Senedd

Senedd

Your Voice: an open call artist commission

Published 10/02/2021   |   Last Updated 10/02/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

Introduction

Artists are invited to submit proposals for a new artwork on the theme of Your Voice, an artwork for the people of Wales by the people of Wales.

It is commissioned by the Senedd Commission on behalf of the Welsh Parliament and will form part of the programme of events and activities to mark the opening of the sixth Senedd following the Senedd election.

The programme themes are:

  • Celebrate Welsh communities;
  • Engage, entertain and inform a variety of audiences;
  • Reflect contemporary Welsh life, culture and excellence;
  • Help people understand Wales’ position in the world;
  • Showcase the Senedd as the home of Welsh democracy; and
  • Help people understand the impact of politics on their lives, and understand and value democracy.

 

The Welsh Parliament is the democratically elected body that represents the interests of Wales and its people. Commonly known as the Senedd, it makes laws for Wales, agrees Welsh taxes and holds the Welsh Government to account. It is made up of 60 elected Members of the Senedd, who represent a specific area of Wales as a member of a particular political party or as an independent member. Members of the Senedd meet every week when the Senedd is in session, to discuss issues of importance to Wales and its people; they pose questions to Welsh Ministers, carry out debates and examine Welsh laws.  

Usually the business of the Welsh Parliament takes place in the Senedd building, although the Welsh Parliament has met through a mixture of virtual format and hybrid meetings over the last year, with some or all Members joining by video-conference.

The Senedd Commission serves the Senedd to help facilitate its long-term success as a strong, accessible, inclusive and forward looking parliament that delivers effectively for the people of Wales.

 

Your Voice

The artwork should highlight the importance of people’s voices in shaping the democratic process and represent the people’s hopes and aspirations for the sixth Senedd.

The artwork should be the result of a collaboration between the artist/a group of artists and communities across Wales.

The artwork will be on tour at various locations across Wales for the duration of the sixth Senedd (2021-26), and will be launched as part of the official opening of the sixth Senedd. 

The officially opening is currently planned for June 2021, following the Senedd election, currently scheduled for May 2021.  In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Welsh Government has introduced an emergency Bill to the Senedd, which could result in the date of the election moving by up to six months.  As a result, the date of the official opening of the sixth Senedd is subject to change.

Following the tour, the artwork will form part of the Senedd’s permanent collection.

The overall curatorial strategy is to ensure the artwork meets the following requirements:

  • Is of high quality, contemporary and relevant to the themes of the programme;
  • Reflects the richness and diversity of Wales and its communities by representing people of different ages and backgrounds from different parts of Wales;
  • Highlights the importance of people’s voices in shaping the democratic process;
  • Is thought provoking and stimulates a dialogue focusing on the people’s hopes and aspirations for the sixth Senedd over the next 5 years;
  • Does not compromise the Senedd’s political neutrality and impartiality;
  • Is practical and presents the following characteristics:
    • Suitable for outdoor display/interaction without invigilation;
    • Safe for the public to touch or interact with;

      Digital artworks are welcomed where they meet the characteristics specified above. The Senedd may have platforms available to display digital artwork, therefore you are not obliged to provide for the hire or purchase of any screens or devices unless integral to the work.

    • Any physical structures should:
      • be free standing, stable and suitable to place on a slate floor;
      • Simple to clean and maintain without the use of chemicals;
      • Safe to assemble/ dismantle and transport;
      • Be made of medium to small scale sections easy to assemble and transport in a van, through doorways and in lifts;
      • Cannot be easily taken, picked up or removed by a member of the public;
      • Be without any openings which would allow somebody to hide items out of sight;
      • The weight should not exceed 285kg/m2.

 

Focus of the Open Call

One artist/one group of artists will be commissioned.  If two or more artists collaborate to submit a proposal, every artist within that collaboration will be expected to enter into the one contract with the Senedd Commission.

Responding to the programme themes, the commissioned artist/group of artists will create a new work representing the people’s hopes for the sixth Senedd.

