Art commission opportunity

  • Open Call
  • Perth
  • 31/12/2021
  • Open Call
  • Perth
  • 31/12/2021

Website Perth and Kinross Council

n 2016 Perth and Kinross Council launched an ambitious vision for the City placing culture at the centre of economic redevelopment activity and making best use of new technologies in lighting to make visual and visitor experience improvements to the City whilst improving the sustainability of the lighting infrastructure.

The plan delivered conceptual designs and outline proposals to provide a consistent series of lighting initiatives to create unique, vibrant, and attractive evening scene to aid in delivering Perth’s ambition to become a leading European small city. In addition to delivering an enhanced residential and visitor experience the proposals are designed to help deliver a more sustainable and connected Perth.

As well as feature and architectural lighting within the plan the use of forms of lighting or lighting structures to stimulate, raise social interaction and activity is required.

In 2019 the first of a series of proposed light art installations was installed in Mill Street Perth. Further proposed commissions were subsequently delayed due to the pandemic however the aim overall remains to create a permanent night-time light art trail in Perth of which this will form part.

As a result, we are looking to commission a collection of 8 sculptural works that will be attached to or form part of lighting columns within the main High Street within the City Centre. The work will be on long-term display (10 year+) in a key public area within the city centre subject to high footfall.

This commission relates to 8 lighting columns which will be located on Perth High Street
The form of the work or type of sculpture is not set, it could be traditional, contemporary, abstract, and be formed of any material suitable for long term installation.

It should however consider how light will work with the piece(s) internally or externally and consider the constraints of attachment to a column in the widths, lengths, and weight of the proposal.
This commission relates to 8 lighting columns which will be located on Perth High Street

The pedestrianised High Street is approx. 300m in length on average 15m in width with a serviceable ‘carriageway’ section of around 6m which in the main is used for shop deliveries and has prohibited times of entry.

The High Street is a mixture of retail units, large and small, some food outlets and a number of residential properties and other business.

The High Street has some sculptural art pieces in place as well as the original entrance to Perth Theatre and links to Perth Museum and Art Gallery and in 2024 will link to a new Perth Museum (Perth City Hall) which will house the Stone of Destiny.

The lighting columns within the street are 5m in height and are in situated in sets of two at four sections over the 300m length.

There are several sculpted art works installed within an adjacent street from 2005 (St John Street) by artist David Wilson on lighting columns. These exaggerated natural forms bring a sense of the countryside into the town. They act as a notable contrast to the vertical symmetry of the lampposts they are attached to and the hard, vertical lines of the architecture around them. They also draw our gaze to the sky and open air above, further creating that illusion of being close to nature.

The Brief
We would like to assess proposals for delivering a series of sculptural art pieces within the main High Street in Perth which should be an ambitious and contemporary artwork that reflects the environment of the area with particular emphasis on the regeneration of the area and cultural surrounds and provide an attraction for visitors, residents, and workers, as well as supporting the development of the City of Light Action Plan.

The proposals can be wide ranging however should reflect the city context, heritage, and contemporary culture. Consideration should be given to the proximity to Perth City Hall, which is currently under reconstruction to become what will be the new main museum in Perth when it opens in 2024.

The main themes of the new museum will be:

Ancient Roots,

Modern Scots


History of Perth

Scottish Kings and Queens

Nature and Wildlife of Perth and Kinross &

The Stone of Destiny

The appointed artist will be required to deliver the artworks but will have the assistance of and will work with PKCs appointed Lighting Designers, Mechanical & Electrical Engineers, and contractors to ensure the works are suitable for the lighting columns and to deliver the illumination aspect of the project and therefore do not require to be technically qualified in Lighting Design.
The artist will deliver sculptural pieces which provides a daytime attraction which can be enhanced in the evening with the use of lighting.

The client is open to alternative proposals for the incorporation of lighting as long as the key aim of having a visual piece by day which is changed and/or enhanced by illumination in the evening is maintained.

The client will also consider designs where the column itself forms the sculptural piece although the brief, requirements and constraints remain the same.

The artist will deliver final designs following engagement and consultation with the likes of the local community, City Centre traders and schools and how this aspect of the commission will be delivered will form a key element of the assessment of submissions.

Final design including fixtures, fixings etc. must be approved in full with all stakeholders and the artist needs to be aware that due to nature of siting sculpted elements to a single column that revisions in design, weight, materials etc. may be required in order to maintain structural integrity and wind loadings etc.

Statutory approvals and planning consents must also be attained.

