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Artist Commission Opportunity – Open Call

This is a partnership commission with WWT Caerlaverock, and Glengoyne

WWT Caerlaverock, with the support of The Stove Network, wishes to commission an artist(s) to lead a public art project at their site in Dumfries.

Funded through a partnership with Glengoyne Distillery, the aim of this commission is to bring the partnership to life through a reimagining of the Glengoyne Bird Hide, highlighting shared key themes.

Expected outcomes include a permanent art installation and a series of community / stakeholder engagement activities.

Project Idea

The key theme for the commission is of slowing down and taking time – aligned with both WWT’s aim to encourage visitors to lengthen their stay within the Glengoyne bird hide, allowing the time to settle into the landscape, and with Glengoyne’s theme of the joy of slow.

Additionally, the works should aim to increase a sense of inclusion and welcome to the hide, whilst taking consideration of practical aspects such as durability and weather resistance.

The commission should begin with a period of research and development, the artist(s) spending time with the hides and gaining a thorough understanding of the accessible requirements of the space and it’s user groups.

This can take place both onsite, and off site through engaging specific communities of interest, such as with young people and / or school groups, with support from WWT Caerlaverock, The Stove Network and Glengoyne.

The artist(s) would also be invited to Glengoyne Distillery to see their wetlands and immerse themselves in the Glengoyne story.

From this initial development, the artist(s) should develop a proposal to focus on one of three key areas, to be completed within the scope and budget of the project commission:

  • Visual impact of the space through art installation
  • Alternative seating emphasising comfort and settling in
  • Alternative forms of interpretation within the space


The visual art element could take several forms, including options for wall murals or wall mounted displays, free standing elements that occupy the centre of the Hide (currently under-utilised), or hanging from the ceiling.

Seating should consider accessibility and durability but could include bespoke finishes or seating covers, using materials and elements that create a more welcoming environment for spending longer periods of time within the hide. Sensory elements could be considered here, and their impact on the space’s adaptability for a wider range of visitors/space users.

The existing interpretation panels are outdated and could be re-designed or considered for younger audiences or with a more contemporary approach to information and local knowledge sharing.

Budget and Materials

The total budget available for this project is £4,000.

This should include all artist fees, materials VAT (where applicable ) and expenses. On agreement of final proposal with WWT, additional budget may be possible for delivery of final artwork.

Application Process

Please supply the following:

  • An outline of your approach to the project proposal (max. 500 words). If you would like to submit in another format such as video or audio file please get in touch as we are happy to accommodate accessibility requirements.
  • Three examples of your work
  • CV or similar outlining your experience to date

Your entire submission should not exceed 10MB and should be sent to by email to: [email protected] with the heading ‘Glengoyne Hide Art Commission‘.

All submissions will be reviewed by a panel before a shortlisted selection of applications that will be invited to interview. Interviews are expected to take place on 13th-14th May 2024.

Project Timeline

  • Open Call: 11th April – 5th May 2024
  • Application Deadline: 9am, 6th May 2024
  • Selection Process: 7th-15th May 2024
  • Project Start Date: Research and Development: End May 2024
  • Community Engagement Sessions: June/July 2024
  • Agreement with WWT on final artwork proposals: End of July 2024
  • Fabrication and Installation: August – September 2024
  • Project launch/unveiling: October 2024 (coinciding with The Wild Goose Festival)

About WWT Caerlaverock and Glengoyne

WWT are the wetland restoration charity working for wetlands across the UK and the world. By working together with people we unlock the power of wetlands – and help nature burst back to life. Wetlands have the potential to save species from extinction, tackle climate change and improve our lives but we’re losing them at a staggering rate. That is why WWT is on a mission to restore wetlands and unlock their power.

Wetlands teem with biodiversity. They’re part of the natural infrastructure, providing essential protection against climate change, floods, droughts and pollution. They’re also vital for our health and wellbeing.

Wetlands like WWT Caerlaverock are one of the world’s most biodiverse habitats. They provide homes for many endangered species, offer a lifeline for freshwater species and act as vital ‘service stations’ for millions of migratory birds to rest and refuel. Many endemic species are found only in specific wetland areas. About 40% of the world’s plants and animals depend on wetlands.

Set up 50 years ago WWT Caerlaverock is a 1400 acre nature reserve on the north edge of the Solway Firth. It is a special home in the winter for thousands of ducks, swans, geese and waders, and in the summer for dragonflies, moths, spectacular spreads of wildflowers and rare invertebrates.

