Thursday, March 5, 2015

Aviary in the Atrium Commission

May 2nd 1865. On this night at 11 o’clock two nightingales were singing melodiously in the Park at Walton Hall. Extract from the Diary of Charles Waterton, 1865

This is the last entry in the notebook of Charles Waterton, the Wakefield naturalist, explorer and pioneering conservationist. He died on 27 May 1865 aged 82. 2015 will mark 150 years since he passed away – and the near 150 years taken to catch up with his progressive ideas for nature conservation!

From May 2015 for a year Wakefield will mark this anniversary to celebrate Waterton’s incredible life and commemorate his legacy.

Wakefield 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 in showcases at Wakefield One.  Wakefield’s new flagship civic building opened in 2012, it accommodates a range of Council services including a new museum and library. Audiences to the building are diverse, ranging from library and museum visitors, to users of the council services point.

We are looking for an artist to create a beautifully engaging display taking inspiration from:

150 Nightingales or 150 Birds in Waterton’s Life

This display should wow, thrill and surprise our visitors.   Take this opportunity to amaze us with ideas that allow people to engage with this subject.  Consider thinking ‘outside’ the atrium case this could be physical objects, sound or digital (there are some constraints in the building but we are willing to consider anything!).

Resources available:

Up to 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 

Staff: curator for assistance with subject matter

Reference material:  A range of reference material relating to Charles Waterton.

For more information about Charles Waterton:

-          Visit Wakefield Museum  Waterton Gallery

-          Visit Wakefield Museum Web Pages

Project budget: up to £3500

Project timetable:  Display to open week commencing 20 June 2015 and will be on display for 6 – 9 months.

This budget covers fee and delivery of the following:

  • The  formation of a visually interesting and engaging  display as part of the Nightingale Festival using  inspiration from ‘150 Nightingales or 150 Birds in Waterton’s Life’.
  • Graphic interpretation explaining the installation (text writing, proof reading, image selection and sourcing, graphic design and production)
  • Text and images  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 29 July 2015, 30 September or 25 November (date to be confirmed)

Content, graphic design and display techniques to be signed off by Wakefield Council museum team.

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, and how it relates to ‘150 Nightingales or 150 Birds in Waterton’s Life’.  Please include an image / sketch of your proposal may look in the space.
  • A breakdown of budget (including a clear indication of your fee).
  • A delivery timeline, featuring key dates for, text writing, graphic design and production, installation
  • A list of sub-contractors and or suppliers used to deliver the brief
  • Outline of what you would deliver at the Artwalk event.

Email to  by 5pm on Tuesday 7 April.  [Selections will take place by 13 April 2015. Display to be in place week commencing 20 June 2015]

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

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