Public Art Commission for Penderyn Square

Public Art Commission for Penderyn Square

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council wish to appoint an artist or artists to create public art for a recently created public space in the centre of Merthyr Tydfil.

Opportunity for Artists, Public Art Commission for Penderyn Square

CONTRACT NOTICE – NATIONAL
SUPPLIES

1 Authority Details

1.1

Authority Name and Address


Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Unit 5, Triangle Business Park Pentrebach,

Merthyr Tydfil

CF48 4TQ

UK

Alex Stephens

+44 1685725469

1.2

Address from which documentation may be obtained


Celfwaith

7 Pontfaen,

CARDIFF

CF23 7DU

UK

Mererid Velios

+44 2920750992

mererid@celfwaith.co.uk
www.celfwaith.co.uk

1.3

Completed documents must be returned to:


Celfwaith

7 Pontfaen,

CARDIFF

CF23 7DU

UK

Mererid Velios

+44 2920750992

mererid@celfwaith.co.uk
www.celfwaith.co.uk

2 Contract Details

2.1

Title

Opportunity for Artists, Public art commission for Penderyn Square

2.2

Description of the goods or services required

1. Introduction

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council wish to appoint an artist or artists to create public art for a recently created public space in the centre of Merthyr Tydfil. The square is part of a wide ranging series of improvements to the town centre that have improved the quality of the environment and transport infrastructure. The square is also of historical significance as the site of the Merthyr Rising in 1831.

This commission is jointly funded by the Arts Council of Wales and Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council. The commission will commence in October 2015 and is expected to be complete by September 2016.

2. Background and context

The public art commission for Penderyn Square has been developed as part of a recently completed Public Art Strategy for Merthyr Tydfil. The strategy builds on the wider town centre improvements and seeks to enhance the public realm by creating engaging and relevant public art projects. The aim of this commission is to interpret the Merthyr Rising story to a contemporary audience, making it relevant in the context of our time. The artwork interventions should create a space where people will want to visit, and improve the appearance of a key site within the town centre, as well as give residents a sense of pride in their town.

2.1 Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre Public Art Strategy

In September 2014, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council adopted the Town Centre Public Art Strategy focusing on Merthyr Tydfil town centre. Developed through funding from the Arts Council of Wales and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, the strategy was produced in conjunction with a range of partners including:

RedHouse (Old Town Hall)

Merthyr Tydfil College – Arts Department

Theatr Soar

Local Artists and Arts Professionals

Capita Symonds

Local Authority internal departments: Planning, Regeneration, Economic Development and Arts Development

Local third sector and community groups

Public participation through consultation events held in April 2014.

Together a vision for public art in Merthyr Tydfil Town has been developed that states:

That the creative renaissance of Merthyr Tydfil starts from within, led by the people of Merthyr. This means that the people will have the opportunity to actively engage with artists to initiate, research, design and create art. This process will build confidence from within which will be noticed by visitors and potential investors.

That Merthyr regains its reputation as a place for innovation and creativity

That people’s pride in their town has visual expression through public art and events.

In ensuring that this vision is achieved, it will be the Physical Regeneration Team’s responsibility to ensure that artists appointed for commissions or residencies are of a calibre to make a positive contribution to the image of Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre. In responding to the commissions, appointed artists will be expected to develop an intellectual response that is out of the ordinary, pushes the boundaries and challenges people’s perceptions in a thoughtful and fascinating approach.

2.2 Project Partners

The appointed artist will be expected to work and liaise with a range of people and organisations including:

Canolfan Soar Staff

Canolfan Soar regular users and groups

RedHouse

Town Centre Manager, THI Officer and Highways Engineering Manager

The Arts Council of Wales

Heritage groups

3. The Commission

3.1 The site

Penderyn Square lies at the civic heart of Merthyr Tydfil in front of the newly refurbished Red House, the former town hall which has now been fully restored as a multi-use arts and education venue. There is a paved area directly in front of Red House which is to be kept clear for public events such as festivals and concerts.

Adjacent is a large grassed area, the site of the former cinema, which is bounded to the North by the gable end of a two storey commercial premises and this wall is included in the project as part of the site available to the artists. There is an electrical point approximately to the centre of the gable wall within the grassed area. This area is also used for events and needs to be kept fairly clear. However, the view towards the west boundary of the site is less attractive and some sort of screening could be considered, which could include integrated seating along the boundary of the grass area.

