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Open Call: Village Green Artist Village 2016

Artist Village is a project in which 8 visual artists will get the chance to spend time in Chalkwell Park, developing new ambitious work to be experienced within the outdoor festival context of Village Green 2016 – an annual multi-arts festival run by Metal in Chalkwell Park, Southend-on-Sea.

Now in its 8th year, Village Green attracts 25k people from all ages and backgrounds who come to enjoy an eclectic line up of music, poetry, theatre, dance, workshops, spoken word (and more) within the beautiful setting of Chalkwell Park. Artist Village will provide a strong visual layer to the festival experience for all of these people and will provide exposure to huge audiences for all artists involved.

Participating artists will enter into a focussed and immersive experience where they are able to try something new in an environment completely different to the traditional white cube setting. The artworks created will respond not only the natural features of the park and infrastructure of the festival (stages, tents market stalls etc), but will also consider the way audiences are able to encounter and interact with them.

This opportunity is open to all artists based in UK, working in any discipline. 6 artists have already been invited to take part in Artist Village 2016, however we are looking to select two artists via open submission process to join the group – taking part in a Culture LAB, build week and developing work to be exhibited within the context of Village Green Festival 2015.

The work, where appropriate, will include some level of community engagement, whether through research, collaboration or the sharing of skills through workshop activity. Whilst the range of artists’ proposals will emerge through the LAB process, potential commissions could focus around collective experience, landscape, scale, perception, temporality, sound, community, colour or the many other themes that connect to the idea of a festival.

Culture Lab and Build Week come with a combined fee of £850 per artist for taking part in the process, as well as full board and accommodation. There will also be £500 for materials/equipment hire.

Metal staff will provide support to each artist throughout the process through mentoring, helping source materials, helping install and transport the work if needed. We will make a short film about the process and will also promote the artists online through social media, both the Metal and Village Green websites, through the  press and also in the Village Green programme

Artist Village has been made possible through kind support from Arts Council England and Metal

How It Will Work

Selected artists will be required to attend the Culture LAB week at Metal in Southend (Monday 30th May – Friday 3rd June 2016) and the festival build-up week (Monday 4th July to Sunday 10th).

Village Green: Next Generation (Schools day) will take place on Friday 8th July. We will be organising tours of the artist village works on this day for school children. There could also be opportunities for artists to run workshops for school groups on this day.

Village Green festival will take place on Saturday 9th July (this is the main event day for the public).  Take down will happen on Sunday 10th July 2016.

Metal has been running professional development Culture LABs for practicing artists of all disciplines for a number of years from all our spaces in Peterborough, Liverpool and Southend. These week-long, residential LABs offer an intensive, peer to peer opportunity for critical learning and development of practice in a supported and ‘safe’ environment, allowing for experimentation and risk. This intensive week will be mentored by visiting artists/curators alongside staff from Metal to support the ideas development and planning.  

Following the LAB, the selected artists will have 4 weeks development time back in their own studios to continue working and developing their commissions before returning to Chalkwell park for the week leading up to Village Green. During this second week on site, the artists will camp in the park and finish building their work in a communal studio marquee, before installing the works around the site in their final locations. During this week we will also host an evening of Pecha Kucha style talks which the public will be invited to attend. This will give them an insight into the practices of artists taking part before they encounter the work at the festival.

A further group feedback session will be scheduled for early August (date to be determined).

closing date

8. April 2006



Earlier Event: April 3
The Jackson’s Open Art Prize
Later Event: April 15
East meets West 2