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Lead Artists on Design Teams

Lead Artist Case Studies

In response to the interest in, and request for detailed information from both artists and commissioners, we will be presenting a number of case studies on Lead Artists. The case studies will result from consultations with both the artists who were commissioned and representatives of the commissioners, to present ‘warts and all’ studies including both quantitative and qualitative information.

Topics covered will include everything from ‘what did the project cost?’ to ‘what difference did having an artist on the team make?’

We have aimed to track these projects, and where possible, we will include follow up news and information and contact details.

The Case Studies featured at present are:

1. Tintagel, Cornwall: involving a Lead Artist working with a project steering team on designs and commissions within a village regeneration scheme.

2. Durlston Castle, Dorset: involving a Lead Artist acting as a creative consultant and catalyst on a multi-disciplinary project team within a major Heritage Lottery programme on a World Heritage Site.

These featured examples sit within a variety of initiatives and are resourced through different routes including: the Regional Development Agency, Heritage Lottery Funding, Arts Council England South West, Objective 1 (European funding targeted to help reduce differences in social and economic conditions within the European Union), Developer Contribution and others. They involve a variety of teams, partners and commissioners, but share some common characteristics:

  • The artist is integral to the planning and design process

  • Although each is placed largely within a planning or urban design context there has been a strong support and steer from an arts officer or similar

  • Professional arts consultants, advisers or project managers have been involved in the process

  • They form part of multi-agency and multi-disciplinary teams and funding packages

  • There has been a significant and ongoing amount of advocacy on the part of the commissioner

  • They are sophisticated and complex projects which require the artist to have a set of skills and a level of confidence and expertise in areas not related to any artform

There are issues contained here. Not every artist wishes to work in this way. Many artists may have the intrinsic skills and creative thinking, but not the experience or confidence. Commissioners still need to be informed that artists can make a real difference and deliver some of their objectives.

These case studies form only a small sample of the growing body of examples across the region. Please contact PASW for further examples and contacts.