We The Curious: Artist Call Out – Make Space!

We The Curious – a science centre and cultural venue in Bristol is starting an exciting journey to transform our ground floor to create a series of exhibitions based entirely on the questions of people around Bristol and explore the city's curiosity through multidisciplinary work. We're on the lookout for three artists to join us on this adventure in a project called Make Space – a new participatory exhibition development approach with some of our key community partners.  

As we begin the design process we’ve invited key community partners to get involved – Make Space will pair them with creative practitioners to co-design an exhibit to respond to a question and sit within these collections of exhibits. Our aim is to diversify the voices and people engaging with our cultural institution and making creative decisions within it. Make Space is a participatory programme embedded within the exhibition design journey and will act as an opportunity and catalyst for under-represented voices to get involved in science and the arts as we begin unpacking contemporary science issues through exhibition development.

The creative possibilities are very open and we want this to be led by creative practitioners and the groups as much as possible. It could be anything from an interactive object, game or sculptural piece to a dance, song or film. All that we ask is that is fits within a 1.5/1.5m square footprint within the gallery and there is some kind of presence of the piece on gallery (either the work or object itself, or through documentation or design work if it sits elsewhere).

Community Partners: 

As part of this project process we’ve asked each of the first three groups to provide a short paragraph about themselves to give context and express the type of artist they’d like to work with.

Knowle West Media Centre

KWMC Youth Group are a group of boys aged 11-14. They meet regularly on Mondays during term time to work on creative projects that involve technology and coding. They’re interested in responding to the question they select through use of creative technology and are particularly interested in VR, video games and coding based design. They’ve got experience using Raspberry Pi and Python.  

Hannah More Primary School 

Hannah More Primary School have nominated their Father and Daughter group for this project. They are an intergeneration group who meet at the school to work on creative projects together and are looking for a new project to bring to the group for new opportunities. They would like to build something that helps to represent the school and its community. They are interested in working with any artist or creative practitioner but would like to be involved in the making.

Southmead Development Trust 

The group from Southmead are a collection of people that meet regularly at the Greenway Centre. They include representatives from Team Southmead, Inclusion Southmead and Southmead Young Mums. Many have lived in Southmead for a long time and they’re very well connected to their community with amazing stories to tell. As Southmead residents they believe that the Southmead they know, is not the negative one represented in the media and to others in the wider Bristol area. They want to capture the “essence” of Southmead, the conversations that happen and the stories that exist within the community. Their desire is to develop an exhibit in two parts, a sound piece, video or story that exists on gallery to communicate the essence of Southmead to the wider Bristol population and then interactive object that sits within their community to celebrate Southmead and give people a reason to visit.

Project Structure

Between July 2018 and February 2019 you’ll be connected with a group to develop a piece that responds to one of the shortlisted questions mentioned previously. The Creative Producer from We The Curious and a member of staff from each community partners will be on hand to support you during each of these engagements.

Key elements of the project schedule include:

- Between four and six ideas generation and development sessions.

Through a series of ideas generation workshops over July and August (3 x 2 hour) you’ll use your practice and knowledge to work together and unpick the selected question. By the end of this first set of sessions we hope there will be rough ideas for you to begin working with the groups to form a creative response. After this there will be a brief period of reflection before meeting again in October to begin finalising designs.

- Two sessions at We The Curious developing and refining ideas with our Exhibitions team and our audience.

After a brief reflection period after the initial ideas generation we’d like to organise a series of structured development workshops with our exhibition team and external design partners Kossman De.Jong to help the groups finalise ideas making them functional and relevant for our visitors.

- One inspiration trip with the group.

To kick-start ideas or to continue development we’d love to organise a day out with each of the groups for them to gain inspiration. These are yet to be decided but it would be great if you could join and input ideas as to where these might be, and anyone in your communities they might like to see the work of. There is separate budget for this.

- Period of making between October and February. 

Once designs and ideas are finalised there will be a making period building up to final installation of the piece in We The Curious or the community in February 2019.

- Installation party

What better way to wrap up a project than a celebration! This will coincide with installation of the piece.


Budget: Total project fee for each artist will be £10,000 inclusive of artist fees, expenses and materials. There will be a separate budget for transport and installation of the final piece.

Exhibition and engagement design expertise:  Working alongside our exhibitions team there are opportunities to help shape the work, and tap into their expertise of developing piece for our audience. Throughout the project we’d love to be able to connect you with them as much as possible to share thinking, ideas and designs. We also have a great deal of other in house expertise in participatory work, audience engagement and community partnership to offer.

Facilities: Along with the exhibitions and design expertise we also have an in house workshops team who are open to working with partners should their project require it. As well as our internal facilities and staff Knowle West Media Centre have kindly suggested the potential use of their Factory facility. *KWMC, The Factory is an innovation space for making, digital fabrication and product design, based at Filwood Green Business Park, which offers laser cutters, CNC cutting facilities, product design and prototyping services.

How to apply

Applications should be sent through in PDF format and include the following:

  • A one page overview of past work with key focus on participatory and community practice.
  • Brief 300 words as to which group you’d like to work with and why.
  • Any images or links to past work.

Please email these applications to creativeproducer@wethecurious.org

Application time Line: 

Application deadline: 15 June 2018

Shortlisting: w/c 18 June 2018

Skype interviews: w/c 24 June 2018

Unfortunately we do not have capacity to provide detailed feedback to all applicants but we hope to respond to everyone by July 8th 2018.

First Development session:

The first set of development sessions have been put in place to times flexible to the community groups to ensure that we can work with them at all stages on the project. Please make sure you can make these dates and times. They are as follows:

Southmead Development Trust: Location - Greenway Centre  Doncaster Road, Southmead, Bristol, BS10 5PY

Dates: Friday 13, 20, 27 July 2018 10:00 – 12:00.

Knowle West Media Centre Knowle West Media Centre, Leinster Avenue, Bristol, BS4 1NL

Dates: 22, 28 and 31 August 2018 10:00 – 12:00

Hannah More Primary School: Location: Hannah More Primary School, New Kingsley Road, St Philips, Bristol, BS2 0LT

Dates: TBC (August)

Dates of later development sessions, making and installation will work around your availability over those months.

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