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Artists commission - The Station, Bristol

Deadline: January 9, 2012

Art Commission

The Station invites inspirational artists or arts collaborators to apply for a commission to create an artwork that can transform The Station building, on a temporary basis every time there is a major event, into an iconic building. This outside work will be flexible, be able to be put up/down or turned on/off with ease and in keeping with the listed building status.

1. General Background

The Station is a world class youth project. Funded as part of the myplace programme, it is the conversion of The Old Fire Station at Bridewell Island in the centre of Bristol, into a facility for the young people of Bristol to access youth, arts and cultural activities and other support services such as health, counselling etc. Accessible by public transport, in a safe, neutral location, it will link young people across the city to each other and other city centre provision as well as providing a citywide and regional platform for their talents. It will be open at times when young people need it, especially at weekends and evenings.

The Creative Youth Network (formally The Kingswood Foundation) is leading a partnership of youth organisations, including Bristol City Council to deliver the project.

1.1 The Building

The building has been occupied since 2008 by Artspace Lifespace and Invisible Circus and has become synonymous with edgy contemporary street art and performance, a dynamic space filled with creative people, a building that facilitates the self expression of its occupants. The Station aims to continue this vibrant tradition, this time with the focus on young people.

In consultation with young people since the very outset, the conversion has been designed by Stride Treglown architects and is being delivered by building contractors Midas. The layout of this building is this:

  • Ground Floor – Cafe open to the public (run by Bristol YMCA); performance space with technical infrastructure and flexible seating for 250 for bands, club nights and theatre; reception; Lazer Quest (in the basement too - The Station’s tenants).
  • First Floor – Chill out space including games, computers and internet access; Basement Studios music suites and practice rooms, radio studio, music/film editing suites; art rooms.
  • Second floor – Dance Studio; counselling and meeting rooms; offices for partnership organisations. 
  • Third Floor – offices and meeting rooms for partnership organisations working with young people.

1.2 The Station Drivers

The Station is a project heavily steered by the young people themselves, it is developing its own community of young people leading the programme and managing the facility, supported by skilled adults. The key group have named themselves The Station Drivers. This group oversee the development of the project and take part in working groups focussing on different tasks such as

capital build, marketing, programming etc. This work underpins the core aims of The Station of unlocking young people’s potential whatever their background, providing opportunities and inspiration. The group brings together young people from across Bristol. They are the commissioners for this piece of work and are supported by Kim Tilbrook.

2. The Commission

Every time there is a significant event, The Station Drivers wish to be able to see The Station transformed. The corner of the building is a major landmark on a main route through the centre of Bristol, as you can see by the image below. And as Filthy Luker’s octopied building demonstrates, it is a wonderful canvas for creating an attention grabbing artwork that would promote the events inside, so that everyone in Bristol would know when there was an event on at The Station.

The Station Drivers have identified a set of criteria, had some initial ideas and are interested in a variety of mediums.

The work must be:

  • Outside
  • Energetic
  • Easily put up/down, switched on/off
  • In keeping with listed building status
  • Represent the aspirations of The Station project
  • Highlight events inside

It could involve:

  • projections – film/images
  • fibre optics
  • lighting
  • digital media
  • inflatables
  • sculpture
  • wool
  • chalk

The work might be:

  • fire related
  • related to the history of the building
  • interactive (at the building or online)
  • easily changed or recreated


3. Selection Criteria

  1. The artist/artist collaborators should be able to demonstrate a clear explanation of and rationale for why your practice and work is suitable for this commission. 
  2. The artist/artist collaborators should be able to clearly demonstrate creativity and experience of delivering work in the public realm, to timescale and within budget.
  3. The artist/artist collaborators should be able to clearly demonstrate their experience and ability to work with and be steered by a diverse team such as The Station Drivers , Creative Youth Network, the architects and contractors, communicating regularly and clearly with all parties and working collaboratively. 

4. Budget

There is a total budget of £15,000. This is the suggested breakdown:

Contract            Contracted by Creative Youth Network 

Artists Fees      £4,500

Fabrication        £10,000

Expenses         £500

Total                £15,000 


5. Outline Timetable

Deadline for Applications: 9am Monday 9th January 2012

Notification to applicants regarding interviews: Tuesday 10th January 2012

Interviews (NB this date is not changeable): Saturday 14th January 2012, Bristol

Artist briefing day: 5pm Monday 16th January 2012, Bristol

Research and Development: January - March

Presentation of initial designs and concepts to The Station Drivers: March 19th 2012

Finalisation of detailed designs and detailed costs: May 2012

Fabrication and Installation of piece: June 2012

6. How to Apply  

Please send by post or e-mail

  • Letter of interest in this commission, stating how you can fulfil the Selection Criteria.
  • Current CV
  • 10 labelled images of relevant previous work by disc or e-mail.
  • 2 x A4 pages (either printed or word doc or pdf) with the 10 labelled thumbnail images on each of the main images submitted, this is for short listing purposes.

Please use plain language


Email Applications or Further information:

Kim Tilbrook: [email protected]

Mobile: 07833 668694

Postal Applications:

Kim Tilbrook - The Station Arts Commission
Creative Youth Network
Kingswood Estate
20 Old School House
Britannia Road
BS15 8DB

7. Interviews

Short listing will take place on 9th January 2012, interviews follow very swiftly. At interview you will be asked for a brief presentation about your work and more information about your ideas on how you would approach the commission. You will be interviewed by members of The Station Drivers, plus other key adults.

On 16th January you will have a chance to meet again The Station Drivers and all other key people involved in The Station development to start your research and development period.

8. Additional Information

Creative youth network http://www.creativeyouthnetwork.org.uk/

The Station Face book page – photos, designs etc http://www.facebook.com/thestationbristol?sk=wall

Myplace http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_myplace.htm

Click here to download the Artist's Brief(234 KB)

Filthy Luker’s octopied building

Filthy Luker’s octopied building