Hello Nature: Open Call for Artists

In the context of the greatest health crisis of our times, increasing scientific evidence highlights the critical importance of accessing our natural environment – of garden plants, gardens and gardening, as a key factor that can benefit our physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Hello Nature is a series of artist-led commissions and workshops that aim to provide Southwark residents with greater opportunities to engage with the natural environment.

The project is being delivered in partnership with The Ballad of Peckham Rye, a not-for-profit contemporary art commissioning organisation, Action For Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL), an organisation established to support asylum seekers, vulnerable migrants and refugees in south east London and One Tree Hill Allotment Society, a member run community allotment. Hello Nature will enhance the Action For Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL) allotment that supports families from refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant backgrounds who experience food poverty and are coping in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, through building cohesive and supportive relationships between residents, allotment members and the AFRIL community.

We are inviting artists to engage with ideas of ecology and sustainable food production, growing and cultivating plants, particularly within an urban environment. We are interested to hear ideas you might have for one-off workshop sessions and/or small-scale artistic interventions that could relate to activities aiming to; share practical skills; engage people through discussion; explore opportunities for co-production; make and/or present new work within this specific context.

Workshop sessions will take place on the AFRIL allotment, which is located at One Tree Hill Allotment (111 Honor Oak Park, SE23 3NP). We anticipate workshop sessions to engage groups of 10-15 participants. It should be assumed that English is not a first language for all participants, so a range of beginners, intermediate and advanced second language. Please note, the site is part of an outdoor environment that offers some sheltered provision. The site has running water, but no electricity. Key beneficiaries will be children (primary age) and adults (age 25 and over).

The project will offer 3 early-career artists a fee of £200 (plus travel expenses up to £50 and materials agreed in advance). We envisage a session will last between 1-2 hours and will be delivered on a date to be specified in October/November 2021. TBOPR and AFRIL will support artists with the planning and delivery of their projects.

We want to encourage a range of ideas and are particularly keen to receive proposals from artists who are looking to develop their practice. If you have any questions about this opportunity then please do get in touch with a member of our team, info@theballadofpeckhamrye.com. Proposals will be reviewed by TBOPR and selected on their response to this brief, as well as their feasibility within the budget and timeline.

– This opportunity is open to all artists living and working in the UK.
– This scheme is aimed at early-career artists. We define an early-career artist as someone in the early stages of their professional career as an artist. This is usually someone who has been working on their practice for more than 2 years.
– We are looking for proposals from artists of all backgrounds and accessibility needs.
– Artists are required to be registered as self-employed with HMRC.

Please submit both:
– A short proposal, submitted as a word document or PDF (no more than 1-2 pages) that outlines; the project you would like to deliver; its aims and objectives; key beneficiary group(s); the impact you envisage your activity having; proposed date for delivering activity.
– A CV or link to your website.

Please send your submission to info@theballadofpeckhamrye.com.

Each artist will receive a fee of £200 (plus travel expenses and materials).

– Deadline for proposals: Sunday 26 September at midnight
– Outcome of decision and all applicants informed: w/c Monday 27 September

Hello Nature is supported by United St Saviours Charity.