We welcome proposals from artists who work across all visual art mediums including digital artworks. The proposal can be for entirely new work, or a development of work in progress.

The commission will be awarded in early March and the new work will need to be produced in the period between March – end of May 2021. Alice Randone, curator at the Welsh Parliament will provide support and advice throughout the production period.

The work needs to be delivered to the Senedd no later than 28th May 2021.

 

How much is the commission worth?

The commissioned artist/s will receive a £5000 fee (to include all taxes, production costs, installation costs, transport to the Senedd, taxes and artist fees).

The fee will be paid in two equal instalments.  The first will be paid at the start of the contract and the second after completion and delivery to the Senedd.

Transport to, and installation at touring locations across Wales will be organized by the Senedd.

The Senedd Commission will not be liable for any bid costs, expenditure, work or effort incurred in participating in this open call commission, including if the process is terminated or amended by the Senedd Commission.

 

How to apply for the commission

Artists are invited to submit proposals electronically by 13:00 on Wednesday 3rd March 2021 to visitor.experience@senedd.wales 

Emails must be marked “CONFIDENTIAL – Your Voice Proposal”.

Responses must arrive at the email address and in the manner prescribed no later than the deadline.

Proposals should be created using the Submission Form published by the Senedd Commission.  This requires the artist/s to provide:

  1. Statement of the nature of the work to be produced, demonstrating how it meets the requirements and your experience relevant to this commission. (maximum 500 words);
  2. Confirmation of your ability to meet the project timescale and the deadlines outlined;
  3. Up to 5 examples of previous related work or links to video works (web links, jpegs, pdf);
  4. Brief artist CV for information only (two pages maximum, including full contact details (email and telephone number) and those for two professional contacts who can provide references).

Where two or more artists collaborate for a single proposal, they should provide one combined statement and confirmation, as well as up to 5 examples, covering that single proposal (i.e. a total of up to 5 examples and not 5 per artist).  Each artist may provide an individual CV meeting the requirements set out in point 4.

 

How the Senedd Commission will assess proposals

If you are unable to confirm your ability to meet the project timescale and the deadlines outlined, your proposal will not be considered any further.

The artist CV is for information only and is not assessed.

References may be used to verify proposals, but will not be scored.

The commission will be awarded to the proposal which best meets the requirements of the overall curatorial strategy, as contained in the table below (and as stated above).

The requirements should be addressed in the statement (part 1 of the Submission Form).  The examples of previous related work or links to video works will be used to assist the Senedd Commission with scoring.

 

Requirement

Score

Is of high quality, contemporary and relevant to the themes of the programme

5

Reflects the richness and diversity of Wales  and its communities by representing people of different ages and backgrounds from different parts of Wales.

5

Highlights the importance of people’s voices in shaping the democratic process

5

Is thought provoking and stimulates a dialogue focusing on the people’s hopes and aspirations for the sixth Senedd over the next 5 years

5

Does not compromise the Senedd’s political neutrality and impartiality

5

Is practical and presents the characteristics outlined

5

 

All requirements are of equal weighting.  Each requirement will be scored out of 5 based on the following narrative.

 

Rating of Response

Score

Very Good or Fully Compliant Submission - which meets the full requirement and is fully explained in comprehensive detail and with relevant examples.

5

Good or Fully Compliant Submission - which meets the requirement and is explained in reasonable detail and with relevant examples.

4

Satisfactory or Compliant Submission - which meets the requirement and is explained in adequate detail and with examples.

3

Weak or Partially Compliant (Minor issues) Submission - which in some areas falls short of requirement and is poorly explained.

2

Unacceptable or Non-Compliant (Major issues) Submission - which fails to meet requirement and is not explained.

1

Any response that is awarded a score of less than 3 to any of the questions will result in that submission being eliminated from the process.

The Senedd Commission will write to each artist to notify them of the result of the commission.

 

Terms of appointment

The commissioned artist/s must enter into a single contract, on the Senedd Commission’s terms and conditions.  The terms and conditions are available here.  Those terms and conditions are not negotiable.