Longstanding WWT partner, Glengoyne, is the first Scotch whisky distillery to build its own water treatment wetlands on-site. Like WWT, they are leading the way with their focus on slowing down – as Glengoyne is distilled more slowly than any other malt whisky. The Glengoyne bird hide is single room log cabin style bird hide built 25 years ago and sits on the edge of the goose pastures of the Eastpark farm part of the nature reserve. The name ‘Glengoyne’ is derived from ‘Glen Guin’ or ‘valley of the geese’, which works wonderfully as a namesake for the hide. It can be a good place to see the Caerlaverock speciality, flocks of barnacle geese, but WWT are working to bring more nature all year round closer to the hide and make it an even more rewarding nature-watching experience.  

News Opportunities

Commission: Waterfront Artist Stranraer

(This Opportunity is Now Closed)

The Stove Network is seeking a creative practitioner(s) to design and develop a programme of their own creative work which will be delivered with and for the community of Stranraer.

About the Commission:


A fee of £10,000 is offered for this commission. This fee is inclusive of all expenses, materials, and VAT (if applicable)


The work is to be completed within a six-month window – mutually agreed milestones at beginning of commission (e.g., research period, schedule of events planned by Creative Stranraer and how work of Waterfront artist fits with this). 

Timeline: October – March 2024 

The purpose of the commission is to creatively engage the local people in the town’s waterfront area.

The creative practitioner is invited to utilise their own creative practice (and/or collaborate with others), to inspire a new conversation in the town about the waterfront and how it could once again form a vital part of the town’s future.

The commission will form part of a wider process of re-imagining the Waterfront and the Waterfront Artist will join a small team comprising:

  • Arts and Engagement Officer (AEO) – who has been working within the Stranraer community gathering the creative sector and working with them on creative community engagement with local people as part of the revitalisation of Stranraer. The AEO will support the Waterfront Artist in building relationships with local people/groups/partners, communications/marketing, and event production.
  • Research, Recording and Reporting (R, R+R) commission holder – this is a special commission to support the work of the Waterfront Artist by helping to gathering information research leads that surface through the work and write up all the information/ideas and opinions that are generated through the creative work with the Waterfront.
  • Support from The Stove Network – The Stove Network has been working in Stranraer supporting community-led regeneration projects for two years. The Stove is a leading Creative Placemaking organisation in Scotland and will actively support the creative engagement work on Stranraer Waterfront with the full range of services offered by the full Stove team (from production and communications to partnership building and operational systems)
  • Support from DG Council and local community groups – the Local Authority is working in partnership with a diverse range of local community groups as a broad-based community leadership group to deliver capital projects(including Waterfront projects such as Stranraer Marina, Stranraer Watersports Centre and a marine research facility) that will underpin a future Stranraer. This group will support the creative engagement work on the Waterfront with information, contacts, partnership events and assets.

This commission builds upon the Dandelion community garden project, which occupied a section of greenspace located by the waterfront as a community garden. The ‘Unexpected Garden’ was utilised as a community events space, hosting workshops, gigs and other events. 

Who we’re looking for:

We are in search of an experienced creative practitioner(s) with a strong background in community-embedded and social arts practices. 

An ability to effectively engage and acknowledge the diverse voices of Stranraer’s populace is vital. 

We seek an audacious individual(s) who can facilitate and envision exciting possibilities, instilling fresh connections with one of the town’s most valuable assets.

The commissioned practitioner(s) will have access to the Creative Stranraer ‘Hub’ located in the town’s High Street as well as significant support in community engagement as well as strategic interaction with the town’s established community events and festivals.

It is hoped the creative practitioner(s) will interact with Creative Stranraer’s programme of activities, weaving thematic considerations and activities, offering a diversity of experiences to ensure as wide a range of the community’s voices are heard.

What you’ll be doing:

The Creative Practitioner(s) will be expected to engage the community through creative activities, installations, interactive elements, and inspire conversation towards re-thinking the future use of the waterfront as a connected, culturally significant feature in the future of Stranraer.

The creative practitioner(s) are expected to:

  • Embrace the Waterfront’s inherent value and its potential for rejuvenation, using your creative lens to inspire new ideas, spark conversations, and incite actions that will lead to its revival. (Background: up until 10 years ago the waterfront was predominantly an ‘industrial’ environment as the embarkation point for the Stena Line vehicle and passenger ferry to Belfast)
  • Reflect the value of the Waterfront and the potential therein through a creative lens to inspire new ideas, conversations, and actions towards its regeneration.

Required outputs:

  • A series of interventions situated at the Waterfront to encourage a new relationship to the site. 
  • Contribution to one large-scale public event situated at or near the Waterfront at the commission’s conclusion (NB additional budget is held to produce this event)

How to apply:

Deadline for applications: Thursday 24th August 2023 at 5pm

We would like to hear from creative practitioners/artists with an initial response to the project in the form of a short proposal.