The Client is looking for works to be completed on site by the end of summer 2022.

• The 8 works will be attached or form part of 8 new lighting columns that will be installed within the High Street in Perth. Each lighting column will be 5m in height (not including lantern)

• The proposed works have no defined sizing however they should be of sufficient size to be noticeable to the public.

• Overall, the pieces should sit no lower than 2.5m from ground level.

• The weight and composition of the piece should be considered as well as the balance and wind loading. Although the client will work to ensure that the column including sculpted element will be structurally sound there will be a limit to foundation capacity for each column.

• The piece can sit to a side(s) or wrap around the post in full, consideration as to how the piece may attached to the column is required.

• As the High Street incorporates a level of traffic, there is restriction to the width of the piece adjacent to the ‘carriageway’ of no more than 500mm from the column, there is no restriction to the other elevations.

• The work requires a level of illumination, internally, externally or as the form of the sculpture.

• It should be remembered that this is a functioning lighting column, and the design needs to consider that aspect.

• Street furniture such as lighting columns can also incorporate features such as banner arms and flower baskets, the artist should consider if there an ability to incorporate features such as this into the sculpted design or can the design be considered in that they could exist side by side on the same column however the sculpture is the main component within this commission and this additionality is not a prerequisite.

Key Objectives
In addition to our core commissioning Principles (attached as Appendix 3), the commissioned work must meet the following objectives:

• Enable creativity and culture to play a critical role in the development of the City’s Lighting Strategy

• Contribute to the emergence of Perth and the wider region as an attractive and creative place for people to visit, live and work in.

• To create opportunities to stimulate social activity / interaction

• To create a high-quality artwork which raises the profile of the High Street and attract new visitors

Key Project Output:

Exemplary creative work combining visual art and contemporary lighting which positively engages residents, business, and the wider community.

Role of the Commissioned Artist

• Lead the final design process in partnership with appointed lighting contractors

• Lead the Community Engagement process

• Provide information in relation to sustainability, access, installation, and ongoing maintenance

• Prepare all information necessary for planning

• Project manage the final technical design for the artwork, any fabrication and installation and liaise with appointed lighting contractors on completion of the final work.

• Provide evidence that all work is in line with current health and safety standards and requirements including the provision of method statements and risk assessments.

• Work with any necessary regulatory authorities to agree best method for installation. The extent of this will depend on the artwork proposed. Details to be discussed on appointment.

Technical Specifications & Budget
• Artist must have public liability insurance to the value of £5 Million

• Anticipated lifespan of the work should be 10 years. This period can include scheduled treatments and refresh treatments and the artist should broadly describe these in their submission.


The budget for the Commission is £64,000 (VAT inclusive) to include all artist fees including the completed construction of the sculpted elements as well as expenses in order to meet the requirements of the brief including but not limited to design, making and install costs, licenses, community/school’s consultation events, materials and project management costs.

The lighting columns and lanterns themselves are separate to this budget however where design proposals incorporate the column as the sculptural piece then additional funding may be allocated.

Payment will be made in three instalments:

1st payment £8,000 Project Start Date

2nd payment £16,000 Onsite Start Date

3rd payment £40,000 Project End Date


Finalists will be asked to expand their proposals with more detailed design and a presentation for which they will be paid a design honorarium of up to £500 from which the panel will select one of those to take forward.

How to Apply

Artists are asked to submit electronically to the following email address: with:

– Proposed response to the brief including visual representation
– A brief statement describing the materials approach and addressing maintenance, health and safety and suitability
– Outline of costings and breakdown of the budget
evidence of previous work including a full CV and up to 8 images (clearly labelled with date and location).
– Details of a professional referee who will corroborate the applicant’s suitability must be supplied
– Details of how the engagement element of the commission will be addressed
Applications must be received by 31st Dec 2021

Criteria for Assessment

Applications will be assessed by a panel with representatives from Perth and Kinross Council, Culture Perth and Kinross, local business and community representatives using the following criteria:

– The extent to which the proposal reflects the brief 40%
– The extent to which the proposal meets the key objectives 20%
– The quality of the proposed community and schools engagement 10%
– The information provided on materials and methodology including health and safety 10%
– The track record of the artist in delivering similar projects 10%
– The budget breakdown 10%

Up to a maximum of five of the top scoring proposals will go forward to the interview stage.

Finalists will be asked to prepare a site-specific proposal for which they will be paid a design honorarium of up to £500 from which the panel will select one of those to take forward.

Contact us

Perth and Kinross Council

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