Cowgate Illuminations: Call for expressions of interest for artists commission

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Wunderbar and Newcastle City Council Arts Development Team are looking to work with artists or creative people to lead on a project that illuminates The Cowgate Centre, developed and designed through DIY, community-led means. 

We are looking to explore interactive lighting mechanisms that are generated by human activity and movement, and that embrace new technologies. We are looking for low energy solutions that may not need to be powered by mains electricity. We would like the installation to have permanence, but this aspect should not outweigh the creativity of the design – we are open to innovative interpretations and solutions. 

The project should engage with playful exploration, collaboration and collective action with the local residents of the area, resulting in a public spectacle for a wider audience. 

We are looking for practitioners with experience of working collaboratively with non-artists, and confident in leading workshops, as well as those experienced with relevant technologies. We would welcome collaborative application from practitioners with a mixed range of experience. 

We will be hosting site visits to The Cowgate Centre for artists to find out more about the project and the area on Tuesday 13 March from 3m-7pm, at which we will be available to discuss individual proposal ideas in person. 

If you cannot attend this meeting, we welcome and would recommend you to get in touch for a brief discussion about the project before submitting an application. 

Following this first stage, we are asking artists to submit an expression of interest on not more than 1 side of A4, consisting of a brief introduction to your relevant previous experience and initial proposal ideas. Images, drawing or diagrams may also be included, over no more than 2 sides of A4. Please see the full artists commission brief attached here. You can also find this brief, as well as further information on the Wunderbar website:  

A panel consisting of representatives from Wunderbar and Newcastle Arts Development Team will shortlist and interview from these proposals.

Site visit date: Tuesday 13 March, 3pm-7pm 

The Cowgate Centre 

Houghton Avenue


Newcastle upon Tyne


Expression of interest deadline: Friday 24 March, 5pm

Interview dates: Monday 2-Tuesday 3 April

If you would like to speak to someone about Cowgate Illuminations please call Nicola Sing on 0191 2613626 or email [email protected]