Bringing ideas, imagination, information and knowledge to people’s lives and communities

Discover. Create. Explore – artist call out

Posted on 29 Aug 2018

Libraries Unlimited is an independent staff and community owned charity, launched in April 2016. We run 54 libraries across Devon and Torbay, four mobile libraries and a range of other services including; two FabLabs, two Business and Intellectual Property Centres and three prison libraries. Our libraries serve communities across Devon and Torbay, providing access to a range of services and facilities designed to bring ideas, imagination, information, knowledge and creativity to people’s lives.

As one of six new library Arts Council England funded National Portfolio Organisations (NPO), Libraries Unlimited is working to bring an innovative programme of arts and culture to our libraries across Devon.

Our new programme Discover. Create. Explore looks to use new technologies to connect people with great culture and art of all types. For this first year we will be focusing on libraries in Exeter, Barnstaple and Bideford.

We are excited to invite expressions of interest from artists and practitioners from all sectors to respond to the following briefs:

Library Playgrounds

We are looking for artists who are excited by working with members of the community to co-create playful artworks that redefine our library spaces.

We have 7 x £500 research and development grants, to allow selected artists to come and be inspired by our libraries and user groups under the theme ‘Connecting’

From these R&D’s we’ll select 5 final ideas for £2500 commissions (to include travel and materials) for delivery February ~ March 2019.

To apply, send 1-2 pages (or equivalent length) outlining your practise, examples of past work and initial thoughts of something you’d be excited to explore. We won’t hold you to these ideas. We’re aware that people, spaces, conversations and time allow ideas to evolve and shape and we’re keen that these commissions respond to both our unique spaces and our users. We just want to get the ball rolling and find people whose work we’re excited by. We want to hear what makes you tick and see what you can bring to the table.

As a network of libraries we’re excited by ideas that both celebrate and reframe the library space, things that you might never expect to see in a library space but also couldn’t imagine experiencing anywhere else. There’s just so much to celebrate about public libraries. With this in mind, we’d love you to think about ‘why a library?’.

The following list is some of the things we’re excited by at the moment. We’re sharing this to give you an idea of where we’re at, but we’re equally as interested in being surprised and excited by your ideas.

Light trails, projection mapping, escape rooms, gaming, text tales, reactive ink.

Please send a CV and overview of your work and a covering letter of up to two sides of A4 talking about your idea and your practise.

Deadline for submissions of interest: 9am on the 11th October 2018. Depending on the level of interest we will aim to contact successful candidates before the end of October.

We also welcome video and audio submissions, though please only equivalent to 1-2 pages in length.

Please send all expressions of interest submissions and any questions regarding the commissions to daniel.clark@librariesunlimited.org.uk

Tech Tales

We have some incredible collections of rare books and are looking for creative technologists and artists, authors and historians to interpret and respond to them.

We are looking to commission 3 ‘small footprint, digital artworks’ that embrace the concept of the library as a private/public space. We want these pieces to be small enough to be able to tour our network of libraries, but involving enough that people can explore and play with them in their own time.

We’re open to ideas. In fact, we’re driven by them. But we’re also looking for the right people. We want you to be inspired by some of the amazing books we’ve got, so send ideas in if you like, but equally just tell us about you and your practise, and projects in the past (or in progress) that might give us an idea of how you work and what you’re excited by. 1 of these funds is for an R&D with a sharing around end March, while the other 2 are for delivery March ~ April 2019.

We’re interested in collaboration, and are as open to submissions of interest from working partnerships as highly skilled open-minded individuals.

Part of the interview process will be about meeting each other, and we’ll be looking for any partnerships that might grow out of this. The point is, if you’re good and interested, but you’re only one half of what we’re looking for, do still apply. We’re looking for people rather than just pairs.

We have 3 x £3000 grants to allow for:

  1. An author and creative technologist to explore and respond to our rare book collections in Exeter Library. This is an R&D grant as we recognise that this is part of a longer look at how literature might sit in the library space if combined with tech. We would expect to see a prototype by March 2019, with a view to commissioning a bigger piece next year.
  2. A historian and a creative technologist to create a piece in response to our local studies collections in Barnstaple to share with the public in March 2019
  3. An artist and creative technologist to create a piece in response to our unusual and rare ‘Chope collection’ in Bideford library. This is to be shared in March/ April 2019.

We welcome visits prior to submission, and can cover expenses in some instances. To chat about this please contact daniel.clark@librariesunlimited.org.uk or phone on 07519 104688.

Please note working pattern – Monday to Thursday 9.30-5.30

Please send a CV and overview of your work and a covering letter of up to two sides of A4 talking about your idea and your practise.

Deadline for submissions of interest: 9am on the 11th October 2018.

Depending on the level of interest we will aim to contact successful candidates by the 18th October. Interview date – 2nd/ 3rd November.

We also welcome video and audio submissions, though please only equivalent to 1-2 pages in length.

Please send all expressions of interest submissions and any questions regarding the commissions to daniel.clark@librariesunlimited.org.uk

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.