Sewerby Hall Commission for

Contemporary Art

Do you have a fantastic idea for an contemporary art piece to display at Sewerby Hall and Gardens? Apply for our open commission before Friday 31 January 2020.
How to Apply

Commission Background

The East Riding Visual Arts Uplift is proud to announce this contemporary artistic commission in collaboration with Sewerby Hall and Gardens for the year 2020.

There is an all inclusive commission fee of £8,000 available to the shortlisted artist to create a piece of contemporary artwork that is site specific and fits the below artistic brief.

It is envisaged the piece will be installed on site at Sewerby Hall and Gardens in June 2020 for an agreed duration with the potential for an accompanying exhibition/workshops from the artist.

This commission is a part of the East Riding Visual Arts Uplift's commitment to showcasing and integrating contemporary art into the region.

How to apply

Visual Arts Uplift

The East Riding Visual Arts Uplift is working to strengthen the contemporary art offer within the East Yorkshire region.

Working with the Humber Museums Partnership the programme is part of a larger scheme and seeks to deliver on the partnership wide aims as follows:

Break down barriers to engagement with our visual art offering ensuring our programme is responsive to the needs and engages our target audience.
Work with artists, creative practitioners and arts organisations to develop new visual arts programming in a meaningful and sustainable way maintaining investment in artistic and cultural programming across the Humber.
Enhance and support the delivery of our successful 'Surroundings' Ambitions for Excellence bid, in partnership with award winning arts and science organisation, Invisible Dus.

Introduction to Sewerby Hall and Gardens

Uniquely situated in a dramatic clifftop position with spectacular views over Bridlington and set in 50 acres of early 19th Century parkland, Sewerby Hall and Gardens offers something for everyone, from the magnificent gardens to the deep rooted heritage of the house.

The Grade 1 listed house was built throughout 1714 and 1720 by the Greame family. Further extensions were added between 1808 and 1856 to include the portico, stable block, gatehouse and Orangery.

A full refurbishment of the house in 2014 restored the home property to how it would have looked in 1910.

Sewerby Hall and Gardens has more than 50 acres of award-winning gardens and woodland. The Walled, Pleasure and Rose Gardens taking centre stage throughout the summer months.

This is a truly beautiful venue to create a site specific piece of contemporary art.

Visit Sewerby Hall and Gardens


We have decided not to set a restricting theme, we want artists to have free rein over the ideas they submit to us. However, we are keen that the artworks meet a brief and respond to the heritage and surroundings of Sewerby Hall and Gardens.

The work proposed and produced must be contemporary art, that is both challenging and of a high quality. We want artists to add their own style, create something that showcases what they do as an artist to intrigue the audience and bring a taste of contemporary visual art to the East Riding.

Pieces can be either internal or external, spaces will be available in both areas and we would ask that you consider this when submitting the application so we can gauge where your piece would fit on site.

The duration of the piece is down to the individual artists, we would expect a piece to be in place for at least a weekend and ideally an extended duration to give our audience the opportunity to view and experience the offerings.

As mentioned above there is scope for an accompanying exhibition to be staged alongside the main commissioned piece, this is not an expectation of the artist; merely an extended opportunity. We would be interested to work with artists who would be willing to commit to a workshop or talk relating their artistic practices. A key element of the Visual Arts Uplift Aims is to break down the barrier between the public and contemporary art, providing a barrier free interaction between the creator would prove an ideal route to achieve this.

The commission has a fixed fee of £8,000 inc. all travel/accommodation expenses and materials. Sewerby Hall and Gardens expects to loan the finished piece in for the duration of the exhibition, but not to own the finished work. We would expect to use images of the work in promotional material for the exhibition and during the display itself. We would expect the artist to come to the opening of the exhibition.

Additional fees have been retained for site logistics and installation/display needs of the piece.

Please Note: Your idea must be feasible, both in terms of budget and practicality.

How to apply

How the commission will workBelow is an outline of how the commission will run:

November 2019 - January 2020
Open call is released

Site visits available by appointment
Selection to be staged

Artists informed of decision

Successful applicant invited for a site visit to finalise piece location.
March - May 2020
Piece build

Accompanying exhibition/workshops/talk logistics finalised
Piece installed on site

Public launch of the commission

How to apply

Criteria for submission

  • Your work must be safely constructed for displaying to the public.
  • The venue is open from 9.00am - 4.30pm during June and August. This is during daylight hours. Light based installations will not be suitable externally.
  • The piece is to be installed in June, on dates agreed with the artist for a set duration of time.
  • Temporary, high quality contemporary artwork that will excite, inspire and entertain a diverse audience of all ages.
  • It is essential that you think through how your piece will be realised in terms of practicality and budget.
  • The funding available for this commission is £8,000. This is an all inclusive fee that includes the artistic fee, travel, accommodation and materials.

Expression of interest application

To apply, download the application pack and complete the form at the bottom of the page.

Return the form either electronically or by post to the contact details available at the bottom of the application pack.

Any queries and requests for site visits must go through the contact on the application pack.

Download application pack (PDF) Download application pack (Word Doc)