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Commissions East to close on September 30 2012

Date uploaded: September 3, 2012

Commissions East to close on September 30th 2012

Commissions East’s Board has confirmed that the public art organisation will close on 30th September 2012 following the organisation’s regular funding agreement with the Arts Council England ending in 2012.

For almost two decades Commissions East presented projects that are universally acknowledged as being of the highest quality and artistically challenging.  David Wright and his highly talented team provided vital support to visual artists working locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.  This ethos has created a strong and tangible legacy that will be built on in coming times.

Past and present Board Members are immensely proud to have been associated with this important venture and feel confident that major new work will be undertaken by the departing staff who are highly creative and enterprising.’
Gerry O’Keeffe. Chair. Commissions East

Since its foundation in 1993, Commissions East developed and contributed to public art policy regionally and nationally. This resulted in over 30 public art policies and strategies for the public and private sector.  These resulted in ambitious ongoing programmes of public art as part of major developments such as CB1 in Cambridge.

246 projects developed by the organisation between 2002 and 2012 made a significant contribution to the public realm, encouraging £9.4 million of new investment with over 92% of this investment going directly to art projects. This contributed to a legacy which continues to demonstrate the contribution that art makes to the public realm.

Commissions East’s commitment to a pioneering programme of research and development had an important influence on public art nationally.  Projects such as Fleet led by Gavin Turk (2010) focussed on sustainable transport and international partnership, Quadratura (1995) and schools projects with Essex County Council examined the potential of partnerships between architects and artists, with Anna Lucas’ project Little White Feather and the Hunter (2006-8) and Melanie Manchot’s commission for the Backstage Centre in Purfleet (2012) demonstrating the potential of film and new technology.

Projects with heritage and countryside organisations such as the National Trust and English Heritage demonstrated the contribution that artists can make to historic locations culminating this summer in ‘Untrue Island’ on Orford Ness by artists Jane and Louise Wilson, writer Robert Macfarlane and musician Arnie Somogyi.

Commissions East extended its remit in recent years and developed a strong commitment to public involvement.  Notable examples include Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie’s film Bataville and Art U Need led by Bob and Roberta Smith.

This catalogue of work was made possible by partnership with a wide range of individuals and organisations who have all made a significant contribution to Commissions East and its work. The staff of Commissions East will be working with these partners over the next few months to ensure that these projects are secured for the future.

‘Commissions East has played an important role in public art in the East of England by opening up visual arts to new audiences.  They have brought many significant artists to the region to make permanent and temporary work and have left a lasting legacy both in communities and landscapes.’
Helen Lax, Regional Director Arts Council England, East

For further information, please contact:
David Wright, Director, Commissions East
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 01353 610135

(Text taken from the Commissions East Press Release, 31st July 2012)

Click here for further details of Commissions East’s projects