b-side festival 2024 Open Call

Deadline: 10/03/2024  |  City: Isle of Portland  |  Region: Dorset  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  b-side CIC

Paid opportunity

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b-side is offering commission opportunities to create new artworks in any media for the next b-side festival Sept 5th - 8th 2024. Artworks should respond to the theme Who Do We Think We Are? and can be responsive to Portland's heritage, culture, and geography. Proposals can be for any amount up to £6,000 (there is an additional £1k budget for artists travel and accommodation, for both the Research & Development day(s) and for the Festival period) - we expect to commission across a range of contexts, concepts, and costs. Deadline for applications is March 10th 2024. Please note: There is a separate access budget available.

 The Brief

An open call for creative responses to Who Do We Think We Are? (WDWTWA?). b-side is offering commission opportunities to create new artworks in any media for the next festival, b-side festival Sept 5th - 8th 2024. Artworks should respond to the theme and can be responsive to Portland's heritage, culture, and geography.

b-side festival commissions theme and site-responsive work for public spaces on Portland revealing aspects of the island’s environment and communities and their relationship to elsewhere. The commissions form the core programme of the festival. b-side’s ongoing programme of work is 'Common Lands'. Who Do We Think We Are? is a development of Common Lands and of b-side’s work on Portland, exploring our relationship to the place and people we work with: residents, artists and multi-disciplinary partners.

WDWTWA? begins with themes of identity, home, and migration. Through your responses we want to explore and widen this lens and extend the conversation, hearing from new voices adding richness and variety, challenge and conversation.

We believe that in making room and listening we are all enabled to broaden our understanding of how each of us interacts with place, with a goal to share places equitably.

The Budget

●      Up to £6000 to make work for the b-side 2024 festival. This covers the artist fee and all costs including transport of work, all materials for production, installation and de-installation of work.

●       There is an additional £1k budget for artists travel and accommodation, for both the Research & Development day(s) and for the Festival period.

●      We expect to commission across a range of budgets from £1000, with a maximum of 3 awards at the £6000 level.

●      Artists may submit up to three ideas at varying costs within the £6000 commission budget maximum. Please submit a separate application for each idea.

NB Applicants are welcome to bring additional funding from other sources to support their proposal if it is greater in ambition than our commission levels allow. In certain circumstances, we may be able to help source additional funding


Who is this opportunity for?

●      We are inviting all artists: visual artists, poets, composers, storytellers, comedians, performers, musicians to dive into the provocation:  Who Do We Think We Are?

●      If you make work that is playful, maverick, challenging, inclusive, poetic, strange, magical, beautiful, or reflective.

●      We welcome applications from artists at any stage in their career, with or without formal training and encourage applications from people under-represented in the arts including artists with lived experience of migration.

●      Artists who might use engagement and participation in their work are welcome to apply (please note that there is approximately 16 weeks to make the work and therefore depth of social engagement may be limited).


About b-side festival

●      The festival takes place over a four-day period (Sept 5th - 8th 2024) with installations and events at several locations across the island.  The commissions form the core programme of the festival with artists also contributing to talks and other events prior to or during the festival.

●      Work can be for indoor or outdoor contexts, intimate or large scale, static, mobile, durational or event based.

●      Proposals for artworks and interventions should respond to the theme and can be site-responsive and aim to intrigue and engage audiences.

●      We welcome proposals that may involve working with Portland residents and visitors as individuals or groups or equally for more intimate, reflective artworks and encounters.

●      Proposals should be for new work but may be part of a larger or on-going project.

●      We expect artworks to have a presence throughout the festival or if event-based to include several performances or audience opportunities.

●      Applications are invited from artists at any career stage and working in any media including visual art, digital, sound, film, text based work, live and performance art, social media and socially engaged practice.

●      b-side values diversity and is working to make the application and commissioning process accessible to all. We welcome proposals from those currently under-represented in the arts. 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. Please download and use our Work with Me document from our website, this document helps us better understand your needs and how we can work better together.  More info on access documents https://www.accessdocsforartists.com/ 


Selection Process

●      All applications will be acknowledged on receipt.

●      The festival Curatorial team read each application, discuss, and select a long list then a shortlist of artists for interview. Selection is guided by budget, spread of artform/duration/geography/type of visitor experience, and how all selected proposals work together across the festival to give visitors the very best experience.

●      All unsuccessful applications will be notified at the earliest opportunity. We regret it is not possible to give feedback for unsuccessful applications at this stage of the selection due to the quantity of applications.

