Burnley Project (Towneley Hall)

Towneley Hall / Phase 1 Artist Brief

 Creativity Works background:

Creativity Works is a consortium consisting of Pennine Lancashire Arts Officers, Arts Council North West, Lancashire County Council, Creative Lancashire, Elevate and Curious Minds. The partnership provides the infrastructure for joint working, shared approaches, economies of scale working across the sub region and alignment to the Multi Area Agreement as well as districts Local Area Agreement’s.

 Creativity Works was initially set up in 2000, supporting Creative Industries in Pennine Lancashire. In 2008 it extended its remit to work strategically on four priority areas: Health, Business, Regeneration and People, to raise the profile of and participation in, quality arts practice in the region.

 The engagement programme of work that this project is part of began in September 2009. The aim of this work is to increase engagement in the arts through working with local heritage venues.  This project forms part of the initial programme of activity that will happen with each partner venue.

 Project background:

Towneley Parklands and Garden have recently been undergoing renovation through a HLF funded project. This project will be coming to an end it June 2010. To celebrate the end of this project, Towneley Hall is hosting a large tea party with parade through the grounds of the Hall.

 Alongside this work, Creativity Works are working throughout East Lancashire to utilise empty shop spaces in town centres. This commission is part of a larger scheme of work that brings together the empty shop spaces and local heritage venues. There will be an opportunity in each of the six Pennine Lancashire local authorities to work in partnership with a local heritage venue to increase engagement in the visual arts through the use of an empty shop.


  • To increase engagement in the arts in Burnley
  • To work creatively with the community to create a new collection for Towneley
  • To raise the profile of Towneley Hall in the town centre
  • To encourage conversation and discussion through artistic activity
  • To advertise the tea party event and why it is happening
  • To create new work that can be displayed in Towneley Hall, or used in some way at the same time as the tea party event.
  • To engage the public as well as selected voluntary groups through arts activity.

 Project brief:

We would like to recruit an artist to work with the staff of Towneley Hall to develop a project that will engage the community with Towneley Hall’s collection of tea sets. The tea sets at Towneley are part of a collection of 20 c domestic wares collected in the late 20c , mainly in Burnley, by Mrs. Milner who was married to the then bishop of Burnley. At that time they were not valued and many came from bric a brac stalls on Burnley market. They came to Towneley through the Art Fund and include Art Deco wares by Shelley, Clarice Cliffe and Susie Cooper.

 A representation of Towneley’s collection of tea sets will be displayed within the empty shop space for the duration of the project, along with an exhibition in Towneley Hall. We would like to see a project that:

  • Draws on the themes suggested by the tea set collection of ritual, conversation and tradition
  • Uses innovative approaches to engage the community and local voluntary groups with the production of new work as well as interaction with the collection
  • Encourages discussion and conversation
  • Can use any art form, or a combination of art forms, from craft to new media
  • Results in a collection of work created by the community
  • Results in new work by the artist

 The work created will be shown within Towneley Hall on the weekend of the tea party and should be used to bring a new audience into the space and encourage them to explore the Hall and its exhibits.

 Collaborations between artists are welcome.

 Project Structure:

This project will take place in an empty (location tbc) shop in Burnley. We have the use of this space for four weeks in May 2010 As part of the project you must:

  • Be in the shop space for at least four half day sessions a week, one of which must be a Saturday afternoon. There are a total of 18 half day session paid for in the budget and these can be divided up in the planning stages with the artist.
  • The sessions will be divided up into a mix of time working with community and voluntary groups and open sessions for the public to drop in
  • The artist may also use the space out of these hours
  • Organise the installation of the pieces into Towneley Hall, there is a paid artist day in the budget for this activity.
  • Undertake an online blog to document the progress of the creation of a new collection and/or use the blog as a means of further engaging the community.


 18 x 0.5 artists days @ £90 = £1,620

1 x full artist day (installation) = £180

Materials = £450

Total = £2,250

 How to apply:

 To apply, please send us:

 1. An outline of how you would approach this project. This should include:

  • How you would approach working with the community and voluntary groups
  • The themes you would be interested in exploring
  • Methods you might use to create a new collection
  • A draft budget

2. Examples of previous work/projects that you have undertaken

3. A full CV

4. A letter of application stating what interests you about this project.

 Please send application, or for more information, by email to Laura Rodgers, Creativity Works Arts Engagement Officer, laura.rodgers@blackburn.gov.uk

 Closing date: 24/03/10 (12 noon)

Interview date: 01/04/10


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