Monday, July 7, 2014

Artists in the Atrium: Wakefield One Atrium Case Commission 2014

Wakefield Council Museums have been successful in securing funding from Arts Council England for a project to commission an artist or cultural organisation to create an installation using Wakefield  museum objects in an innovative and exciting way in two special showcases in Wakefield One.  Wakefield’s new flagship civic building opened in 2012, it accommodates a range of Council services including a new museum and library.

We are looking for an artist to use our collections as inspiration to create a beautifully engaging display. Combining artistic practice, be it sculpture or multi-media or painting, with museum objects to wow, thrill and surprise our visitors.   Take this opportunity to amaze us with ideas that allow people to engage with museum collections in a different way. As long as the objects are safeguarded we will consider anything…

Wakefield Council’s museum collections
Wakefield Council holds over 120,000 historic objects, which tell the stories of the people, places, events and activities of the residents of and visitors to the Wakefield District, from prehistoric times to the present day. The collections range from jewellery and small archaeological finds through costume, ethnography, both domestic and work equipment to architectural stonework and small vehicles such as bicycles.

We have preselected two areas to choose from to act as the centre point and inspiration for the installation. They are either:
  • Chairs - A selection of up to 25 chairs from the museum collection. 
  • Everyday pottery – A selection of up to 50 pieces of pottery.  Dating from 1000 years ago to the Twentieth century.   Any number of the pieces can be used.

(See pictures below)

Resources available:
Two Atrium showcases: Freestanding and glazed on all four sides and top with four internal lighting columns in each corner. Display dimensions (interior measurements) are (h x w x d) 1944mm x 2227mm x 1477mm and 1944mm x 1477mm x 1477mm [please see images below.]

Staff: curator for assistance with object lists, conservator for assistance with suitability / preparation of objects for display. 

Project budget: up to £3800

Project timetable:  Display to open week commencing 3 November 2014 and will be on display for 6 – 9 months.

  • This budget covers fee and delivery of the following:
  • Object selection (in conjunction with curator & conservator)
  • The  formation of a visually interesting display using the selected museum objects; carefully balancing the protection of the objects with innovative display
  • Graphic interpretation explaining the installation (text writing, proof reading, image selection and sourcing, graphic design and production)
  • Text and image selection for marketing material (marketing material will be created by Wakefield Council)
  • Regular updates of progress to exhibition manager
  • Delivery of one supporting event for an Artwalk.  5pm – 8pm November 2013, January 2014 or March 2014 (date to be confirmed)
  • Object selection, text content, graphic design and display techniques to be signed off by Wakefield Council museum team
Please note that in the interest of conservation you cannot:
  • Dismantle objects without agreement
  • Use organic display material or props
  • Use non-conservation grade adhesives and fixings

How to apply:
If you are interested in submitting a proposal for the atrium commission please provide the following information:
  •          An outline of your idea, giving a summary of the potential objects you would like to use and how they would be displayed
  •          A breakdown of budget (including a clear indication of your fee).
  •          A delivery timeline, featuring key dates for object selection, text writing, graphic design and production, installation
  •          A list of sub-contractors and or suppliers used to deliver the brief
  •          An explanation as to how you would ensure the safe and appropriate display of the museum objects

Email to  by 5pm on Monday 4 August 2014.  [Selections will take place by 7 August 2014. Work to commence on development week commencing 11 August 2014.  Display to be in place week commencing 3 November 2014]

For further details of the collections held by Wakefield Council please visit:

Wakefield Museum, Burton Street, Wakefield, WF1 2EB

If you require further information about the project please contact Maya Harrison,, 01924 305350

Examples of chairs & pottery from the collection:

Images of Atrium cases at Wakefield One:

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