Call for artists

State of Emergency - Contemporary Art Micro-Commissions

The Box is invit­ing appli­ca­tions from artists based in Ply­mouth, Devon and Corn­wall, to con­sid­er how Covid-19 has impact­ed on our notion of freedom.

17:00 25/05/20
£500 per commission
Contact Name
Contemporary Arts Team
The Box is inviting applications for 20 paid micro-commissions for artists based in Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall, to consider how Covid-19 has impacted on our notion of freedom during this exceptional time.

The national lockdown has radically changed our daily lives and in the past weeks we have been forbidden to take part in social, cultural and leisure activities outside the home.

In this moment of imposed social, economic and physical restriction, it feels necessary to re-evaluate our understanding of the concept of autonomy in relation to the current radical collective experience. What is freedom in a state of crisis?

Selection criteria

• Applicants must be based in Devon and Cornwall. Applications from Plymouth-based artists are particularly encouraged
• Submissions will be reviewed, and commissions selected by the Contemporary Arts team from The Box Plymouth.
• The final selection will be based on the quality of the artistic proposal and response to the proposition
• Artists are invited to send a proposal (maximum 500 words) outlining their ideas, together with a short CV to
• Attachments should not exceed 3MB
• The final work (a painting, a piece of writing, a photograph or photographs, a GIF, a video, a dance piece, a performance, a sound piece, for example) must be submitted in a digital format by 5pm on Friday 12 June 2020
• Projects should reflect on the current state of living. They may include safe opportunities for engaging people in creative activity during social isolation but must not break current Government guidance around social distancing


Each commission will be awarded £500 to cover fees and production costs for the realisation of a work. We welcome submissions in any discipline or medium.

We encourage works to be light-touch and take about two days to create, with outcomes suitable for distribution on The Box’s digital platforms.

Key dates

• Submission deadline: 5pm on Monday 25 May
• Recipients announced: Friday 29 May
• Final works submission: 5pm on Friday 12 June
• Works published online: Summer 2020