Faringdon is a historic market town in the Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire. Its population is increasingly expanding with the addition of housing developments. The aim of this project is to connect residents, particularly those new to the area, with the town centre.
We are keen to hear from artists who could work with us to enhance creative wayfinding in Faringdon. We are looking for artists and crafts people to explore ideas, propose designs and create artistic benches (and potentially other artistic features such as totems, bollards and paving features) to assist with wayfinding leading from 4 residential areas into the market square.
The brief for the artists is:
- To design and make a 10 unique sculptural benches (and other features) to connect local people with local stories, identity and the town square.
- Through the process of design and creation help residents and community groups find a voice through creative outdoor furniture.
- Encourage collaboration with local artists and the arts community.
- Explore the possibility of introducing other artistic features to assist with wayfinding throughout the town.
- Preferred materials are metal, wood or stone, but we are keen to explore recycled materials and/ or repurposing part of the existing benches.
Faringdon Town Council have identified 10 locations for themed seating, drawing on Faringdon’s rich history within local stories and the geology of the area as well as exploring current community activity. We are seeking expressions of interest from capable artists to help create these benches (and therefore walking trails) that communicate following themes:
- Nursery Rhyme Quarter, the ‘Story Benches’ – North West
The Nursery Rhyme quarter includes the 14 acre site of Humpty Hill, associated with the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. This is an area of green that locals can enjoy walking with beautiful views, bird spotting, blackberrying, sledging and egg rolling. The two benches in this quarter might have design themes of ‘Humpty Dumpty’ and ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’, the latter used by George Steevens (1736-1800) as a pun at the expense of Henry James Pye, of Faringdon House.
Bench 1: Near library – a replacement
- Geology Quarter – South West
Faringdon is the site of the Faringdon Sponge Gravel Member, part of the Cretaceous Lower Greensand Group. It is rich in fossil sponges, other invertebrates, a few vertebrate bones and teeth. The Crest and Bovis developments in this area have road names with a geological theme. Geology will be the theme here.
Bench 2: Bloor Homes, off Highworth Rd
Bench 3: Coxwell St
Bench 4: Bellway side of Coxwell St
Bench 5: Crest/Bovis side of Coxwell St
- Sports Quarter – South East
This area includes Folly Park, an area of natural open space with a small fishing lake. Not far from this are the cricket and rugby fields, a skate park and tennis courts. Most recently added is the popular cycle training park organised by Faringdon’s Far Cycles group. The bench designs will have a sports theme.
Bench 6: Bloor Homes, Oriel Gardens, Park Rd
Bench 7: In Sports ground
- History Quarter – North East
The history quarter is the oldest part of Faringdon and includes Folly Tower, All Saints Church and the historic market square with the 17th century Old Town Hall at its centre. Benches here will explore themes of Lord Berners and the Civil War.
Bench 8: Eagles Park: history of twinning with Le Mêle-sur-Sarthe
Bench 9: path up to the Folly (replace broken bench?) – Civil War
Bench 10: Market Square – Lord Berners
Artists fees for this proposal stage is up to £1,500 (depending on the artist’s method of design and community engagement). This will include fees for the artist’s time for planning, research, studio design time and community engagement work. Proposals will include:
- Scaled drawings of the 10 proposed benches
- Drawings of proposal of other artistic features and suggested locations
- Technical specification of how they are made, materials, colours and design justification (ie RAMs statement)
- Full and itemised costings for creation, transport and installation (including continued community engagement)
The town council will select no more than 4 artists based on their ‘expressions of interest’ attend an interview to discuss their approach to this commission and express initial approach to the project.
Artists’ Expression of Interest should include:
- At least 4 images / examples of your current work
- An Artist Statement detailing your inspiration and your work
- A CV with your full contact details and references of at least 2 previous commissioners of your work
- A short statement on why this project appeals to you
- Artists must have Public Liability insurance and a current DBS check.
Expressions of interest should be emailed (as a PDF) to [email protected] by Monday 15 August 2022