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Artist commission: Nature of South Asia display 2017

We are commissioning a visual artist interested in South Asia to display in our Natural History Gallery.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in south east London houses important collections of anthropology, musical instruments, natural history, an acclaimed aquarium and 16 acres of gardens. The Museum welcomes around 900,000 visitors to the Museum and Gardens each year and is supported by a vibrant programme of events and activities.

In 2017, much of our public programme will be focused on South Asia. We have very rich historic collections from this part of the world and are seeking to complement this with a programme that expresses the diversity of practice across many art forms and its influence on contemporary culture in the UK.

To complement and add breadth to this programme and to draw in other collections in the Museum, we would like to commission a visual artist interested in South Asia, its environmental issues and the interactions between people and nature in the region, to produce an exciting and impactful intervention in the ‘Inspired by Nature’ area at the entrance to our Natural History Gallery. The work would comment upon, encourage participation in and stimulate dialogue and discussion around the scientific, social and cultural history, diversity, conservation and conflicts affecting the future preservation and protection of the natural environment in South Asia, bringing this to the attention of and making this relevant and accessible to the widest possible audience.

The display would link to our collections and appear alongside a beautiful taxidermy mount of a Bengal Tiger, which will also be on display in the entrance to the Natural History Gallery from May 2017.

The space: The space available for the work (either existing or new) includes a glass showcase suitable for the display of two or three-dimensional work, and in addition wall space, suitable for displaying two-dimensional work or display screens (see image below of Jane Edden’s work in the gallery). (Note: sound does not work well in this space).

  • Artist commission: Nature of South Asia inspired display 2017, Jane Edden's Avian Forms display in the 'Inspired by Nature' section of the Natural History Gallery
    Jane Edden's Avian Forms display in the 'Inspired by Nature' section of the Natural History Gallery

Fee and production of artwork: £3000. In addition to the fee the museum will, subject to final agreement, fully support the installation, interpretation and marketing of the work.

Timeframe: The successful artist will have a solid track record of producing and exhibiting their own work and will be expected to start working on the commission from November 2016.

Artwork will need to be completed by March 2017 and installed in May 2017. We will provide access to our collections, audiences and expertise as well as marketing and promotional support. Please note that applicants will be expected to produce work in their own studio / workspace.

How to apply: Please send your CV, together with an expression of interest including examples of your existing work and a proposal explaining how you might approach this commission to Julie Baxter at jbaxter@horniman.ac.uk.

Please note: Applications will only be accepted in pdf or word format and images of work via accessible weblinks (large files will not be accepted).

The deadline for submissions is 5pm Wednesday 5th October 2016
Interviews will take place week of 17th October 2016