'Touch' Artist Commission Opportunity

Aug 02, 2019

Wellcome Collection and Revoluton Arts are seeking to co-commission an artist or artists, to produce and present a new artwork or body of work made in collaboration with communities in Bury Park, Luton on the theme of Touch.

Budget: £44,500 (+ £2,000 for travel and accommodation if required)
Deadline for tenders: 11.59pm on Sunday 1 September

Artist Brief for Touch Commission - A Wellcome Collection and Revoluton Arts Co-Commission

The development and presentation of the Touch Commission will run alongside a social science research study and programme series co-commissioned by Wellcome Collection and BBC Radio 4 to run from autumn 2019 to autumn 2020. This will be the third in a series of surveys carried out in partnership between Wellcome Collection and BBC Radio 4, the first two being on the topics of Rest and Loneliness respectively.

The aim of this commission is to:

  • Create and present original work(s) in any artform inspired by the theme of ‘Touch’
  • Co-create and work collaboratively with the diversity of communities in Bury Park
  • Work closely with the research team and draw on the process and/or findings of the research and material held by Wellcome Collection, to challenge how audiences think and feel about Touch
  • To offer an artistic perspective to the research project that draws on the artist’s practice and research
  • To create a final culmination event/exhibition/showcase

This brief is deliberately very open, as we are interested in starting a conversation with an artist or collective to explore the possibilities presented by the partnership, the theme and in particular, the communities of Bury Park as participants and co-creators of this work.

We are therefore particularly interested in hearing from artist(s) who have a track record of meaningful collaboration with a diversity of communities to realise high quality outcomes.

Bury Park: Overview

Bury Park Road in Luton is in the Eastern region of England.

The postcode is within the Biscot ward/electoral division, which is in the constituency of Luton South.

The wider Bury Park area is the home of Luton Town Football Club and includes Luton Central Mosque, Church of God in Christ Headquarters and Bury Park Community Centre.

The ‘high street’ constitutes a small length of Dunstable Road and is comprised of businesses such as cafes, restaurants (of various cultures including South Asian, Chinese, Sri Lankan and Afghan), wedding hall, jewellers, boutiques, loose fabric shops, beauty salons, fruit & veg stalls, perfume stalls, bookshops, shoe shops, and many others.

Over recent years, Bury Park has come to represent the ‘challenges’ of a multicultural society largely through the perpetuation of certain stereotypes and sensationalist media headlines that combined has fed into the tropes and negative narratives around the discourse of multiculturalism and immigration.

However, the story that is little heard is about how Bury Park is a welcoming, thriving and dynamic area with a creative voice that is vibrant. As you walk into any of the venues, shops, cafes or fashion boutiques there is a rich cultural heritage on display – intricate embroidered designs on clothes, the aromas of herbs and spices, jewellery, through to the beautiful calligraphy patterns on the walls.

This is the home of talented individuals, enterprise and creativity.

We are interested and excited by the possibilities offered in this rich local context combined with creative responses to the commissioning theme – Touch.

Role of the Artist

The selected artist will be required to:

  • Oversee the creation and delivery of all parts of the commission
  • Collaborate as part of the Wellcome Collection/BBC commissioned research group exploring Touch, contributing artistic practice and personal reflection to the research methodology
  • To draw on the process and/or results of the research project to create public facing work that challenges how audiences think and feel about Touch
  • Collaborate with all the partners to compliment timelines and respond to the findings of the research team
  • To contribute to the launch, results announcement and broadcast programming commissioned around the research
  • Provide a draft programme by the end of the initial 6-week R&D phase
  • Work closely with Revoluton to maintain and report back on budgets and all spend associated with the project
  • Work closely with Revoluton to create risks assessments and ensure compliance with all relevant policies and procedures associated with the work
  • Collaborate with commissioning partners to promote the work
  • Be available for any press activity
  • Support the project through providing social media content
  • Promote and advocate the work through personal and professional networks
  • Provide regular updates to Revoluton and Wellcome Collection (online and face to face) and attend 3 full commissioning panel meetings
  • Provide on-going documentary feedback and photographs through the project
  • Contribute to the evaluation of the project

Insurance: The artist should have public liability insurance to the value of £5 million


Revoluton is based in Marsh Farm, Leagrave (nearest train station Leagrave) and is a short car/bus ride to Bury Park with on-site facilities for hot desking, meeting and an ideas room.

Parking is available.

Few making spaces are available in Bury Park, and therefore we are interested in artist(s) who are flexible in approach and who are excited by the potential of animating a range of traditional and non-traditional spaces.

A short survey outlining potential making and presenting spaces in Bury Park is available on request.


The commission runs from September 2019 – September 2020. See full timetable in brief (download below).


The budget for this project is £44,500 to include artist fees, materials, equipment, production and technical and the final exhibition/showcase costs.

A further £2,000 is available for travel and accommodation if required.

Budgets should be inclusive of VAT and include a contingency.

How to Apply

Please submit tenders to info@revolutonarts.com by 11.59pm on Sunday 1 September 2019.

Shortlist for interview will be assessed against the information described in the brief (download below).

Artist Brief Touch Commission


Queries & Further Information

Applicants can make enquiries regarding the commission to: jenny@revolutonarts.com

Further Information available on request:

  • Overview document: About Bury Park
  • Short survey of Bury Park spaces
  • Summary of the focus for the commissioned ‘Touch’ survey
Join the revoluton