We are looking for proposals from creative practitioners/artists working in any discipline.

We are interested in processes that are responsive and adaptive, demonstrate a commitment to collaborative working and give a clear idea of the creative skills and tools you bring to developing this. We are open to joint proposals or those from performance collectives but would want to hear how this might impact on the financial support for the individual freelancers involved.

We are open to video/recorded sound applications that address the brief and would encourage those who may have additional access requirements or support needs, both in application and anticipated through delivery of the project, to please let us know what we can do to make this opportunity as accessible as possible.


Please send by email to [email protected] with a maximum file size of 10MB, before Thursday 24th August 2023 at 5pm and include the following:

  • Subject line: Waterfront Artist Stranraer
  • A statement of no more than 600 words stating what interests you about the Waterfront Artist commission including a brief description of your practice and an initial idea of how you might approach the project.
  • Current CV (max 2 pages)
  • Up to 4 examples of past work that you feel best supports your application – this can be in any form (images, films, texts, testimonials, links to online video or other online resources). 
  • If you are willing, please also complete our Equalities Monitoring form as part of your application:

It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too. Wherever you’re from, and whatever your background, we want to hear from you. We will accept applications from anyone and everyone who feels they have the skills required to fulfil this role.

We will always send an email acknowledging receipt of any applications. If you do not receive an email, please contact us again. If you require specific support when making an application, please let us know. 

If you have any questions you’d like answered before submitting your application, please contact us by email at: [email protected]


Stranraer is at a pivotal point in its history. Ten years ago, the Stena Line ferry moved its operations from Stranraer to run their route to Northern Ireland from Cairnryan. A period of decline has followed for the town, but now Stranraer stands on the brink of a new chapter in its story with investment secured for a series of significant capital projects. These include projects for the Waterfront: a marina, a watersports centre, and a marine research facility. In the town centre the centrepiece project is the re-development of the former George Hotel into a culture and community centre including a bouldering centre and bunkhouse. These projects are all stitched into the community-led Place Plan for the town. The local community have worked in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council and South of Scotland Enterprise, and this commission is part of an ongoing commitment to keep the community right at the heart of the future vision for Stranraer.


Double Down Disco for Rosefield Mills!

Dumfries DJ duo, Double Down Disco, have recently been selected to create a soundwork for Rosefield Mills as part of this year’s Nithraid River Festival in Dumfries. Nithraid is an artist-led public event produced by the Stove Network that is now in its sixth year. The festival is sited around the Mill Green area and for 2018 the event is expanding to include other nearby sites on the river. Double Down Disco will be using Rosefield Mills to stage a temporary public soundwork on 11th August.

Double Down Disco is the musical partnership between two Dumfries natives and DJs, Les Ross and Lewis Boddy. Best known locally as a Disco DJ duo playing B2B at parties and festivals, the pair are looking forward to a brand-new challenge; creating an immersive sonic adventure for the Rosefield Mills soundwork at this year’s Nithraid.

Les and Lewis are both excited to be producing an original piece for such an iconic building in their home town, and feel this is a great opportunity for them to be able to showcase their abilities and ambitions.

This year, we are using Nithraid as a creative platform to support community efforts. Rosefield Mills, a former Victorian textile mill, is an iconic Dumfries landmark. Over this past year Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust have raised the money to purchase the building (by public donation and a grant from the local council). They are now working on ambitious plans to bring it back into use for the town.

Nithraid takes place between 12noon and 6pm on Saturday 11th August, and the soundwork will begin at 4pm. As the immediate area around the Mill is not suitable for public accessibility, the audience is invited to listen from the other side of the river at the Dock Park.

Double Down Disco will also be hosting workshops in the lead up to Nithraid. Their ‘Double Down Drop-In’ will be at the Stove as part of Dumfries Music Conference’s event ‘DMC Social’ on Thursday 19th August at 7pm, where participants have the opportunity to play with samples and sounds on a Midi Controller and Midi Keyboard, helping to contribute to the overall sound piece at Nithraid.


D-Lux Festival Lights Up Dumfries

Last month, the first D-Lux Festival of Light came to Dumfries as part of the Big Burns Supper, bringing warmth, light and curiosity into the town centre at the darkest time of the year. A collection of artists were commissioned to explore new ways to illuminate the darkness, showing that light festivals play an important part in regenerating town centres, and making people think differently about the place in which they live.