●      All shortlisted artists will be notified and invited to an interview (via Zoom)

 
Key dates

  • March 10th Open Call Closes
  • March 28th Shortlisted artists invited for interview
  • April 2nd - 5th Interviews
  • April 8th-12th Selected artists notified
  • April 26/27th Research + Development days
  • Aug 30th - Sept 3rd Installation of artworks
  • Sept 4th Festival preview and press day

 

●      Artists will be selected on the basis of their outline proposal and will then have further opportunity to research and develop the final work.

●      Each commission opportunity includes an introductory residential period on Portland April 26th + 27th allowing the selected artists to research and develop their final proposal. This initial residential period will provide opportunities to get to know the area with talks, walks and introductions to communities and individuals that artists might work with. Artists will have the opportunity for individual exploration of Portland as well as contributing to discussions between the curatorial team and selected artists.

●      Successful applicants will be expected to be present for the duration of the 2024 Festival. Past festivals have shown us that audiences and artists get much more out of the experience if the artist is present with their work and able to engage with visitors during the festival.

 
If my proposal is selected how will I be supported?

The selected artists will have access to curatorial support, installation assistance, venue/site facilitation and help with finding accommodation. Artists will also have the opportunity of using our b-side shop front ‘project space’ - Outpost, in Fortuneswell, Portland for use as private or public facing research, meeting or workspace and engagement venue prior to the festival. Your work will be in the b-side festival programme which is marketed nationally and internationally in print and online and there is an opportunity for your work to exist online.

We can also help broker any connections you wish to make with members of the Portland community, if this is appropriate and useful to your work.

b-side equalities monitoring form

We’d like to ask a few questions which help us understand who we are reaching and how we can improve access to our opportunities. We are a grant funded organisation and it's important to both us and our funders to see who we are reaching and if there are any gaps we can address. Please click the link below which will take you a short survey. This part of the application is anonymous and will not be read alongside your main application.

We don’t believe people fit easily into boxes so we have selected a non-categorising method below. You are welcome to write Prefer Not to Say for any answer.

Click here for Equal Opportunities monitoring form

Sites

●      Work can be sited anywhere on the Island and artists are encouraged to research and suggest locations as part of their proposal but this is not essential, we will help selected artists find appropriate sites or venues. A number of locations used for previous festivals are listed below however we are completely open to considering any other suggestions.

●      Sites should be reasonably accessible. We encourage visitors to explore Portland by foot using public rights of way and public transport where possible.

●      b-side is committed to minimising our environmental impact. We encourage artists to consider the carbon footprint related to the production, materials, installation, and any activities as part of their project proposals, including to re-purpose or recycle all materials from installations and performances.

About Portland

Portland is a curious island with a very particular history and ecology and an increasingly diverse population offering huge scope for research and inspiration. Located just off the coast of Dorset and approached via a narrow causeway, this hulk of limestone, bounded by steep cliffs and treacherous seas is unlike anywhere else in Dorset.

Portland has been dramatically changed and influenced over the years by quarrying and military appropriation and secret experimentation. It is a small island just 1.7 miles across and 4 miles long, it’s coastal edges subject to the forces of nature, eroded by the sea, landslips and rock falls, its interior removed by quarrying and mining.

More recently tourism is seen as the growth industry, as former quarries are re-wilded as nature reserves and Portland’s unique ecological, historical and leisure attractions are increasingly recognized by climbers, divers, walkers, bird watchers, naturalists, geologists and historians. Portland, as a community and place, encapsulates in miniature the characteristics of what is happening in a wider world context.

Some useful research links

https://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/introduction.html

http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/

http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/PortlandArchivePictures/index.html

https://portlandmuseum.co.uk/

The Dorset Explorer website (link below) mapping system is useful for exploring many different layers of information on Portland

https://gi.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/explorer/

Location links

These are just a few examples of sites used for previous festivals. Additional sites will be developed and negotiated in discussion with artists in response to commission proposals.

