What is a commission?
To commission an artist is to engage them in a freelance capacity to produce a new piece of work for a specific purpose. For example, to respond to and enhance the quality of a specific place such as an office, public park or new school, a housing development, hospital or transport scheme. Work may be made by an individual artist, or as a result of a collaborative process involving other design professionals e.g. architects and landscape designers, or with users and communities.
Commissioned work can be permanent, such as stand- alone pieces of sculpture in open spaces, street furniture, lighting, landscaping or interior and exterior works integrated with architecture. It can be temporary, such as a street performance, exhibition or a community participation project or digital media work such as a sound installation, projection or website or publication, piece of poetry or music. Commissions can range from a single painting or photograph to a monumental sculpture or interventions in major developments that could include multiple artforms both inside and outside the buildings.
Work commissioned for public spaces, known as Public Art, is playing an increasingly important role in the regeneration and development of our towns and cities in ensuring a creative approach to the built environment with sensitivity to communities’ local distinctiveness.
Art in public spaces can be controversial especially when paid for with public funds. Therefore in building support for your project it is important to consider how it addresses Hampshire County Council’s key objectives and how it impacts on or involves the local community.