We’re Looking for an Artist Grower for Abundance

Spectra is looking for an Artist Grower to help us realise our vision for Abundance, a natural, all ages, inclusive playspace on the site of the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital. Through this project, we will be working with the Birmingham 2022 Festival, a six-month celebration of creativity across the region and part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

In Abundance, Spectra, partners, and a diverse mix of local communities will co-create an interactive, multi-sensory playspace through which people can reconnect with all that nature offers. Audiences will step inside a world rich in colour, flavour, scent, texture, and the invitation for children and adults alike to move, create, grow and play. Far from a traditional playground, this open provocation with myriad access points will encourage creative engagement. Participants will find their own way through a rich sensorial experience: sound making with natural elements; walls of herbs to smell and taste; a barefoot walk to encourage a slower pace and alertness; hidden nooks and expansive arenas to spark wild imagination. 

Joyful dancers amidst blooming rhododendrons, Photo by Kate DeRight

We are looking for an Artist Grower who will work with us and the communities we engage with to design and grow the plants in Abundance – there will be 100s! The Artist Grower will join a warm and passionate team including four Spectra artists (a neurodiverse group of collaborators), a Lead Designer, two Artist Builders, and a Director (as well as a Production Team). This Company will work together to dream, design and build Abundance with input from the beautifully diverse community surrounding our site at Midland Metropolitan University Hospital through thoughtfully planned and delivered co-creation opportunities. 

Sustainability is at the heart of Abundance and will be attended to throughout the work, from conceptual thinking to dismantling the installation at the end of its life on site. Spectra was founded on an ethos of inclusivity; Abundance will reflect this deeply.

Our Artist Grower will need to be knowledgeable, resourceful, creative, responsive and hard working. Together we’ll find ways to bring the best out of our sustainable approach, the temporary nature of the installation, the dynamism of the site, our budget and the all wonderful collaborators we will be working with.

Work on Abundance will be richly rewarding and includes development opportunities alongside the intensive output. The structure of this work is as follows:

DateActivity
Tue 15 MarInitial Meeting
Mon 21 March – Wed 23 Residency with Wild Rumpus at The Whirligig to explore nature, play, and sustainable installation building
Mon 28 March Planning community co-creation workshops, session with Spectra’s Sensory Designer, Kaye Winwood
Tue 29 March Planning community co-creation workshops
April 2022Co-creation workshops led by teams of 2 artists focussing on design (teams to be agreed based on interest and availability)
DateActivity
Tue 3 May Incorporating feedback from co-creation workshops and agreeing design, session with Spectra’s Sensory Designer, Kaye Winwood
Wed 4 MayIncorporating feedback from co-creation workshops and agreeing design
By Fri 13 May Designs finalised
6 – 24 JuneBuilding installation 
6-24 JuneCo-creation sessions delivered by teams of 2 artists to create aspects of installation (teams to be agreed based on interest and availability)
Sat 25 JuneOpening Ceremony
Sat 3 SepClosing Ceremony
Mon 12 SepEvaluation

It may be useful to refer to our growing mood board for this work, which can be found at https://www.pinterest.co.uk/deardrclaw/abundance/.

Our company is neurodiverse and we are dedicated to using our work to cultivate a world that celebrates difference in all its wonderful forms. Our creative process and the work we create are actively inclusive. We take the same approach to curating the pool of freelancers we work with, seeking to shift imbalanced representation within our sector by warmly welcoming and prioritising applications from Black and Brown practitioners and those who identify as working class, D/deaf, Disabled and or LGBTQI+.

A gardener dances along a path amidst a cheering audience, Photo by Kate Green

Application process: please tell us why working on Abundance interests you and how your skills and experience relate specifically to this project by sending your expression of interest to kate@wearespectra.co.uk. Please also state whether you are available for the dates shown above or not (some flexibility may be possible). Your application should be no more than two sides of A4 or a 4 minute video/audio recording. If you have access requirements, please get in touch to talk about how we can support you in making your application. 

When you submit your expression of interest, please also complete the equal opportunities monitoring form here: https://forms.gle/taKMm5kFDoXD62kV9. This form and your personal information will be kept separate from your application when it is reviewed by the panel.

Deadline 12pm, Thursday 25 November 2021

Informal interviews will be during the week commencing 29 November with a panel of three (Spectra’s Creative Director, our Creative and Strategic Development Officer, and our Lead Designer). 

Timeline Contract from March – September 2022.

Fee: £3,310 inclusive of travel and expenses (travel to and accommodation at the residency will be paid for). This is based on rates set out by itc: £125/day for 18 days plus 2 full-time weeks of installation at a rate of £530/week.

Location: Birmingham and Sandwell, with a residency on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border.

Web: http://www.wearespectra.co.uk

Insta: @spectraartscompany

Facebook: @SpectraArtsCompany

Twitter: @Spectra_Arts

YouTube Channel: Spectra Arts

Background Information on Spectra

Spectra creates fierce and joyful creative interaction through authentic collaboration. We seek to cultivate a world that celebrates brains that work in different ways. Our neurodiverse company produces interactive adventures that engage all of our audience’s senses. We’ve developed a reputation for aesthetically-driven work that is both gentle and fierce, inviting our audiences to imagine intensely positive possibilities: ‘It made me laugh and cry. It was delicious in every way. Renewed my faith in the world!’ (Audience).