Brief – Support Artist, Public Engagement Commission

OBP artists team are seeking support artists based in NE Lincolnshire that can assist in the delivery of public engagement specifically focusing on writing, Poetry/spoken word and performance..


OBP Freelance Online Content Writer

We are seeking a passionate creative adaptable content writer to be part of our team. Initially to work on content for our new website and community page and developing our social media plan. We would then like to look at a longer-term support role as part of the team.


Public Arts Commission – St James Square, Grimsby

Artists commission – St James Sq – 30-04-20

Brief – Contemporary Public Arts Commissions

Published 30-04-2020

Our Big Picture Ltd (OBP) is an arts organisation and social enterprise based in NE Lincolnshire we are proud to announce that OBP have been awarded the tender for NE Lincolnshire Council (NELC), St James Square public arts and heritage project.

Grimsby town centre is seeing a multi-million-pound regeneration programme taking place across key parts of the town centre, including public realm improvements that aim to improve public spaces, help revitalise the centre and encourage private sector investment. £1.54m of this will be spent on the redevelopment of St James Square, Grimsby.

North East Lincolnshire has also been awarded £3.2m by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who fund the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England. This investment will enable various organisations and partners to transform the artistic and cultural landscape of the borough, a part of that fund is being invested in St James’ Square arts project and will align with other strands of the CDF programme.

Running in tandem with the construction and landscaping works, this will realise a vision for more outdoor public events to be held within the square and fund the installation of innovative lighting, seating and other essential facilities for hosting public events. It is envisaged that these interventions will contribute towards the transformation of the square into a vibrant and multi-use open public place.

The general layout of the St James Square regeneration scheme has been designed. However, this project has offered an opportunity to incorporate community led creative design elements into these new plans.

The artist commissions

We are looking to commission a collaboration of artists to work with OBP to deliver a community engagement programme that will explore the newly created shared space and ‘Place’ within the town centre, which is an integral feature of the high street and a ‘green heart of our community’. We want artists to investigate our town’s historic, contemporary and future narratives, hidden and known mythologies, journey and routes etc.

This community interactions and creative process will create multiple and varied conversations, artworks/performances/exhibitions that will interconnect and be refined into final physical visual wayfinding, stone benches, embellishments, wall and sculptural artworks, branding, maps etc.


·       To deliver a collaborative community engagement programme

·       Collaboratively create high quality and functional artworks in the town centre that are significant and highlight the start of Grimsby Heritage Trail. That can be used as a template of the development of the trail.


·       To challenge traditional ways of interpretation using contemporary art forms to excite, inspire and engage the audiences. Reflecting past, present and future.

·       To provide opportunities to learn about the processes and methods employed by contemporary artists, makers and designers to audiences that would not normally engage with contemporary art.

·       To raise local pride and encourage visitors to Grimsby Town Centre.

·       To provide contemporary artists, makers and designers an opportunity to create new work in a distinctive historic setting.

Commissions includes:

·       We are in challenging times. One of our main challenges is to gather the thoughts and ideas of a cross demographic and diverse public from communities across NE Lincolnshire.

·       We want to work with our artists and designers in creative participation to create an exciting interactive live online community resource that will encourage participation at different levels, creating content that supports research and broadens knowledge. 


·       We hope to hold a mid-way ‘celebration’ event that showcases the community’s ideas and thoughts and how these are being translated into final artworks.


·       We are seeking artists for one or more of the following site-specific artworks. You could be invited to work on other project elements:-

·       Wayfinding

·       Stone Seating (3 to 5)

·       Public artwork on Wilko’s store wall (facing St James Square)

·       Fisherman’s Memorial Plinth (new plinth design)

·       Projector content to be shown on Grimsby Minster

·       lighting effects through new lighting installation

·       Interpretation boards and map branding framework

·       Online content for Heritage trail Map

·       Engagement with traditional craft, skills, and activities associated to the 12th Century Minster including traditional construction skills. For example, stone carving.

·       The use of new technologies to produce new ways of interpreting.

·       A celebration unveiling festival will take place in Spring/Summer 2021.



Contemporary artists and crafts makers with a proven track record, based in the UK (this can be as individuals or artists who work as part of a collaborative practice).


We wanted this project to engage directly with our immediate communities around the town centre but also the wider community and stakeholders of NE Lincolnshire. At present this is not possible, and we will have to work online directly with different community groups. We do hope as restrictions are lifted and the project allows, we will have public face to face engagement in the square, at Grimsby Top Town Market and Grimsby Minster.


Artists should follow all Our Big Pictures Ltd and NE Lincolnshire’s Councils policies and procedures, including complying with insurance, safeguarding, health and safety and financial requirements as directed by the project management team. (A draft copy of contract can be sent on request).



Application process:


Stage 1 – Artist Expression of interest

Artist to submit expressions of interest, tell us why you would be interest in the project (up to 2 sides A4 including images) and artist statement with images or introduction (up to 1 side A4) and artist CV (up to 2 side A4). All submissions should be provided as PDF documents. These should include links to access further information and images detailing the artists/crafts makers previous practice.


Stage 2 – Design proposals

Up to four shortlisted artists will be offered a fee of £500 to conduct further research to produce a more comprehensive proposal outlining their intended approach, details of the commission including images (where appropriate), draft budget and outcomes in relation to the brief (up to 10 sides A4).


Stage 2 artists should also produce a small maquette if appropriate, or a short presentation (up to 10 minutes) about their work, as a video or ppt presentation.

Shortlisted artists will be asked to attend an interview about their proposed commission.


Stage 3 – Selection

2 to 3 artist will be selected to develop their ideas to full commission by the St James Steering group, OBP directors and Engie/NELC CDF Project Delivery team



Stage 1 – Artists expression of interest by 12pm noon Friday 15th May 2020

Stage 2 – Shortlist agreed and artists informed by Tuesday 19th May 2020

Stage 3 – Selected artists design proposals submitted
by 12pm noon Monday 1st June 2020


Stage 4 – Selection and commission by Thursday 4th June 2020

Stage 5 – Artists and public collaborations and engagement June 2020

Timescales for build, construction/ making and installation to be completed by TBC

Official unveiling   Spring/Summer 2021



Stage 2 selection fee: £500


Selected artist fees will range between £ 3000 to £7000
Fees do not include materials and creative works integral to the construction.


Publicity and promotion of the commission will be carried out by Engie/NELC, and
in-kind services and facilities will be provided through discussion with the selected artists.


Selected artists are welcome to apply for, or use additional funding, to support the commission, however they should be aware that this commission is supported by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who fund the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England. Please note:
At the date of commission publishing Arts Council England Project Grants Funding has been suspended please discuss with project manager. The project management team should be made aware of and given final approval of any funding applications submitted by the artist to support this commission.



Contact details:

For further details and submission of expression of interest please contact
Paula Denton
OBP creative & Managing Director
OBP ST James Square Project Manager – 07793 114 180