Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Document written by Peter Downey, Special Projects Co-ordinator for Sheffield Hallam University.

One of a series of documents relating to the appointment of an artist for Phase 4 of the City Campus Developments (Campus 21).




A project to produce a “good practice” guide for Europe relating to artists and craftspeople working in the public realm. A collaboration between Sheffield Hallam University and CAMAS Building Materials.

Brief for the Appointment of an artist to work as a member of the Design Team for Hallam Square, Sheffield

The University’s “Art for the Community” programme, from its origination, has been designed to encourage a collaborative approach to ‘Public Art’. In the first document published to describe the programme, the University wrote of “the chance to make the most of the opportunities ... to develop public art as an integral part of the plan”. Sheffield Hallam University’s programme of development is envisaged as an unique opportunity to involve artists and craftspeople with all construction professionals as equal partners. A policy which has been pursued throughout the development of the City Campus.

This particular project is seen as a natural development; building upon the University’s experience and recognising the challenges presented in working in the public realm, frequently in essential collaboration with local government and their planning authorities. In this Project the University is collaborating with CAMAS Building Materials whom the University regards as a natural partner with their extensive experience, wide range and quality of artificial and natural stone products for use in the public realm.

The Requirement
An artist will be appointed by the University to work with Sheffield City Council’s design team on the creation of the new enlarged Hallam Square. This major new “public space” will be created by the reconfiguration of Arundel Gate and Howard Street in the heart of the City. The artist, working within the constraints provided by the architects, civil and highways engineers, will be responsible for the visualisation and conceptual underpinning of the public space and identification of opportunities for subsequent interventions by other artists and craftspeople - a framework for the involvement of others.

The artist appointment will be by the University on the recommendation of a panel arranged by the University and CAMAS including representatives of Sheffield City Council.

The process leading to that appointment will be:

  • national advertisement - this has already taken place through the Artists Newsletter in the issues of December 1996 and January 1997;
  • an expression of interest by artists;
  • an invitation to a day’s seminar and site visit for all interested - this will be held in the Main Hall, on the City Campus of Sheffield Hallam University on Tuesday, 4 February 1997;
  • at the end of the seminar, artists will be asked to confirm their interest in the commission by submitting a c.v., illustrations of their work and a statement of how they would approach the commission to the University by Friday, 14 February 1997;
  • selection of six artists on the basis of their submission, previous work and experience;
  • short-listed artists invited to develop concept design proposals for the Square - there will be a fee for this work;
  • proposals exhibited publicly with comments invited;
  • selection of the winning artist by the panel.

The intention is to award both the winner and runner-up a prize. However, the principal reward for the winner will be the appointment to the design team to realise the concept.

Project Concept
The creation of Hallam Square, Sheffield will be one of the case studies to be considered at an international conference in June 2000 to be held at Sheffield Hallam University. The conference will examine and evaluate the experiences of four projects, forming case studies, organised in different European cities. Discussions have been initiated with other leading cities in Europe including Amsterdam, Florence, Helsinki, Kiel and Valencia. It is proposed the report of the Conference will form a ‘good practice’ guide for the involvement of artists and craftspeople working within the public realm and contributing to the city’s infrastructure.

With 2000 designated ‘Arts Council of England Year of the Artist' - the Conference will seek to progress the role of artists and craftspeople working in collaboration with civic authorities to achieve higher standards of design, use, maintenance, public relevance and animation. A North American perspective will be provided through the involvement of the internationally respected artist, Jack Mackie.

Peter R. Downey

Special Projects Co-ordinator
Sheffield Hallam University

28 November 1996

previous document
next document

Return to public art documents page

sheffield other locations pmsa documents links
search homepage

This page maintained by Simon Quinn
Slide Collection, Learning and IT Services
Last updated 24 August, 2005