The granite seating and bollards along the boundary of the square could also be adapted as part of this art project.

The site is South facing and lies at an important crossroads at the junction of Castle Street with High Street, which is the main shopping area for the town. As the High Street continues North, it passes through Pontmorlais which is a conservation area and includes Theatr Soar as well as many restored traditional shop fronts. The close proximity of Red House and Theatr Soar means that this is a lively area that attracts a wide variety of people both day and night. On the far side of the square is the Dic Penderyn public house, which overlooks the site.

The square and the pub are named after Dic Penderyn who was arrested during the Merthyr Rising of 1831 and later hanged for allegedly stabbing a soldier (who was injured, not killed). The people of Merthyr doubted his guilt and raised a petition for his release but were unsuccessful. After his death he was treated as a martyr across Britain. The Merthyr Rising was a public expression of frustration and anger at the lowering of wages and local levels of unemployment. The protesters called for reform and took over the town, rallying round a red flag.

3.2 Artist role and anticipated outcomes

The newly paved square and green space in the heart of the town is an important opportunity to create a haven from the hustle and bustle of the commercial centre. While it needs to be kept open and clutter free to be available for events (and the space is already attracting more events to Merthyr) it still needs a layer of visual interest to draw out its character and to reveal the site’s history. The Council also has an ambition that the site should become an attraction in its own right, with an original design and use of materials that mark it out as both an inspiring public art project as well as a functioning public space.

It is essential that the artist/s address the importance of Dic Penderyn and the political radicalism that led to his martyrdom. Merthyr has a proud socialist tradition and had the UK’s first Labour MP in Keir Hardie, who was elected in 1900 as member for Merthyr Tydfil. There are no preconceived ideas about how this should be represented. However, we are looking for a contemporary artistic response to the site’s history, rather than an illustrative historical response.

The gable end wall is a site that has already been used for a temporary mural during this year’s Merthyr Rising Festival. The render along this wall is due to be removed and re-applied (with lime render) as part of the Town Heritage Initiative. Once this work has been completed it will be ready for a permanent artwork as part of this project. Project funding does not allow for a painted mural, but the artwork could be something that is attached to the wall. Something eye-catching on the wall would draw people further up the High Street and into Pontmorlais than they currently venture.

The temporary mural was popular and generated a great deal of discussion about future public art for the square. We would like to build on this public interest through incorporating engagement activities and temporary intervention/s into this project as part of its research phase.

The research and engagement phase of this project is critical to ensure that Merthyr residents get involved with and behind the project. The artist will be expected to spend a number of days in Merthyr to develop and facilitate engagement activities and we will allocate a portion of the budget for this aspect of the project. The project manager will support the artist with devising and delivering public consultation activity, including meeting with relevant heritage groups and those involved in delivering festivals and community activity in the town centre. The outcomes from the consultation and engagement phase will need to be collated and reported to the Steering group before the artist proceeds with developing detailed design proposals. The artist should consider one of the objectives of this phase of work is to refine the brief.

The commission consists of three main areas of consideration:

1. Engagement and consultation with the public to raise awareness of the project and research ways to make the Dic Penderyn story relevant to our times.

2. A creative treatment of the gable end wall at the rear of the site that improves its appearance and incorporates it into the square as a whole.

3. A coherent overall design that may combine sculptural form, text, landscaping, paving treatment and possibly lighting.

This is one of three commissions currently being advertised for the Pontmorlais area of Merthyr, the others being:

1) a sculptural feature at the High St entrance to Theatr Soar

2) a poetry paving trail between Theatr Soar and RedHouse

Artists are welcome to apply for one or more of these commissions.

In completing the commission, the appointed artist will:

Work collaboratively with the client to help shape and influence the design development process.

Work in partnership with Celfwaith to ensure a shared curatorial vision across all commissions that form the Town Centre Public Art Strategy.

Provide outline visuals/sketches to support project concepts

Ensure that the DDA has been considered in the design as well as health and safety.

