Published on March 26th, 2019 | by Gaelle Finley



Handsworth Creative & Handsworth Park Arts Trail Artist Brief 2019

For more information please contact handsworth.park.arts.trail@hotmail.com

‘Roots and Branches’


Now in its third year, artists and Handsworth based community groups are invited to participate in the Handsworth Park Arts Trail. The Arts Trail project envisaged four pieces of public art to be openly commissioned over the course of three years. Two have already been commissioned in 2017 and 2018, and the final two will be commissioned in 2019.
These will complement the two pieces of public art created as part of the Aston and Newtown Commissioning Programme. There is an indicative budget of between £7,000 and £9,500 for each piece of art. The closing date for Expressions of Interest for producing a piece for 2019 is 10am Tuesday 23rd April 2019.
Theme and Aspirations – ‘Roots and Branches’
The theme for 2019 is ‘Roots and Branches’. Handsworth Creative is seeking to commission site-specific monumental Artwork in 2019 that is:
• bright and visual;
• reflects the joy and pleasure people have in Handsworth Park;
• is truly interactive; and
• inspires and delights children of all ages.
The Artwork should not be considered as ‘play equipment’ and must not be capable of being climbed on and any moving parts must be out of reach. The maximum height for the Artwork is 4m, however large- scale low-level Artwork that can be safely interacted with is also welcomed. It is essential that the materials used are durable, robust, vandal and weather proof and suitable for the urban environment.
Getting involved
There are two ways to directly participate in the project:
1. Artists can apply for a paid commission to make Artwork for permanent display in Handsworth Park with involvement from members of the local community, which may involve a participatory process to make the Artwork, or through workshops before or after the installation of the Artwork. Therefore, members of the community must be involved by either creating, informing or responding to the Artwork.
2. A school, community organisation or faith group can apply to be involved by working with a professional artist.
‘Handsworth Creative’ is a Community Interest Company operating in north Birmingham and is creating the Handsworth Park Arts Trail (HPAT) to engage communities in and around the Handsworth area to develop six of pieces of Artwork to be permanently exhibited in Handsworth Park (photographs and maps from page 5 onwards illustrate the Park where the Arts Trail will be sited and existing Artwork). The rationale is to develop this project with an Arts and Wellbeing and Environmental focus; providing opportunities for inter-faith activity, community cohesion and the development of inter-generational relationships. This will be achieved by organising creative activities that will culminate in the production of six sculptures, mosaics, paintings and/or installations celebrating the diversity of local communities, technically robust, aesthetically pleasing and often functional for people of all ages to enjoy in the park.
Few local residents access art exhibitions in Birmingham and this Arts Trail will increase their access to Public Art, it will also make Handsworth Park a ‘destination’ for Public Art in the region. This project builds on the successful temporary Handsworth Park Arts Trail that was organised in 2015 and saw six pieces of art being exhibited during the summer.
Project Methodology
Handsworth Creative is seeking expressions of interest from artists and/or local community organisations to get involved in producing a sculptural /installation piece of Art work to be installed within the Park.
Two pieces of artwork will be commissioned in 2019. These can be completely separate commissions, however Handsworth Creative also welcomes collaborations from two or more artists who wish to make two pieces of complementary Artwork, (this should be specified in the Expression of Interest). It is intended that following the selection process the two artists will liaise together and either create a visual link or narrative between the two Artworks.
Expressions of interest need to demonstrate the Artist’s understanding of the process of designing and creating Artwork of this nature including the materials used.
The involvement of children and/or the wider community in the Artwork is important, and the Selection Panel is keen for this to be genuine and meaningful and therefore encourages this to be done in response to the Artwork, for example, through workshops, talks and visits to the Arts Trail. However, Artists are free to make alternative suggestions in their Expressions of Interest.
Community engagement is a crucial part of Handsworth Park Arts Trail and Handsworth Creative has negotiated partnerships with two local Primary Schools who welcome the involvement of Artists in the summer term. However, expressions of interest involving other community groups, faith organisations or schools are also welcome.
For more details about the two local Primary Schools who Artists can work with please contact handsworth.park.arts.trail@hotmail.com
Handsworth Creative would like the Artwork to reflect the diversity of the area and it must be aesthetically pleasing and suitable for visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy, it may be functional too. The use of recycled, reclaimed or donated material (preferably sourced locally) is encouraged but not essential.
The design and materials must be such that the Artwork is technically very robust, weather and vandal proof. The Selection Panel will consider these factors as the top priority when assessing Expressions of Interest. After submission, it is possible that the curators will contact artists to clarify any safety and security matters of the proposed piece before the Selection Panel meets. It is expected that the Artwork should be suitable to be exhibited for a minimum of ten years.
The location of the Artwork will be informed by the nature of the pieces themselves and artists are encouraged to consider where they feel their pieces would be best suited. In November 2019, Birmingham City Council’s Parks Department will be extending the tree planting area near the Hinstock Road entrance next to the Cricket ground; the grass bank located near here lends itself to Artwork and Expressions of Interest that are suitable for this area are particularly welcome (please see the map and photographs on page 7). However, the Selection Panel will consider many factors when determining possible locations and the final decision will rest with Birmingham City Council’s Parks Department.
