Open Call Visual Artists – South East Greenway
Wexford County Council and Creative Ireland
Closing date for expressions of interest : Thursday 23 June at 4pm
Wexford County Council’s Culture team invites expressions of interest from visual artists for a public art commission along the South East Greenway valued at €20,000.
The focus of this commission is on socially engaged/collaborative art practice which involves a professional artist developing work in collaboration with local communities of place or interest. The work must respond to the particular context of the South East Greenway and related themes as identified in the artists brief below. This process will result in public art outcomes presented along the Greenway for visitors to experience and share. These outcomes can be temporary, semi- permanent or permanent and the timeline for the project is July- November 2022.
Artist’s brief :
‘Connections- the Way Back to our Roots & Routes’
Wexford County Council’s Culture Team in partnership with the South East Greenway Project Team is proposing to enrich the South East Greenway experience for local communities & visitors both young and older by commissioning an artist to develop a creative public art project for the Greenway working with local communities in New Ross and the surrounding areas. Funded through Wexford County Council’s Creative Ireland programme, this project will focus on a variety of identified themes as part of the interpretation brief of the Greenway, which aims to provoke, reveal, relate and entertain the visitor and local community alike.
The aim of Interpretation is to reveal the cultural significance of a place in order to help consolidate a sense of identity and sense of place. This can be achieved by presenting the stories of previous occupation, former use and particular events through a range of media and creative processes within and around the site. “Interpretation is an interactive communication process, involving the visitor, through which heritage values and cultural significance are revealed, using a variety of techniques in order to enrich the visitor experience and enhance the enjoyment and understanding of the place.” (Murphy, S. 1997:5).
As part of this interpretation brief for the Greenway, this project involves an artist working with communities of interest in New Ross over a 4- 5 month period from July to November 2022 in the research, and development of new collaborative art works around one or more of the identified themes. This process will result in a public art manifestation along the Greenway for visitors to experience and share. As a pilot creative project for the Greenway, we envisage theses public art work(s ) to work in sympathy with the Greenway and the surrounding natural environment. We are open to a variety of artistic approaches and the use of sustainable and / or recycled materials is encouraged .The final public artwork(s) may be temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent in nature and may be sited along identified parts of the primary Wexford rural route . The sites are currently not prescribed and will be identified and agreed between the artist, the Special Projects Team / Engineer and Arts Officer after the project commences.
Budget: The total budget is €20,000 and is inclusive of VAT. The budget includes artist’s fees, community workshops, studio time, materials, insurance, and public art outcomes. As a guide the artists fee, travel expenses, workshop materials, should be a max of €10,000, and materials for final public art works circa €10,000. Additional support will be provided by the South East Greenway Team and engineers in the installation of the public art .
The South East Greenway
The South East Greenway is a joint initiative of Wexford County Council, Kilkenny County Council and Waterford City & County Council, and is a 24 km cycling and walking route linking New Ross, County Wexford with Ferrybank, County Waterford through South Kilkenny.
This route will run between Mount Elliott, New Ross through the scenic countryside of South Kilkenny to Abbeylands, Waterford where a link is being constructed which will connect with the Waterford Greenway. In Wexford, the Greenway follows the line of the disused New Ross to Waterford Railway and passes through the Mount Elliott Tunnel and over the renowned Red Bridge and the river Barrow. The Greenway will provide an attractive amenity for visitors to the area as well as providing an environmentally friendly alternative for commuters into Waterford and New Ross. The South East Greenway combines a 6km urban route which travels through the town of New Ross and under Mount Elliot Tunnel as well as the primary rural route which spans over 24 km. The urban route is due to open to September 2022 and the full route in 2023.
Key Themes identified
A Visitor Experience Plan has identified three main Interpretative Themes which will oversee the South East Greenway. These are: 1. From Vikings to Normans; 2. Hope and Dreams of distant shores; 3. River to Rail, 1,000 years of travel and trade. A number of sub themes have also been identified which will underpin the main themes. The key themes for this project include (but are not limited to): A. The Way Back to our Roots: Biodiversity and Native Species on the Greenway; and B. The Way Back to our Routes: Bridges of the Greenway; Placenames of the Greenway
The Way Back to our Roots: A. Biodiversity and Native species The identification and outlining of native tree and plant species during the four seasons of the year was identified as one of the themes by the WCC Project team for interpretation. Nature provides an ever changing and evolving canvas, particularly along the route of this greenway which has been untouched for many years. There is an abundance of wildlife and native biodiversity along the 24 km, with a huge variety of trees and plant species to be explored, explained and highlighted as well as flora and fauna which would be of great interest to communities for both younger and older people. The greenway runs close to the River Barrow for approx. 6km, which is a Special Area of Conservation(SAC) designated under the EU Habitats Directive. SACs are prime wildlife conservation areas considered to be important on a European as well as Irish level. There are patches of ancient woodland with sessile oak, alder and ash in various places dotted along the river.
