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Donnington Sculpture Garden public art commissions artist brief

Donnington Parish Council, West Sussex, are inviting proposals for three public artworks exploring environment, growth and connectivity, and one opportunity for a local emerging artist interested in socially engaged practice to provide an outreach program.



We are commissioning 4 artists:

  • 1 local emerging artist to be mentored in the process of producing a community engagement project
  • 3 artists to produce a piece of art taking into account the project’s goals and Donnington’s heritage whilst also making time to give feed back to the local emerging Artist to assist with their project.

The three commissioned artworks will be sited in a public garden within a contemporary semi-circular steel beam pergola, designed to create an open-air art gallery with 5 distinct sections, each with a floor area of 4m x 2m. These sections provide each artwork their own space and a sense of stand-alone significance within a connected setting.

The artworks scale is important to consider, while large works are welcome, the pergola provides an opportunity for pieces on a more intimate scale. Artworks may be free standing, integrated with the pergola, or floor works, there is also potential for seated pieces. The three winning artists will each receive £6500 which includes fees, materials and installation. The mediums used must be robust and suitable for public art. We would like to see different materials within the space, thus hope to see a variety of ideas.

The successful emerging artist will be awarded £1500 to provide an outreach program working alongside the other commissioned artists.


Donnington is on the Manhood Peninsula, south of Chichester, West Sussex. It is the gateway to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty  (AONB) including Chichester Harbour.
The Chichester ship canal crosses into Donnington at two points before reaching the sea.

It is an area with diverse wildlife and the flat lands optimal for agriculture. Please find more about Donnington’s flora, Fauna and History here

The sculpture garden

The site of the garden is on the edge of the village situated at the main entrance to the new housing estate. There is a young children’s playground opposite and a green leading to the canal and wild meadow. Given its location, within existing greenery and community spaces, our garden must have its own distinct identity. 

 The garden is sheltered on two sides by houses and bordering trees with a millennium oak tree currently acting as the focal point. The semi-circular pergola, will wrap around the back of this tree, as viewed from the road.  The pergola, which will incorporate a seating area, will be an inviting point of interest, encouraging people to enter the spaces drawing the viewer up to the art and commanding their attention. 

Project aims

The aim of this project is to create an outdoor community space accessible to all. A shared space to encourage community spirit. Local feedback stipulated that Donnington residents wanted to retain and enhance their individual identity as opposed to becoming a suburb of Chichester.

The importance of accessible outside spaces and community connectivity has never been more apparent. We aim for this project to bring both of these elements together. Growth, connectivity and environment are the cornerstone to this project. With this in mind we are looking for artists that resonate with the aims of the project and can communicate this theme. This may be in terms of materials, method or concept. These themes do not need to be interpreted literally (although of course could be!). Ultimately, the brief is open. We are looking to create an inspiring environment. 

Community engagement and the local artist commission

The importance of community space and community engagement has never been more apparant. We want our project to address both in tandem, so that the work enhances our local area and brings the community together. With this in mind, community engagement is an integral part of the brief.

Donnington Parish Council wish to commission a local emerging artist to develop a community engaged project. This artist will be assisted and mentored by the awarded artists and the lead artist.

It is intended for the selected artist to devise a series of opportunities and events which engage the community in a creative exploration, hopefully dovetailing with the other artists work. 

Timescale and application process

Applications are free of charge. To apply for public art commission or the Local Emerging Artist Community Engagement role, please submit an application.

You will need to prepare

  • An artist statement (no more than 200 words)
  • A copy of your C.V (PDF)
  • Why you think you are suitable for this project (No more than 200 words)
  • Have you produced public art before? If so, please provide 2 referees
  • 3 Images of previous work
  • An outline of initial ideas (no more than 300 words)
  • Confirmation you hold Public Liability insurance up to 10 million to cover artwork installation and value of artwork while in production and during installation up to the point of signing artwork off and ownership transferring to the Parish Council.
  • Confirmation that you are able to commit to a Community Engagement.

Closing date for submission

  • Closing date for submissions midnight Friday 25 March
  • Successful applicants will be notified by Monday 11 April
  • Artwork to completed and installed Autumn 2022

Commissioning artwork – overview

The three awarded artists will each receive £6500 which includes fees, materials and installation. The contract between Artist and Commissioning Body will be sent out to successful applicants. The contract is split into two parts with payment linked to key delivery and approval stages. 

Part 1 – Design Stage — £1000 payment

Overview of detail design stage

The detail design proposal should include visualisations and or models. Documentation outlining production methods, techniques, and intended materials, any fabrication timeline considerations and considerations for a Structural engineer. This document also details installation proposal, expected lifetime of artwork, and a fully costed maintenance schedule which is undertaken by the commissioners after the work is installed and signed off. The design brief includes all appropriate considerations to ensure that the artwork is fit for public space.

Only once the commissioning body approves the proposed artwork design stage do they agree to commission artwork to go into production and installation.

Part 2 manufacturing and delivery – £5500 payment over 3 intervals.

Manufacture – Throughout the making of artwork the lead Artist will oversee production and report back to commissioners to ensure the process is transparent and accountable.

Installation. – The Installation is carried out by the artists and contractors. At this stage the lead artist will liaise with the different parties to ensure the times allocated are practical and achievable.

Sign off for artworks. – Once installation is complete the parish council will sign off the artwork. The final payment is made to the artists only once the commissioners are happy with the works.


All commissioned artists must hold full insurance to cover both the replacement value of their work for damage and theft while in their studio and during installation and full liability insurance to cover their piece during installation. Donnington Parish Council will take over insurance once the work is installed and formally signed off by them.

If you require assistance filling out the application or more information please email donningtonpc@gmail.com

We encourage you to read our background information page.

Site plan of the proposed garden.


Submit an artist application

Please read the timescale and application process in order to prepare documents before applying, and read our privacy notice.

View project background information

Further information on our project and location are available.