Deadline: 25/04/2022  |  Published: 11/03/2022  |  City: Portland, Dorset  |  Region: Dorset  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  b-side CIC

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Expressions of Interest invited from artists for a commission on the Isle of Portland, Dorset as part of a Heritage Lottery funded project called This Land. Fee: £4000 plus travel & accommodation allowance Materials: additional budget of up to £2000 for materials and equipment. Deadline: 25 April 2022.

b-side is inviting expressions of interest from an artist or collaboration working in any medium for a commission to create artwork in response to the last area of unquarried land on the Isle of Portland, Dorset as part of a Heritage Lottery funded project called This Land.

This Land is a two year project exploring and celebrating the unique natural and built heritage of the isle of Portland, Dorset and responds directly to community concerns about their environment. Exploring land use and access, land and property rights, biodiversity and climate change, the project aims to raise awareness, gather and share knowledge, and upskill and empower the community to protect and enhance their environment.

The project focuses on two ‘at risk’ sites and aims to reach those who might not usually get involved in heritage. The two sites are the remains of a Tudor cottage in Brandy Row on the seafront at Chiswell and the last remaining area of unquarried/agricultural landscape at Portland Bill.

The project programme includes activities and discussion events exploring the biodiversity and history of Portland, and will open up conversations around threats and opportunities for the Island. What does the future hold for these sites? How does an island adapt to environmental change? How do we best enhance and protect our environment?  Our aim is to encourage, facilitate and support a dialogue that gives a voice to different points of view, whilst also researching and documenting existing built and natural environment heritage.

A key project activity will involve residents in research activities to discover and uncover histories, gather data, learning new skills in the process. Artist commissions will respond to and interpret the community led research and create artworks/activities/dialogue engaging a wide range of people, sharing knowledge, and raising awareness of environmental issues for residents and visiting audiences. 

See additional background info Appendix A below

This brief is for artist/artist collaboration to work in response to the area of landscape at the southern end of the island between the village of Southwell and Portland Bill. Prior to the rapid acceleration of quarrying in the late 1800s, Portland was an agricultural landscape with large areas of open grassland and multiple small strip fields used for growing crops and grazing sheep. This area is now the only part of the island largely untouched by quarrying and where the original land surface remains. Here, you will find the still visible remains of medieval strip farming systems, a Mesolithic settlement site and an incredible diversity of plant and wildlife relating to its particular geology and coastal location.

Using this area as a study site the project will work with artists and researchers, local experts and residents and look at land use, land access and rights and how the islands limestone geology and geographic location determine the plants and wildlife that can be found here and how best to sustain that.

The This Land project starts in May 2022 with a Research Facilitator supporting community led research exploring both sites. A public event on Sat 18 June will share the initial research with a wider audience. The research will also be shown in some form during our festival 8-11th Sept 2022.

This commission is for an artist/s to work alongside and/or in response to the community led research and the issues described above. The artist/s will develop artwork that interprets and helps raise awareness of the significance of this landscape. It is hoped that the final artwork is in a form that has a continuing value to the residents of Portland beyond the project period.

b-side will introduce the artist/artists to our network of partners and residents on the island, to community groups or individuals who are interested in the project and to act as a sounding board for creative elements of the project where required. Key partners for the Last Landscape site are The Portland Association Biodiversity Group and Protect Portland Bill who will have an input in selecting the artist/s.

Key dates for outcomes can be negotiated but should include either a final outcome OR sharing of work in progress at b-side’s festival September 08 -11, 2022, with a further or final opportunity for sharing in September 2023.


Project period April 2022 – September 2023

Community research period with facilitator: May/June 2022

Public display/presentation/engagement events: 18 June, 2022 and 8 – 11, Sept 2022, also June and September 2023

Fee: £4000 plus travel & accommodation allowance

Materials: additional budget of up to £2000 for materials and equipment (depending on agreed proposal)

Deadline for applications: 25 April 2022

Apply by video?

As well as written responses, we can accept audio and video responses too. If you want to submit responses to any of the above via video or audio, please record your video/audio response, save it on YouTube/Vimeo/ Google Drive/Dropbox, and then add the link to the video within the Curatorspace form (where the written response would usually go).  Max video length 7 mins total

Any queries please contact: 


Please let us know if you need any of the information in a different format. Additionally, please contact us if there is anything we can do to make the application process more accessible to you.

For further support email Molly Scarborough (b-side's Access lead):

About b-side

We are a cultural organisation based on Portland, b-side’s ethos is to develop projects that sustain or enhance the distinctive geographical character of a place - its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and wellbeing of residents. b-side commissions artists from all disciplines to make site-specific artworks and community engagement projects in response to the Isle of Portland and showcases the work in a festival format. We work with communities to uncover histories and hidden narratives, which are shared widely across physical and digital platforms.


b-side are committed to minimising our environmental impact. We encourage everyone we work with to consider the carbon footprint related to any activities as part of their work with us, including to re-purpose or recycle all materials from workshops, exhibitions, installations and performances.


b-side values diversity and are working to make our application and commissioning process accessible to all. We welcome proposals from those currently under-represented in the arts and encourage disabled artists to apply. We will endeavour to work with artists to mitigate barriers to making their work for the festival. We welcome access documents from artists at any stage of the process. Some more info on access documents can be found here: 


It's really useful for us to monitor who applies for our opportunities, to see who we reach and who is missing. Please would you complete a short questionnaire to help us?

Your answers are completely anonymous and will not be read alongside your main application. We don’t believe people fit easily into boxes so for any answer you can select Other to self-identify, and you are also welcome to select Prefer Not to Say.

Click HERE to take part.

This monitoring form helps us to understand who we are reaching and how we can improve access to our opportunities. If you have any questions about this form, please email


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
b-side is inviting expressions of interest from an artist or collaboration working in any medium for a commission to create artwork in response to the last area of unquarried land on the Isle of Portland, Dorset.
When is the deadline?
25 April 2022
How do you decide on proposals?
All proposals are read, longlisted and then shortlisted, some artists will be invited for an interview and after this, the final selection is made by b-side team and community partners.

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