All artists and organisations will be responsible for transporting their individual piece of Artwork to the park and for installation. Prior to installation, artists must submit a written Method Statement that must be approved by the curators and Birmingham City Council’s Parks Department. Artists will be required to complete a risk assessment covering any risk to both the artists (installation, materials etc.) and to the public through interactions, moving parts or materials.
It is essential that artists working with children and vulnerable adults possess an up to date DBS certificate or provide evidence of subscription to the ‘update service’ in order to comply with safeguarding protocols. Artists will also be required to have minimum public liability insurance cover of up to £5 million. Proof of which will be required before a contract is issued to the successful applicants.
Selection of the successful applicants will be undertaken by the Selection Panel including representatives from key organisations supporting the project. Ownership of the Artwork will be with Handsworth Creative as commissioners, while copyright will remain with the commissioned artists, however both parties will have access to all publicity materials and documentation for the purposes of promoting future work and/or arts activities for all time going forward.
There is an indicative budget of between £7,000 and £9,500 for each Artwork, painting or installation, to include all artists’ fees and materials and delivery to the site for installation, payable in three instalments with payment schedule to be agreed on signing of the contract. Artists are expected to contribute written and visual material for use on the website, interpretation boards and social media to aid the interpretation and appreciation of their artwork and to provide monitoring and evaluation information as requested.
To complement the permanent pieces of Artwork, a smaller project will take place each year using the Plinth adjacent to the Boat House Cafe that was used to exhibit the Big Hoot Owl in 2015. Perry Barr Arts Forum will be supporting local artists and community groups to produce 3 pieces of art each year for temporary display.
Project Philosophy
The project philosophy is one of partnership with local stakeholders who are active in the Handsworth area, including commissioned artists, community organisations, faith groups, schools, the college and other local organisations.
The underpinning philosophy will be to create something with who we are (local people), to go into something we have and share (the local park). Educationally it will be an opportunity to work with both young and old to explore and ‘brighten up’ our local environment, and as added value, produce some audio-visual material and documentation to accompany the Artworks for use by local schools and via social media for general visitors.
Handsworth Park Arts Trail is being created by Handsworth Creative with the full support of The Friends of Handsworth Park, Perry Barr Arts Forum and Birmingham City Council, it is funded by The Arts Council England. The successful applicant will be chosen by a Selection Panel including representatives from key organisations supporting the project and will be chaired by an independent Arts professional.
Expressions of Interest
Please provide information summarising your idea by 10am Tuesday 23rd April 2019, this must include:
1) A short profile of the Artist and/or organisation or CV (400 words maximum)
2) An outline of the idea and description of the materials to be used (including an assessment of their durability and suitability for the location) and approximate dimensions plus installation requirements (400 words maximum and 1 – 6 images)
3) A brief summary of who will be involved and how, and the method of engagement (250 words maximum)
4) Examples of previous work (4-6 images or website/online profile link)
5) Provisional Budget and how much you are seeking from Handsworth Park Arts Trail
For more information contact: handsworth.park.arts.trail@hotmail.com
To assist Handsworth Creative, please provide advance notification that you are intending to submit an
Expression of Interest, by e-mailing handsworth.park.arts.trail@hotmail.com as soon as possible.
Handsworth Catchment Area
Handsworth Creative recognises that a wide range of local residents and local communities use Handsworth Park on a regular basis. Expressions of Interest are encouraged from any artist based in any location, however they must demonstrate how their design is relevant to Handsworth Park and how they will work with communities local to Handsworth Park and for this purpose any school, college, community organisation or faith group with a postal address within Birchfield, Handsworth, Handsworth Wood, Holyhead or Lozells wards are included. Expressions of Interest directly from such organisations within these wards are equally welcomed. Handsworth Creative has negotiated partnerships with two local Primary Schools who welcome the involvement of Artists in the summer term (29th April – 19th July 2019), or first half of the autumn term (2nd September – 25th October 2019). Artists are therefore welcome to make use of these arrangements.
Selection Process
The Selection Panel’s decision is final, and the Artwork will be selected on artistic merit and suitability for permanent outdoor exhibition in Handsworth Park. The engagement with local communities will also be decision making factors. The Panel is also keen to ensure the Arts Trail reflects a range of artistic practices and different art forms.
Project Timeline
With the exception of the deadline, this is an indicative timeline and is flexible in discussion with the selected artists.
  • 25th April 2019: Selection Panel meets
  • 1st May 2019: Successful Artists notified
  • Week commencing 7th May 2019: Engagement activity plan to be finalised and approved
  • Week commencing 13th May 2019: Production of Artwork commences
  • 20th May 2019 – 19th July 2019 and/or
  • 2nd Sept – 25th October 2019: Engagement activity can take place with local schools. (Other Engagement activities are possible too.)
  • 17th June 2019: Method Statement for installation and risk assessment to be submitted and approved by Curators and Parks Department’s Health & Safety Advisor.
  • 31st July 2019: Artwork to be fully completed and ready for installation
  • Early/Mid-August 2019: Installation and launch (dates to be confirmed)



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