Open call

The Alfred Arcade Banner Commission 2024

a space’ arts are look­ing to com­mis­sion a new art­work that will be print­ed on a ban­ner and hung on back of The Alfred Arcade on Old Northam Road, ove

09:00 05/02/24
Contact Name
Mia Delve
The Brief
‘a space’ arts are looking to commission a new artwork that will be printed on a banner and hung on back of The Alfred Arcade on Old Northam Road, overlooking the railway. The work could be a collection of words or a phrase containing a message to daily commuters or visitors to the city; or it might refer to artistic activity.

This is the fourth in a series of banner commissions for Old Northam Road.

Location and context
The Alfred Arcade is a unique gallery space with six exhibition/studio spaces and a terrace at the back which overlooks the railway. A stone's throw from the city centre, the gallery is situated on Old Northam Road, which is home to a growing community of artists.

In the past, the street was a busy and bustling place in the heart of the city. It became known as the ‘antiques-quarter’ in the 60s and 70s and attracted visitors from all over the world. In 1988, however, the new dual carriageway and Six Dials interchange were built, leaving Old Northam Road cut off from the rest of the city. Since then, many vendors have gone elsewhere, leaving behind long rows of beautiful Victorian shop fronts.

‘a space’ arts acquired the Alfred Arcade in 2018 and launched a programme of exhibitions and events in partnership with Solent University, Winchester School of Art and University of Southampton, showcasing the work of recent graduates. Since then, the project has expanded into two other venues on the street, the Hidden Wardrobe and the Alfred Arms.

Today the project is called RIPE. Its primary aim is to support graduate artists in the city to exhibit and engage in artistic exchange and experimentation, forming networks and friendships that will help them sustain a fruitful visual arts practice here in Southampton.

The Commission
• The artwork must be text based
• The artwork will be seen predominantly by passengers on the passing trains. The work
may relate to the daily commute or appeal to visiting tourists. It may also be inspired by
the site’s location and history.
• The banner may hint at, or refer to the artistic activity which takes place on Old
Northam Road
• The selected artist may simply contribute the words for this commission and work with staff from ‘a space’ arts to choose the type and design of the banner, or take a lead on the design. The final artwork will need to be simple and easy to read.
• The banner will be approximately 9m x 1m.
• The artist will be required to give a short talk about the work during the evening of the launch on Friday, 5th April.

There is a flat fee of £250 for the commissioned artist. Production, installation and printing costs will be paid by ‘a space’ arts.

How to apply
To submit an application for this commission or if you have any questions, please email Mia Delve at by Monday 5th February at 9am.
Submissions must include:
• Your proposed text
• Any thoughts or ideas about the design
• 100 words about your research and development
Writing Public art