Undertake research as appropriate to the commission

Ensure that materials used are low maintenance and suitable for a permanent outdoor installation.

3.3 Timetable

We aim to appoint an artist mid October 2015 and for the artist to research and develop engagement activities from October to January. The fabrication period for creating the work is estimated to begin in March with September 2016 as a projected completion date.

4. Management and Reporting

The appointed Artist will be expected to work closely with Celfwaith. There will also be a Steering Group who will be responsible for ensuring commissions share a coherent vision and for making recommendations on designs to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

4.1 Insurances & Checks

In the event of commissioning, details of Public and Product Liability insurance will be required sufficient to provide the client with assurance on matters of liability and so that neither the client or contractor are exposed to undue risk on any element commissioned from the artist.

4.2 Contracts

The Artist will be appointed through a research and design contract followed by a commission contract.

4.3 How to apply

To apply for the project please send images of your previous work on CD as a powerpoint or pdf document with an image list, a brief CV, and a letter outlining your interest in this project. Please also include contact details of 2 referees.

Postal applications to: Celfwaith, 7 Pontfaen, Cardiff, CF23 7DU. Email applications to: mererid@celfwaith.co.uk

4.4 Procedure and Selection criteria

This brief has been widely advertised locally and nationally. A short-list of 3 or 4 artists will be selected for interview. Artists may also apply jointly. The interview panel will consist of the public art project manager, representatives of Merthyr Tydfil Council and the Arts Council of Wales. Reasonable travel expenses to interview will be reimbursed.

The selected artist will be expected to have experience of creating and installing a project of a comparable scale/complexity, have an awareness of the technical issues likely to arise and experience of cost control on a project of similar value.

Selection criteria:

Creativity shown in past projects 60%

Experience of delivering a commission to a similar budget and timescale 20%

Experience of developing designs collaboratively through community events 20%

Interviews will likely be held 20th/21st October 2015. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

The scoring of interviews will be based as follows:

50% Presentation – further details will be given to short-listed applicants

50% Interview

NOTE: To register your interest in this notice and obtain any additional information please visit the Sell2Wales Web Site at http://www.sell2wales.gov.uk/Search/Search_Switch.aspx?ID=33976.

2.3

Notice Coding and Classification

92310000 Artistic and literary creation and interpretation services
92311000 Works of art
92312000 Artistic services
92312200 Services provided by authors, composers, sculptors, entertainers and other individual artists
92312250 Services provided by individual artists

1015 Central Valleys (Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf)

2.4

Total quantity or scope of tender

Budget and fee payment

There is a budget of ca £74,000 + vat available to research and engage, design, create, deliver and install the artwork. This budget is to include the artists’ fees and any subcontracted works or associated expenses. The appointed artist will be responsible for their own VAT and National Insurance. If planning permission and/or works permit will be required (which is likely), these fees will be covered by a separate budget.

3 Conditions for Participation

3.1

Minimum standards and qualification required

The selected artist will be expected to have experience of creating and installing a project of a comparable scale/complexity, have an awareness of the technical issues likely to arise and experience of cost control on a project of similar value.

Selection criteria:

Creativity shown in past projects 60%

Experience of delivering a commission to a similar budget and timescale 20%

Experience of developing designs collaboratively through community events 20%

Interviews will likely be held 20th/21st October 2015. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

The scoring of interviews will be based as follows:

50% Presentation – further details will be given to short-listed applicants

50% Interview

4 Administrative Information

4.1

Type of Procedure

Single stage – Any candidate may submit a tender.

4.2

Reference number attributed to the notice by the contracting authority

N/a

4.3

Time Limits

a) Time-limit for obtaining documentation

b) Time-limit for receipt of completed tenders
05-10-2015  Time  17:00

c) Estimated award date 23-10-2015

4.5

Language or languages in which tenders or requests to participate can be drawn up

ENWelsh

4.6

Tender Submission Postbox

5 Other Information

5.1

Additional Information

This invitation to tender can also be viewed at www.celfwaith.co.uk

DO NOT submit tenders via sell2wales, follow the instructions set out in the description.

(WA Ref:33976)

5.2

Additional Documentation

5.3

Publication date of this notice

15-09-2015

Express an interest online

Enjoyed this post? Share it!