Create a piece of public art

We're currenly inviting applications from individuals, community groups and/or community arts organisations across Wales to create a piece of public art to be displayed on our external fence on Bute Place.

Four artworks will be displayed over the next six months and there will be two rounds of applications with two pieces of art selected each time.

The first two artworks will be displayed September 2020 – December 2020 and the second from January 2021 – March 2021.

A wooden fence
Our large external fence on Bute Place where the art work will be displayed

There is a fee of up to £500 available for this artwork based on a rate of £125 per day for three days and an additional £125 for materials.

Project Theme

The theme of this project is Black Lives Matter, as we hope it will amplify the voices advocating for change around this important message.

To apply to the first round, please send a description and/or a design of your artwork with a link to your website or social media profiles if you have them, or some information about the type of work that you do.

We're asking artists to draw inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement and the drive for equality and diversity.

We welcome applications from black and ethnically diverse artists, community groups and arts organisations, as well as any black or ethnically diverse person or young person either as a solo applicant or supported by any organisation.

This is a participatory budgeting project that sits within our Community Engagement Programme, so applications will be received by us but the final decisions about which work gets displayed will be made by the applicants themselves, democratically and with no involvement from the Centre.

Please send your application to community@wmc.org.uk by Friday 14 August 2020.

Project background

Over recent months we've been talking about the need to change the structural and institutional imbalances that make the Centre and the arts more widely, feel exclusive.

We're continuously being challenged about our approach, how we work with people, our audiences, local communities, how we spend our budgets etc. and we’re often told that some feel they’ll never be able to display their work in our spaces, perform in our spaces or be on the same stage as some of the larger names we often see in lights.

We want to make sure this isn’t the experience or feeling of anyone who wants to perform or engage in the arts and with this organisation.

We've been gradually building an approach to make sure that people from all over south Wales are able to make decisions and inform what happens and takes place here.

Colourful artwork on a white canvas with words written in colourful hexagonal shapes
Artwork from our International Womens Day Banquet

The Community Banquets that we posted about a few months ago are one part of this approach; they are co-designed with communities and planned and delivered together collaboratively. And we want to do more using a co-production model with communities at its heart.

Before the building was closed, we started to explore participatory budgeting and launched a project whereby we commissioned community artists to submit a proposal; to create a piece of artwork to be displayed outside our Weston Studio.

The commission wouldn’t be decided by us but voted on by those who applied. The decision was put in their hands which made it fair and equitable.

Citrus Arts received the first commission and it meant they could develop a piece of artwork with a Women’s Aid Project in Rhondda Cynon Taff.

Colourful artwork painted on white cloth hung from line
Artwork from the Citrus Art project

The women and their families had never been to the Centre before their work was exhibited. Without this opportunity we may never have met these women and we are so glad that visitors to the Centre in March were able to see their exhibit hanging in our space, telling their story.

"It was… really enlightening and informative to read everyone else's applications, to see the range of community artworks that were being put forward. Thank you for that! It helped to feel a little bit more connected to the arts community in south Wales, where we can feel a little isolated in the Valleys."

Artist, Catrin Doyle on the process of choosing the first commission

This, our latest public art project – to be displayed outdoors on the fence that surrounds parts of the Centre, rather than indoors – is a continuation of this work finding ways to build relationships and open up the way we work to be more collaborative and inclusive.

If you have any queries about this project, please email Gemma at: community@wmc.org.uk.

We can’t wait to see what ideas are put forward!