The Way Back to our Roots: B. Placenames Local placenames in Ireland can tell us so much about the place and people who once lived there. As historically they were, and are, used as key area identifiers, they are specifically descriptive for each area. Many Greenways in Ireland have highlighted the importance of the townland and place names which are naturally unique for each Greenway and area. We can learn about the people or events who once left their mark in just a few letters. With this in mind, it is envisaged that the place names along the route are gathered, with their names and origins explained and displayed at prominent locations along the route. The South East Greenway can boast a special connection with placenames with the forefather of their initial 19th Century collation by John O’Donovan. O’Donovan was an Irish Scholar, Slieverue native & original OSI pioneer who established the correct placenames and origin of as many placenames as possible and up to 63,000 in his lifetime and whose work is the subject of Creedon’s Atlas of Ireland on RTE TV. An extensive directory of townland placenames for Co. Wexford was published in 2017 by the Placenames Branch of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Townland Names of Co. Wexford by C O Crualaoich & A. Mac Giolla Chomhghall).
The Way Back to our Routes: Bridges of the Greenway and role of the Railway There is a wide variety of striking old railway bridges traversing the Greenway, each with very different architectural styles highlighting our rich industrial heritage as well as the themes of movement of goods and people and the practical uses these bridges had. Another idea is to identify and encapsulate the role and impact of the railway in the area especially around the area of traditional enterprises such as farming in the movement of goods and produce; and also, in the movement of people: providing an alternative career route from farming for local people.
• Deadline for Open Call Artists’ Expressions of interest Thursday 23 June 2022
• Panel meets end June to select artist and all artists notified by 4 July 2022.
• Contracts issued to artist in July and site visit & meeting takes place.
• Artist’s research and follow up community workshops run from July -November 2022
• Public art outcomes to be presented along the Greenway by end November 2022
Community Engagement: We would like the focus to this creative project to be intergenerational allowing the gathering of a bank/knowledge bank/wealth of stories for our past, present and future to be gathered and mapped along the Greenway, providing a plan for this initial stage interpretation and future interpretation of the route. The artist must take a lead in identifying community groups in the New Ross area to work with and have considered this in their expression of interest. The Arts Office will also assist the artist to connect to community groups, but this must be primarily driven and managed by the artist. Potential Groups to consider in New Ross are New Ross Men’s Shed, FDYS youth services In New Ross, Youth Reach, and CUMAS Day Care Services in New Ross as part of the Arts Office Ability programme as well as local schools in New Ross. The artist has the freedom to determine the groups they would like to engage with.
Once groups have been identified and confirmed by the artist to work with, the WCC Project Team will facilitate access to the Greenway by the artist with the designated community groups for site tour and site visits over the summer period to aid in their research and the development of the artwork and to determine location(s) of final public art works.
We envisage the community workshops will take place in community venues in New Ross from August – November, to be determined by the community groups and artist… Again the artists must lead this process and identify suitable spaces.
Using sustainable materials: The WCC Project team particularly encourage the artists to use sustainable and / or recycled materials in the realisation of the final public artworks. In addition there is a huge bank of old iron track and base plates reclaimed from the route that can be made available to the artist as a potential art material for the project if these materials are deemed appropriate by the artist.
Please submit the following information :
• Statement of Interest i.e. Please outline your initial thoughts on how you would approach the commission from an artistic and community engagement point of view. (500 words max).
• CV (max 3 pages with examples of relevant work )
• Examples of previous art work 5-6 relevant examples of your previous work with one separate page clearly listing: medium, context, year, etc.
• Quality of the artist’s previous work and track record.
• Demonstrated ability to work with communities of place or interest.
• Statement of interest
Closing date for submission: Thursday 23 June at 5pm. Digital applications only and all documents MUST be collated into one PDF document (Max size 12 MB) Email application to: firstname.lastname@example.org and titled ‘South East Greenway Art Project’
For general queries please contact Wexford Arts Office on : Tel : 053 9196564 or email: email@example.com