Islanders Club
https://www.facebook.com/islandersclub/about or see photo here https://flic.kr/p/2pgTMXG and https://flic.kr/p/2pgSD5S

Chiswell Community Garden
http://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/chiswell-walled-garden.html

The Esplanade and Quiddles café, Chiswell
http://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/chesil-cove.html
http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/680730/#Esplanade

Fancys Farm
http://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/fancys-family-farm.htmlwww.fancysfarm.co.uk

The Engine Shed
http://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/the-old-engine-shed.html

The Stadium Bowl
https://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/portland-stadium-bowl.htmlhttp://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/695725/#Sports

The Governors Community Garden (The Grove)
http://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/governors-community-garden.html

Easton Gardens
http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/690715/#Gardens
http://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/easton-gardens.html

St Georges Church
http://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/st-georges-church.html
http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/685720/#StGeorgesChurch

Portland Bird Observatory
https://www.portlandbirdobs.com/

Other potential sites/mobile resources

The following are sites/resources that b-side also has access to:

Phone Box

A series of decommissioned community owned red phone boxes: https://flic.kr/p/2p1L5m4

Ad bike Trailers

b-side have 2 large ad-bike trailers that can be pulled by bicycles, see here for image: https://flic.kr/p/2p1HW5z

Flag Poles

As part of our partnership work with Boatfolk, b-side have access to 3 giant flagpoles (they used to be wind turbine masts) on a public walkway in Portland Marina.

How to apply

Please complete the online application form which will include the following information:

●      Your contact details

●      A description of your idea, stating how you would respond to the brief – including details of your method and where you imagine your creative response taking place (for example: online, in print, live… etc.) [700 words or max 5 minute video / audio recording maximum]

●      Details of previous relevant experience (where you might have delivered similar work or worked in a similar way / method) [500 words or max 2 minute video / audio recording maximum]

●      Confirmation that you are available to take part in b-side festival (5th - 8th September 2024)

●      Images or weblinks illustrating your idea and / or previous work [10 images / weblinks maximum]

 
Applying in another format

As well as written applications, we can accept audio and video applications too. If you want to submit a proposal 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 text response would usually go). If CuratorSpace isn’t accessible to you, please contact Sally: sally@b-side.org.uk and we will work to provide a format that works for you.

 

Make a submission Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
● We are inviting all artists: visual artists, poets, composers, storytellers, comedians, performers, musicians to dive into the provocation: Who Do We Think We Are? Artists at any stage of their career are invited to apply
● If you make work that is playful, maverick, challenging, inclusive, poetic, strange, magical, beautiful, or reflective.
● We welcome applications from artists at any stage in their career, with or without formal training and encourage applications from people under-represented in the arts including artists with lived experience of migration.
● Artists who might use engagement and participation in their work are welcome to apply (please note that there is approximately 16 weeks to make the work and therefore depth of social engagement may be limited).
When is the deadline?
March 10th 2024
How many works can I submit?
Artists may submit up to three ideas at varying costs within the £6000 commission budget maximum. Please submit a separate application for each idea.
When must the work be ready by?
The work must be ready for public viewing by Wednesday September 4th 2024
When do I need to collect my work?
Work must be dismantled/taking down/collected after the Festival (from Sept 9th 2024)
How much does it cost?
There are no entry costs.
Are there payments to artists?
Up to £6000 to make work for the b-side 2024 festival. This covers the artist fee and all costs including transport of work, all materials for production, installation and de-installation of work. There is an additional £1k budget for artists travel and accommodation, for both the Research & Development day(s) and for the Festival period. We expect to commission across a range of budgets from £1000, with a maximum of 3 awards at the £6000 level.
Is there a preview?
Yes the festival will have a special preview day for invited guests and the press on Wed Sept 4th 2024
What are the festival public opening hours?
Most of the programme is open to the public between 11am and 6pm over the Festival period, some events are held during the evening also.
Does the location have disabled access?
The Festival is mutli site and multi venue, we try to make sure the sites we use can be as accessible as possible. Please do let us know if you have any access requirements in your application.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Printed Festival Guide, promotional advertising in relevant regional and national publications, online listings, social media platforms, press coverage
Do I need to be present?
Successful applicants will be expected to be present for the duration of the 2024 Festival. Past festivals have shown us that audiences and artists get much more out of the experience if the artist is present with their work and able to engage with visitors during the festival.
How do you decide on proposals?
The festival Curatorial team read each application, discuss, and select a long list then a shortlist of artists for interview. Selection is guided by budget, spread of artform/duration/geography/type of visitor experience, and how all selected proposals work together across the festival to give visitors the very best experience.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
All shortlisted artists will be notified and invited to an interview (via Zoom)
What kind of proposals are you looking for?
New artworks in any media. Artworks should respond to the theme and can be responsive to Portland's heritage, culture, and geography.

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