The point of working with an artist is to embrace the unexpected and to allow them the creative space to come up with something unique and significant as part of our public realm. Think carefully about why it is important to work with an artist on a commission. Their role is not one of social work, window dressing or branding for developments and places. Working with artists has to based on mutual trust and respect. Thinking about the following areas can affect this:
The artist’s practice is the central focus of any commission. Their role should reflect their expertise and experience and they should be seen as a professional with knowledge of their own discipline and field. Reflecting on an artist’s previous work and interest may also highlight how they would like to work. For instance, whether they would be interested to work with stakeholders or members of the local community, or as a member of a design team with a specific or an open-ended brief
Apart from the amount of time it takes to manage a commissioning process, an artist’s involvement requires a significant amount of intellectual and sometimes emotional input from the client and other stakeholders. Working with an artist is challenging and thinking carefully about how to support the working process and other expertise needed is crucial.
More information on artists’ expertise.