National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC) would like to invite artists to produce a series of high quality site or exhibition-specific contemporary art, installations or events that will engage, challenge and excite our diverse audiences.
This is an exciting opportunity for artists to work with the award winning National Maritime Museum Cornwall in the context of its popular and critically acclaimed exhibition programme, including the recent Viking Voyagers and current Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed exhibitions. (For Tattoo, the Museum was successful in securing Grants for the Arts funding to commission a series of innovative and visually stunning artworks and installations by contemporary tattoo artists that challenges cultural stereotypes about tattoos and tattooing as an art form.)
For 2017/18, each commission will be in response to the themes and artefacts within our major temporary exhibition Titanic Stories. The special, indeed unique, focus of the exhibition will be how we remember the Titanic – and how this has been shaped by newspapers, books and film, which have distorted or fictionalised actions and created heroes and villains. In this respect, it is not a story about people. It is a story about stories: about how events are interpreted and embroidered, how each generation reinvents the stories.
Please note: the final commissioning of work will depend on securing Grants for the Arts funding
Proposal focus: Lifeboat 13
Because of our association with small boats and the boatbuilding facilities within the Museum, we have established a tradition of building a boat to accompany our temporary exhibitions, each linked by the idea of ‘small boats big stories’. It was natural therefore for us to build a lifeboat for Titanic stories. The most numerous lifeboat type (the ship carried fourteen of them) was a standard 30-foot (9.1metre) vessel. Identical to the other thirteen, we have chosen to badge our replica Lifeboat 13 because it represents an interesting range of individuals, from a baby with his mother and father to 3rd Class passenger Leah Aks whose own baby was taken from her and put into another lifeboat, from the Dulwich school-teacher Lawrence Beesley to the First Class millionaire Washington Dodge. Lifeboat 13 was the penultimate boat to be launched. Many of the lifeboats launched earlier were only partially filled because the crew were uncertain that the boats were strong enough to be lowered fully laden. Boat 13 was laden with 66 occupants when the situation was desperate and demonstrates that the launching system was perfectly adequate and many more passengers could have been saved had the crew been properly trained.
The replica lifeboat will be placed on the ground floor as one of the – if not the most – iconic objects in the exhibition: a solid, tactile presence contrasting with the ephemeral, ghost-like personal stories of tragedy and survival represented by each passenger.
We are looking to commission an artist to create work for display within or above the replica lifeboat that will engage visitors with this evocative, layered and dramatic story.
We are completely receptive to artists’ own ideas and interpretations, and welcome proposals from a wide range of disciplines.
- The artwork should have a clear link to space – the artist would be expected to work within their practice, bringing an extra dimension to the historical or spatial context of the exhibition.
- The artwork must be intrinsic to the exhibition plans and work in parallel to the exhibition planning process
- The artist will be required to show how their work or creative process will engage wider audiences through participation or skills sharing activities and events
- The artwork should offer a legacy for the future Museum community to engage with
- The overall ambition is to create a new relation between artist, Museum and our diverse communities
- There is a fee of £5,000 – £10,000, to include materials and installation (though the latter may be subject to some negotiation)
- If appropriate, an additional fee will cover wider participation activities with an agreed audience.
- Each project fee will be negotiated in the early stages of planning with the artist and incorporated within a written agreement.
- The fee is dependent on the artist’s previous experience, the size and scale of the project and the level of involvement by the artist.
- Supported by NMMC with dedicated project manager who can advise and liaise with museum staff and internal depts (for permissions, health and safety etc.), as well as external exhibition designers, fabricators and guest curators
- Marketing support and resources also provided by NMMC Marketing Manager e.g. website, print and social media. We will also be commissioning a national PR campaign for the exhibition.
- Access to research material and advice, via guest curators.
- 18th August 2017 – deadline for proposals, selection panel in place.
- 25th August 2017 – artist selected and negotiations begin.
- 8th September 2017 – application to Grants for the Arts submitted, with schedules for artist and exhibition planning in place.
- 27th October 2017 – Grants for the Arts decision announced. If successful, the timetable will continue as follows:
- 30th October 2017 – negotiations with artist begin re: schedules and exhibition installation begins.
- Tbc – works completed as agreed by client, but in time for the installation and opening of the exhibition in March 2018.
- A short proposal of no more than 500 words outlining concept, materials, timings, budget, methods of engagement, meaningful participation and the legacy of the work should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please illustrate your proposal with relevant images to give the ‘look and feel’ of the project or send simple drawings to help demonstrate this.
- Please include a selected CV, one A4 sheet only.
- Closing date: Midnight 18th August 2017. If you would like to discuss this opportunity further or have any related queries, please contact email@example.com
- Please note: background information about the Titanic Stories exhibition, including concept visuals, are available on request.
All proposals should be sent to Stuart Slade, Head of Public Programmes
Our mailing address is:
National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Discovery Quay, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3QY