You can find a downloadable application form for the Face of Black Rock commission on the culture in our city website.

We are particularly interested in receiving applications from artists/designers from within Brighton & Hove.

In line with current projected timescales, artists must be available to start as soon as possible if selected.

Injecting a bit of flair to the area

Councillor Tom Druitt, chair of the Black Rock Task Project Board, said: “The work at Black Rock is progressing well and the additions of art installations will definitely inject a bit of flair to the area.

"This area of our coastline is synonymous with a laid-back promenading lifestyle and combining this with the intertwined relationship between people and our local habitats, I’m excited to see what artists interpretation of this will be.

 “I’d like to encourage as many local artists to express their interest as possible, as these art installations have the potential to really make an impression for those visiting our Eastern Seafront.”

The deadline for both of the open calls is midday, Monday 9 August 2021.

Please contact the team running the commissions if you have any questions on the commissions or commissioning process, or would like to request an alternative application format for submitting an application, such as through the phone, post or video call.

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