Call for applications: Community Art Project, Efford Marsh Local Nature Reserve

Commissioners –Active Neighbourhoods (Plymouth City Council), Take A Part CIC

Project Partners –Active Neighbourhoods (Plymouth City Council), Take A Part CIC

Take A Part and Active Neighbourhoods have joined together to commission an artist or collective of artists to create, design and install an art piece(s) to aid in the interpretation and enjoyment of Efford Marsh as a community site.


Background to the project

Active Neighbourhoods is a 3-year Big Lottery funded project running from 2016-2019 led by Plymouth City Council in partnership with Devon Wildlife Trust.  The Active Neighbourhoods project will help people living in five areas of Plymouth, including Efford, to embrace healthier lifestyles and benefit from improved wellbeing through enjoying nature on their doorstep

The project team work with volunteers, partners (such as Plymouth Public Health and Plymouth Community Homes) and local people to deliver these plans. Improvements are likely to include better access paths, more welcoming entrances and signage, along with more seating. Plans will also be drawn up with local residents aimed at making the spaces better for local birds, bats, bumblebees, butterflies and other wildlife.

As well as physical improvements to spaces, Active Neighbourhoods encourages local residents to get involved in their local spaces through family fun activities and community actions days; regular on-site conservation volunteering; and community consultations – these project activities are designed to involve the wider community in decisions about local assets.

Active Neighbourhoods have collaborated with Take A Part and their Crazy Glue arts group as a group to support and deliver creative engagement at the marsh site.  So far the group have explored the site and visited similar outdoor places to gather inspiration for this project.  Active Neighbourhoods have also been running regular engagement activities for the local community to attend and offering opportunities for residents to volunteer on the conservation and improvement work at the site.

Historically the Take A Part and Plymouth City Council (through Stepping Stones to Nature and Active Neighbourhood projects) delivering creative projects in greenspaces in Plymouth including; ‘In Praise of Trees’ in Ham Woods (Peter Randall-Page) and A sculpture trail for the National Trust at Saltram House. 


The Commission

This is a new and exciting commission for Efford Marsh, which aims to bring together art, nature and people.  The aim is to create, design and install an artistic/sculptural intervention(s) in the marsh which will enhance the site and draw people to come and visit.

The commission will directly involve working with local community members to develop and shape the piece of work.  We expect the selected artist to be able to facilitate engagement (with support from the project team) and develop the piece in collaboration with local residents and the Crazy Glue arts group. 

The project has no budget for maintenance and the artwork must therefore be durable, sustainable and able to weather or adapt over time.  The space for the commission is very open to the public and consideration for building something sympathetic to the landscape is very important.


Commission aims

To directly work with the local community, project partners and key stakeholders in the creative process

To deliver a work that engages the community as part of the process of creation (i.e. consultation, production, etc) and develops the ownership of the work for local people

To use robust and natural materials in a creative way

To be sympathetic to the local environment while being innovative and thought provoking

To think about interpretation of the site to deliver something relevant, coherent and in collaboration with local people

To deliver an accessible sculpture that can be well used/seen


Artistic Engagement

The project would like to develop a piece of art that is inspired by the surrounding wildlife at the Efford marsh site – with a focus on the pond/marsh area of the site.

The artist must engage creatively with the community and the project partners to shape and grow the ideas and content   Participants will bring to the project knowledge, wisdom and experiences, which must clearly influence the artwork. The artwork will need to be installed as part of this process and there is an expectation that participants can help with some, if not all, of the installation process.


Community Engagement

We will expect the artist/s to carry out local site visits and deliver creative consultation with community groups and deliver a minimum of three days-worth of workshops/making days (Take A Part and Active Neighbourhoods will provide support/community liaison for this). 

The activities should enable participants to develop new skills and explore, document and share their experiences through the process in a friendly, empowering, productive, visual, and fun way.


Monitoring and Reporting

The artist must:

Provide the commissioners with evaluative information

Inform the commissioners in advance of any issues that may impact on the project delivery

Provide their own public liability insurance and have a self-employed status


Timescales and budgets

Due to funding constraints, this project must be delivered and ready for a community celebration event by week commencing Monday 9 April 2018. Total budget for the project is £3,000 for the created piece including engagement with the local community, development time, construction and installation costs, artist time and fees.   A payment schedule will be worked out between the artist and commissioners once the work has been commissioned.

A schedule for the build/work with the project partners will be agreed but it is hoped that build work can take place end March/early April 2018.

Interviews will take place week commencing 29 January 2018 - the time for this is to be confirmed with applicants

It is imperative to note there is no ongoing budget for maintenance of the work produced. 



The project must be completed and the artwork installed by mid-April 2018.



This commission will be overseen and managed by Jemma Sharman- Active Neighbourhoods Coordinator, Ashley Tod- Active Neighbourhoods Community Officer and Gemma Smith- Creative education producer, Take A Part.

Once commissioned the project team will work with the commissioned artist to create a more detailed delivery schedule.


For more details about organisations involved:

Active Neighbourhoods-

Take A Part –


Applicant Schedule:

Expressions of Interest (with images of past work, CV and proposal) returned by 19 January 2018.

Applicant interviews/site visit and information day week commencing 29 January 2018.

Delivery of project- with at least 3 days-worth of artist time with the community.

Completion of project by end March/early April 2018.


For an informal chat about the commission please contact Gem Smith, tel. 07809 870709.

To Apply:

Please send applications and an outline proposal of the work to


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