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Matchmakers Wharf Public Art Commission

Stage one deadline: 12 noon 17 June 2011

Telford Homes Plc and Acme Studios are offering the opportunity for an artist (or more than one artist if working collaboratively) to undertake a permanent commission at Matchmakers Wharf, Telford Homes’ new mixed-use development due to be ready for occupation from June 2012.

Matchmakers Wharf, currently under construction on the site of the Lesney Matchbox Toys Factory, is situated on the River Lee Navigation close to the Olympic Park and will consist of over 200 homes, offices, shops, commercial space and 49 purpose-designed artists’ studios to be owned and managed by Acme.

Block A of Matchmakers Wharf, Homerton, E9, which including the glass trapezoid, will include 49 purpose-built affordable studios for artists.
Block A of Matchmakers Wharf, Homerton, E9, which including the glass trapezoid, will include 49 purpose-built affordable studios for artists.

The partners wish to commission a ‘public artwork’ which will be an imaginative response to the history of the site, and to the architecture and function of two (visually and / or conceptually) linked external ‘locations’ within the new development. The work at the first location will be at the entrance to the site and should make reference to the former Lesney Matchbox Toys Factory, once a major employer in the area, whose die-cast manufacturing included the world-famous Matchbox toys. This work should act as an introduction and signpost to a second location: a busy public pedestrian intersection just beyond the entrance.

The second location at ground level, approximately triangular in shape and close to the artists’ studios, will naturally function as a meeting point for residents and visitors, and it is envisaged that the work may include seating and planting, and could be interactive and involve the use of lighting.

An understanding of the history of the original toys factory, its relationship with the people who worked there and the wider community, will be necessary to inform an appropriate response to the commission. It is envisaged that local people will be involved in some way in the research process and creative development of the work.

The ‘work’ (at both locations) will be expected to embrace the use of sustainable materials and construction techniques, be durable, and future running and maintenance costs should be low.

The value of the commission is a maximum of £30,000 (to include fee, material, fabrication and installation costs). A separate budget will cover the costs of associated site preparation and the integration / landscaping of the commissioned work into the site.

Selection of the proposal will be via a two-stage process, with artists submitting indicative proposals by 17 June 2011 from which three proposals will be funded for further development. Artists selected for the second stage will receive a fee of £500 and be required to submit their detailed proposals by 5 August 2011.

The selection panel will include representatives from Telford Homes Plc, Acme Studios, Stock Woolstencroft (architects) and Standerwick Land Design (landscape architects).

The work will be completed and launched in May 2012.

For more information on how to apply, please visit:

Acme Artists Studios Limited 44 Copperfield Road, Bow, London E3 4RR
T 020 8981 6811 E W
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