Word artist wanted for unique commission

  • Date Tuesday, 18 July 2023

Are you a creative who can help us transform Mermaid Court?

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Kate Turnbull

Better Bankside is looking for a word artist to co-create two murals in Mermaid Court, which is just off Borough High Street in Southwark. The murals will celebrate the rich literary history of the area and the many typographic ‘ghost’ signs around London Bridge.

Referencing the presence on firewalls and gables of ‘ghost’ signs and advertisements, large typographic artworks from times past that have a continuous visual presence in Southwark and the London Bridge area, this commission will celebrate and open the wall to a creative response to this tradition. Simultaneously, the commission is to connect with the rich literary tradition in the area that stretches from mainstream world literature in the Globe Theatre to a flourishing and diverse grassroots scene in the wider borough.

The call for proposals is open to all word based creatives (including but not exclusively poets, novelists, lyric writers for music, playwrights, MCs, copywriters etc). Creatives will have to demonstrate a strong connection with the area or its community (e.g. born, grown up or educated here, worked in the community, interacted with the area on a regular basis).

Submissions should include a sequence of words or text that celebrates the rich and diverse history of the area and is respectful of it. This can be a word art piece created especially for this commission, adapted for this purpose or be an existing piece that fits this commission. It can be part of a larger text of any genre (lyrics, poem, story etc) or just a standalone sequence of words.

Ghost signs typically use few words and play with typography styles and sizes. We recommend to limit the number of words proposed for the actual murals. These words can be taken from or refer to a longer text. The chosen words for the murals will be ‘translated’ into a typographic design for the murals. This process will be a collaboration between the chosen word artist and sign painter and typography specialist Simon Memel.

The chosen word artist will also be asked to submit a text that puts the mural into perspective. This can either be a short explanatory article or a creative text.

Please submit proposals by 21 July 2023 via email to Eliza Daeschler

The fee for the chosen artist is £3,000.

Download full artist brief here