Emerging Scottish sculptors get the chance to create work for new Edinburgh ‘culture quarter’
A major new contest is being launched to help create new works of public art for a new “cultural quarter” taking shape in Edinburgh.
It is aimed at finding new pieces for a vast site which is already home to work by some of Britain's leading artists.
The developers behind the Edinburgh Park scheme plan to work with colleges, universities and artists’ studios across Scotland on the new competition.
It is hoped the Scottish Emerging Sculptor Award will be run every two years to select at least one work of art which will be funded and installed around the 43-acre site.
The new pieces will join sculptures and other works of art by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Kenneth Armitage, Ann Christopher, Louise Plant, William Tucker and Bruce Beasley.
Developers Parabola are also working with artist David Mach on a new “sculptural building” and have previously worked with Edinburgh-based Dovecot Studios on a major tapestry commission and poet Janette Ayachi, who was commissioned to name new streets around the development.
Live music events are already being held regularly at the 1 New Park Square, while it is hoped that a new public square will regularly play host to pop-up events, shows and venues.
Around 1800 new homes are being created at the new development, which is intended to be a “cultural destination and creative canvas for Edinburgh”.
The Scottish Emerging Sculptor Award is open to all final year art graduates or anyone who has graduated from an art course over the last five years. Applicants must either be based in Scotland or are returning after studying out of the country.
Five shortlisted contenders for the prize will be awarded a £750 bursary as well as mentoring and support to develop an initial idea.
Proposals from the first five shortlisted artists will be going on display at Parabola's New Park Square building over the summer.
Visitors will be able to vote for their favourite, with the poll expected to inform the final decision of a judging panel, with the winner expected to be announced in August.
Arts curator Matthew Jarratt, who has been working on the development for years, said: “The sculptures we have sited at Edinburgh Park are a really bold and unique collection which add cultural interest to the new public spaces. Our new initiative seeks to build on this and provide opportunities for new and emerging artists in Scotland.
"We will nurture and support the ideas of five artists, taking them through the challenges of developing proposals for public sculpture, and we hope this experience will really help them to develop their work, establish their careers and lead to more commissions.”
Tony Hordon, Parabola’s managing director, said: “Edinburgh Park provides a unique opportunity to showcase the true value of art, and culture from wellbeing to society and our community, with its ability to boost and improve our everyday lives.
“We’ve assembled quite an art collection with local, national and indeed international importance. It is important to build on this with continued support of the arts, particularly through new and emerging artists.”
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