Innovation Centre, Knowledge Gateway – Artwork Commission

Posted: 8th July 2019

Location: Colchester

Closing: 31st August 2019

More information

The Project

We intend to commission two large pieces of art for the Innovation Centre, knowledge gateway in Colchester at the University of Essex campus. The art work should reflect the forward-thinking and innovative approach of the space and businesses within it. The art will be selected by a panel of judges based on the below criteria and the commission may be awarded to one or multiple artists.

Background: The Innovation Centre, Knowledge Gateway  

The ICKG has been developed for businesses in the start-up or scale-up stages who are innovative companies from the Tech, creative, digital, data, engineering, social sciences, media sectors. We are focused around supporting these businesses and creating a location in the region that harbours collaboration and engagement with likeminded people, supporting the creation of a tech eco-system in the Colchester and North Essex area.

With the vibrant community of the student body on our doorstep creativity and fun will meet entrepreneurs and commercial bodies all striving to achieve their goals in one building. Our typical clientele will be innovative, thought leading businesses focused around developing their ideas in a community that can support them. Working alongside the student body as well as interaction from the political, social and economic community’s they’re in the innovation centre for the people as well as the business support and University links.

The Art

We would like to commission two artworks that can either be mounted or applied to two walls at the Innovation Centre. The two areas we would like the artwork for are:

- Area 1: Lounge area: 1.5m high x 3.5m long – The lounge area has soft seating where people will take time to drink coffee, meet, or play on our arcade machine. This area is open to anyone who comes into the building.

- Area 2: Co-working area: 1.5m high x 3.5 m long – a space in the common area where people can hot desk. This area is for people who want some desk space to work but are still wanting to engage with the atmosphere of the building.

We are seeking artists who would like to provide one or both artworks. This could be an individual or collaboration of artists. The most important element is that the artworks reflect innovation and enterprise within the centre and is engaging and eye catching.

We are open to all interpretations of art and are purposely not being too descriptive as to what we would like, we are keen for the successful candidate/s to use this as a showcase for their talent to help promote themselves and the talented people we have in Colchester. To help guide your ideas we have some thoughts below but are entirely open to suggestions.

- Vibrant colours/primary colours or Black & white with a few striking colours
- Deep connection to innovation and Colchester
- All forms of art are welcome
- Modern, forward-looking,
- Industrial innovative pieces

The Budget

We have allocated each area £1500 for completion, this is inclusive of design, materials and time. A total value of £3000 for both areas will be awarded to the successful candidate/s

The Timeline

Submissions should be received by 31st August with the successful artist/s being awarded the commission on the 12th September. From this point the artist/s will have to complete their work by 4st November 2019.

The Judging Panel

There will be two rounds of judging,, with the submissions reduced to 10 candidates. The final round will be done by the Judging panel below.

- Jo Stevens – Managing director – Oxford Innovation (Daniel Smart – Centre Director -in absence of JS)
- Sally Shaw - Director - First site
- Andy Ward – Essex County Council
- Representative from business in building - TBC
- Representative from University of Essex - TBC

Judging Criteria

Art is subjective and comparing several different artwork proposals will come down to the largest number of personal choices. In terms of evaluating the right choice for the centre it will be based on artistic design, workmanship and how it represents the Innovation Centre, Knowledge Gateway.

Your submission

Submissions should be sent to

We expect your submission to include:

- CV/Biography
- Examples of previous work
- What you intend to create
- Details of your association with Colchester
- How you see your work fitting into the aspirations of the ICKG

Any questions please contact

Good Luck.

Daniel Smart
Centre Director
Innovation Centre, Knowledge Gateway