Open Call: Coastal Ecologies

Closing date:

Scarborough Museums and Galleries

Scarborough Museums and Galleries (SMG) in partnership with Crescent Arts invites artists to submit applications for its 2024 open call — a new commission opportunity for all artists living in Yorkshire, Humber, and the North East to respond to the theme 'Coastal Ecologies' and exhibit as part of SMG's Creative Greenhouse programme at Woodend Gallery, Scarborough in April 2024.

The commission is in response to the theme of Coastal Ecologies, inviting artists, or an artist collective to interpret this in any media reflecting on the reality of our changing ecological environments. This can be land, people, or materials. SMG welcomes artists’ interpretation of our relationship to the natural and man-made changes that affect the world we live in.

The successful applicant must demonstrate a strong awareness of contemporary environmental challenges and must consider how best to use the exhibition space at Woodend Gallery to communicate this narrative to SMG’s audiences.

“The art, architecture and design world needs to take a stand against the ongoing erasure of species – even where there is little chance of ultimate success. It is our privilege and our duty to be at the forefront of the struggle. There is no choice but to follow the path of ethics into aesthetics. We live in societies suffocating in waste.”  ‘Remember Nature’ Gustav Metzger, 2015.

SMG and Crescent Arts share an interest in ecology, sustainability, the natural world, and aim to connect with audiences this changing culture through art. This commission aims to support an artist or artist collective with the opportunity to further explore an existing or develop a new body of work (see programme timeline).

Summary of points to consider:

  • Interpretation of the theme to demonstrate a strong awareness of contemporary environmental challenges.
  • Explore the use of Woodend Gallery space.
  • Consider an intended audience and the artwork narrative.

Exhibition space
The successful artist(s) will be expected to respond to the theme and create work independently followed by an exhibition at Woodend Gallery from 26 April – 29 June 2024. Part of the brief encourages applicants to consider Woodend Gallery, a two-story Victorian glasshouse and commit to a technical meeting to discuss exhibition requirements (see programme timeline).

Woodend now serves as a creative hub for the visual arts and is at the historic heart of literature in Scarborough and home to the Sitwell Library. Built in 1835, the marine villa was once the home of British Poet Edith Sitwell, and between 1934 – 2006 housed the borough’s collection of natural history. Woodend houses Scarborough Museum Galleries archive as well as a Sitwell by Eat Me café overlooking the Valley Gardens and South Bay, the site for the new programme of Creative Greenhouse exhibitions.

Please apply by CV including full contact information (name, email and current contact number) and a completed expression of interest using the application form (max 100 words; download below. Use a link to a voice note or video recording instead if required; max. 10 mins) which addresses the following:

  • How do you intend to interpret the theme ‘Coastal Ecologies’?
  • Is the body of work new or an extension of an existing project or exhibition. Please provide details.
  • How do you plan on using Woodend Gallery Space?
  • Who is your target audience and how do you intend to engage the audience?

Please include three examples of your work (with title, medium and dimensions) and a link to your website or social media. 

Budget £1500 artist fee + £800 materials budget + £1000 travel / accommodation budget.

Deadline 18 February 2024

Woodend Gallery and Studios The Crescent Scarborough YO11 2PW

Technical support, exhibition production and interpretation for the exhibition will be provided. Access support is available, with a budget to support access requirements as necessary.

The artist will be expected to contribute to the public programme which will include a talk and workshop with Woodend Gallery audiences; and to provide documentation on the commission for use in evaluative reports, presentations, and social media.

The transport of artwork, if required, will be arranged and the cost covered by SMG. Documentation, marketing, and promotion will be arranged by SMG.

SMG welcomes applications from individual artists or collectives at any stage of their career. Students are welcome to apply. Applicants must live in Yorkshire, Humber, or the North East.

Send your application, together with the equal opportunities and diversity monitoring form (download below) to Sara Nowell with the subject title ‘Coastal Ecologies Open Call 2024’.

Applicants may be invited to online interviews Thursday 22 / Friday 23 February 2024. Successful applicants will be notified by Sunday 25th February 2024.

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