Glasgow Sculpture Studios: open call for public art commissions

Aerial view, north of Glasgow and the Forth and Clyde Canal. Image courtesy of Glasgow Sculpture Studios.
Glasgow Sculpture Studios

Public artworks to unlock the story of Glasgow's Canal

Deadline: Monday, 14 April 2014

Glasgow Sculpture Studios
The Whisky Bond 

2 Dawson Road
Glasgow, G4 9SS


The Scottish Waterways Trust, Scottish Canals and Glasgow Sculpture Studios invite UK-based and international artists and collaborative groups working in any media to apply for a public art commission that aims to transform the cultural landscape of the Forth and Clyde Canal and develop appreciation and understanding of the heritage and future of Glasgow's canal.

The Forth and Clyde Canal has a rich heritage. It is an important legacy of Scotland's industrial past. After its decline in the 1960s it has undergone significant investment in regeneration. It is now an important leisure and environmental resource managed by Scottish Canals. The canal has played a defining role in the life of the communities of North Glasgow. Its story, from its industrial heyday to its decline and subsequent regeneration, reflects that of the neighbouring communities—in fact, many of those communities would not exist if it were not for the canal. 

We are now seeking to deliver public artwork(s) in Glasgow that interprets the canal's heritage and reflects our forward-looking regeneration aspirations. We are seeking artwork(s) of the highest quality that complement the quality environments that we are creating. The artist will engage local people in the development of the artwork to ensure that the finished product is not only of high quality but also relevant to local communities and valued by them. 

We are not prescriptive about precise sites but are keen to see a focus around Applecross Street/Bairds Brae in the vicinity of Glasgow Sculpture Studios' new home, The Whisky Bond. The artwork(s) will aim to artistically enhance the area and encourage interaction with and appreciation of the canal and its surrounds.

We are open to the work being a place for social encounter and exchange of knowledge about the history of the canal as well as a point of location and orientation to provide a context for developing understanding of the original purpose and places that the canal connected to in its working heyday as well as now. Applicants are invited to respond to the geographical site, with an emphasis on unlocking and demystifying the heritage and history of the canal while also addressing issues of public visibility and knowledge of the existence of the canal within the area of Speirs Locks of the city.

Artists in the first instance are required to submit by email an expression of interest outlining artistic ideas and approaches, examples of past work and a CV. Up to four artists will then be short-listed by a selection panel and asked to develop their proposal in more detail and present their work to the panel. One artist will then be selected to fabricate their artwork(s). All short-listed artists will be considered for future Scottish Waterways Trust events and commissions.

The total budget for the commission is 76,000 GBP. This amount is to be fully inclusive of the artist's fee, materials, technical and engineering fees, fabrication costs, site works, foundation and installation costs, insurance and VAT, and obtaining necessary consents.

The commission should be completed by October.

For further information on this opportunity and a more detailed brief (including submission procedures, the selection process, design guidelines and calendar), please contact Louise Briggs, Programme Coordinator, Glasgow Sculpture Studios:

This commission is generously funded by Creative Scotland's Quality Arts Programme and Heritage Lottery Fund and has been developed through the support of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Scottish Canals and Scottish Waterways Trust.