Perth and Kinross Council is offering an exciting new commissioning opportunity to create a major new artwork for the city centre supporting their City Lighting Strategy. The commission will see the creation of a large mural with integrated lighting features sited on a prominent building in a main city centre thoroughfare. Bold and imaginative submissions from professional artists are sought by 21 September 2018 and the full brief can be accessed here.

Public Art Commissions – Key Commissioning Principles

Culture Perth and Kinross, in partnership with Perth and Kinross Council and through a steering group including artist, business and education representation have developed a set of key principles which underpin commissioning activity and artists seeing to respond to open calls or develop their own proposals for creating new work are asked to demonstrate how their work addresses each principle.

Who are these for:
These principles help to guide anyone involved in both the commissioning and the making of work that animates the public spaces within Perth and the surrounding area. These can also be used to support any wider creative commissioning activity such as for public programmes, visual art works or residencies within organisations.

What are they for:
They reflect the values and qualities that have emerged from discussions about Perth’s identity and how the city and wider region hopes to understand itself and be understood by others.
These principles have been developed by the team responsible for developing the Plan to animate Perth’s Public Spaces, and tested with a steering group consisting of a wide range of Perth & Kinross’ stakeholders.

How you should use them:
These principles broadly define the tone and attitudes that should run through all work commissioned and created for Perth & Kinross’ public spaces. They underpin the Vision and Plan, providing an easy-to-use set of references that you can refer back to as you develop your approach.

Create Living Memories

Temporary interventions, fleeting moments in time and time-limited performances are as welcome in Perth & Kinross as large scale sculptures and permanent murals.

In the past, much of the public art that has been commissioned for Perth & Kinross has been monolithic and eternal in nature. Over time, a number of them have inevitably lost relevance and meaning.

Ideas that embrace a shorter period of time are just as valuable as those that stand proud for years. They have the ability to live on in memory for just as long if not longer than an anonymous bronze statue.

Work in any Art Form

We want to see performances, audio installations, neons and much much more in the public spaces of Perth and Kinross. While the term public art can bring to mind sculptures and perhaps murals, there are many different ways of conveying ideas within the public domain.

Any form of creativity and any form of cultural expression is valid and valuable.

Engage People

The work that animates the public spaces of Perth and Kinross must engage local communities.

This is where people live and work: it’s critical that any projects that appear are made with insight from the communities who inhabit any spaces used.

The work created can and should engage with the multiple communities that exist within Perth & Kinross. Talk to younger adults, talk to people who are older. Listen to people whose families have lived here for generations, listen to newcomers. Work with the blue-collar worker, as well as the unemployed. Engage in both rural and urban settings.

Generate Opportunities

Creating work for public spaces provides very real opportunities for people. These might range from job opportunities to the space to think differently about issues. Projects developed for Perth & Kinross should attempt to change the landscape in some way, no matter how small. They should provide people with the chance to try something, to extend their skillset, to expand their opinions.

Be Surprising

Show people just how extraordinary a place Perth and the surrounding area is. If they’re visitors, make them want to come back. If they live here, reveal new facets of the city or region to them. Make the work accessible. Think about different times of day and night: when and how do people want to engage with Perth and Kinross? Perth could have a reputation as one of Europe’s most vibrant small cities. Work developed for Perth & Kinross’ public spaces should challenge any perceptions that people may have of the area as old-fashioned or set in its ways.

Think Sustainably

Anything commissioned for Perth and Kinross must be sustainable. We want to make sure we contribute wherever possible to the health and resilience of our communities and places. Core to this is deep thinking about the materials we use and what happens to them next. What is our legacy, and how can we ensure it’s positive rather than wasteful? Thematically, we want to see projects that engage with conversations about what sustainable living means for Perth and Kinross. While this needn’t be the focus of your idea, we’d like everyone we work with to demonstrate what sustainability means to them, and what they’re doing to contribute.