Transparent – glass commission for Newhaven Library, East Sussex

Public Art Project: Transparent Newhaven

Call out for Artists

East Sussex Library and Information Service

Transparent – glass commission for Newhaven Library, East Sussex

Artist's Brief Stage One

Submission Deadline: 7 September 2014

East Sussex Library and Information Service is seeking an early career artist to create a window in four panels for the new Newhaven Library. An experienced artist will provide mentoring to support you.


Transparent combines three site specific public art commissions to contribute to the reconfiguration of three libraries in East Sussex. Two of the commissions will be on glass, the third (Seaford) revealed by glass. The three artists will be asked to share their creative process to achieve a transparency of intent. This method will be tested as a way of engaging the public and promoting the value of the work when each piece takes its place in the new libraries. The approach provides an alternative to the traditional public consultation route.

We are currently investing in a capital programme for Newhaven, Hastings and Seaford Libraries. We have identified appropriate opportunities for public art commissions which will contribute to the library visitor experience, add to the overall success of the capital projects as well as showcasing great contemporary art to new audiences.

Transparent – Newhaven

Newhaven is located on the south coast between Brighton and Eastbourne. It is a town at the beginning of a regeneration process with a small town centre surrounded by a ring road. The library is moving to a significantly larger shop premises and will have two entrances, one from the High Street and one from the bus station. We wish to commission a glass artist to design the window which overlooks the bus station to attract interest in the library. The library investment aims to inject some confidence in to the town and we believe a highly visible art commission will contribute to this. We consider this project to be ideal for an early career artist. In order to support you we will source an artist experienced in this field to support you.

Transparent process: sharing your working methods

We wish to test a new model for engaging the public. We will ask you to share your creative process with our customers and the wider community. We want to avoid the compromise of obliging you to design by committee but ensure your creative process is Transparent in order to engage people and encourage an affinity with the final results. We will expect you to propose ways to achieve this transparency to complement your own strengths and we will support you in the process with the help of the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne. This element may inform the final design but that will not be a condition of the process.

Submission Required:

Please submit via one email:

- Up to five images of previous work you have undertaken which you think will be relevant to the panel and an Artist's statement, sent as six separate attachments

- The Artist's statement must be no more than 500 words. Please tell us about your previous experience, your early thoughts on what you might wish to create and your ideas for sharing your creative process with the public (please do not include personal details as we cannot accept them for security reasons at this stage in the process)

Please provide as 6 separate documents attached to one email.

Your submission will be considered by a selection panel who will take into account the following:
•Your images of past work – do they like your work?
•Your statement – how relevant is your previous experience?
•Your statement – are they curious enough about the ideas you are suggesting for the commission to want to know more?
•Your statement – do they think that the ideas you are suggesting for sharing your working methods will add to the value of the commission?

Submission deadline: Sunday 7 September 2014

Please send to:

Selection Process

The selection panel will be made up of library customers, elected members, members of our Youth Cabinet, members of our Seniors Association, members of the local access group, a library specialist and arts specialists. Up to three artists will then be shortlisted and asked to work up a site-specific proposal for a fee of £500 each. These three proposals will then be considered by the selection panel, at this stage artists will be asked to come and meet the panel so please keep Wednesday 29 October free just in case you are needed. The artist will then be selected on that day.

The selected artist will be required to enter a contract with East Sussex County Council and will be required to hold Public Liability Insurance for £5million. The commission period will be from November 2014 to January 2015.

Key Dates

7 September 2014 Deadline for submissions

23 September 2014Short listing day

27 October 2014Deadline for site specific proposals

29 October 2014Final selection day (to include interview)

October 2014 to January 2015Indicative Contract Period

Spring 2015Indicative Installation


£6,000 to include materials, insurance, delivery to site, installation and “Transparent” process

All enquiries to:

Sally Staples

Cultural Strategy Manager

County Hall

East Sussex County Council

St Anne's Crescent


01273 481871