Exciting opportunity for artists in the Chichester District to help celebrate Medmerry Nature Reserve

Bird

Local artists are being invited to create new art to celebrate the beauty of the Chichester District’s RSPB Medmerry Nature reserve, as part of an upcoming Culture Spark community art exhibition.

Artists can respond to three unique commissions that offer the opportunity to use different art forms and styles to celebrate the reserve in individual and creative ways. These pieces will also explore the relationship between the community and Medmerry.

Artists are asked to submit their initial expressions of interest in this project by emailing a CV and examples of their previous work to culturespark2022@gmail.com by 29 January 2024.

The three art pieces will capture and celebrate a different aspect of the nature reserve, and will be displayed in the relevant location — one at the Earnley Viewpoint near the Stilt pools; one at Easton Viewpoint; and one at The Breach Viewpoint.

At Earnley Viewpoint, artists are invited to create a sculpture that reflects the surrounding environment, ideally incorporating materials that could be found at Medmerry.

For the piece at Easton Viewpoint, artists are invited to develop a soundscape that captures the sounds of the land and possibly recount stories from the community.

The Breach Viewpoint piece invites artists to build a structure that will allow visitors and residents to house their mobile phones and capture photos of The Breach. This will form a citizen science project, with instructions next to the structure on how people can upload their images, creating a visual record of the surroundings as they change through the seasons.

The commissions will be co-ordinated as part of the Culture Spark programme, with funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund — administered by Chichester District Council — and a conservation grant from Southern Water Harbours Project. The Culture Spark project has received a total of £75,000 funding from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

“The Culture Spark programme is a fantastic way for us to showcase the incredibly talented artists in our district, and this latest event is a great example of this,” says Councillor Jess Brown-Fuller, Cabinet Member for Culture and Events at Chichester District Council. “Not only will this exhibition give us an opportunity to shine a light on the artistic talent in our area, but it will also celebrate one of the district’s natural gems.

“The successful commissions will be a creative way to mark how the reserve has transformed from a flood plain to a vibrant reserve that is home to a wide range of beautiful wildlife and panoramic views of the coast.

“As a council, we often receive feedback from people that they would like to see a greater range of events and opportunities in the district. With Culture Spark, we have been able to do this while celebrating our district and encouraging our communities to get involved. These commissions at Medmerry will provide a wonderful opportunity for the surrounding area to come together and celebrate the beautiful reserve.”

RSPB Medmerry Nature Reserve is one of Europe’s largest coastal realignment schemes. Its creation involved constructing a new 7km flood embankment on higher ground further inland, and transformed 183 hectares into new intertidal habitats for birds and other wildlife. People can find out more about the reserve by visiting: www.rspb.org.uk/days-out/reserves/medmerry

If you would like further detail about the commission or would like to apply, please email culturespark2022@gmail.com by 26 January.

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