D-Lux Festival of Light - Big Burns Supper

D-Lux is a unique partnership with Jardines Funeral Directors. D-Lux have matched their investment with an award from Arts and Business Scotland; an independent Scottish charity who help to nurture the creative, social and commercial relationships that will enrich creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland.

As well as focusing on re-lighting the town centre, D-Lux Festival commissioned a number of artists to bring light installations to Dumfries throughout the week, delighting audiences with performances and engaging participations, and focusing efforts in the heart of the town in front of the Midsteeple.

Artists Kate Drummond and Hannah Fox, also known as Ida Glimmer and Ava Shimmer, were thrilled to be bring ‘Delight’, their ‘constellation cart’ to Dumfries last month. This double act, with their beautiful illuminated ice cream van, portrayed magical shadow puppet stories that brought a little light and a warm glow to the streets.

Dead Famous Carnival

Throughout the week, the Bakers Oven hosted Concursum; an association of three alternative photography practitioners and artists, Laura Rhiannon Peters, Andrew Billington and Patrick Ballanger. They mainly specialise in a demanding and often temperamental 19th century process called Wet Plate Collodion which requires the pictures to be developed there and then. The process was used to make unique image objects called tintypes, and the pictures they took also appeared in the windows of the town centre over the course of the week.

D-Lux Festival of Light - Big Burns Supper

D-Lux celebrated the lives of artists lost in the last year with their event, ‘Dead Set’. Taking place at The Stove, in association with Blueprint100, the evening featured performances from local musicians as well as a discussion from Dr Sandy Whitelaw from the world leading ‘End of Life Studies’ department of Glasgow University based in Dumfries.


A commission from the Stove Network will saw the second artwork in a series entitled ‘Midnight Streetlight Smalltown Rain’. This interactive installation combined poetry, projection and film, from artists Colin Tennant and Martin Joseph O’Neill.


Artist, Jo Hodges, brought her commission ‘Angels’, to Dumfries town centre as part of the festival of light, where members of the public spotted Angels appearing in unlikely places throughout the town towards the end of the week.

News Project Updates

PRESENCE an Art-in-Between Commission update

By Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman

We are coming to the end of working on the Art_Inbetween commission and it’s been a fascinating process.  The outcome is a work called PRESENCE which is a set of cards to be used as ‘A divining tool for journeys through the restless territories and blurred boundaries of art in the social or public realm’ the cards are a creative tool to explore and reveal aspects of a project or practice and to provoke discussion and exploration.


PRESENCE is a research led response to some of the questions that arose during the Art_Inbetween Summit held at The Stove Network earlier in 2016. The summit attempted to describe the distinctiveness of an evolving ‘rural’ contemporary arts practice with an emphasis on social/participatory/public art across the UK and our starting point was to try and understand this distinctiveness. What are the differences between rural arts practice and projects in urban settings with similar intentions or processes?


During the research phase, we worked with a number of artists, curators and producers using a word card process to explore core features of practice and context. These conversations were interesting and delved into territories that were slippery and shifting, we felt this area had more to offer to a wider audience. We began to work with the idea that practice was perhaps more important and distinctive than location and so the work began on developing PRESENCE; a method to explore and open up projects and practice that could become a companion on creative journeys, a navigational aid that could help understand and articulate the aims, methods and values of a project or practice. There are 16 CARDS, each exploring a core element of practice. Each card has a number of questions on the reverse. We suggest picking one or more card at regular intervals through a live project (or project development) and letting the questions lead into conversation and discussion.


The Cards

We see the cards as a ‘divining tool’ in the process of making creative work. They cannot be used to navigate the straightest, fastest route through a project or process but provide different positions to view the route from. They are not instructions or a model to build a project around and have no opinions about the best way to conduct a project – each project (and artist) is unique. Their role is to prompt, disrupt habits, to revisit assumptions and reassess progress and to re-excite artists and collaborators about their work and provide a tool for exploring projects and practice.

 We have tried to create a process that will result in a series of overlapping views from different positions (The points of interest in situated or social practice are not stationary and two dimensional, but three dimensional and moving, sometimes through time as well as space) This compound eye allows us to examine the same issues from different positions and so learn different things from each viewpoint.


Open Source Future

PRESENCE is an open source project: all questions, concepts and card designs can be challenged, refuted or replaced. Our version is a starting point from which new sets can be constructed specifically tailored to a project or practice. A website is in the process of being set up that will include all design tools and templates to allow people to easily make new sets and upload their designs for others to use.

Huge thanks to everybody who contributed to the summit and to those who have helped with the development of PRESENCE.

If you are interested in getting a set of the PRESENCE cards – please contact [email protected]

More info about the project can be downloaded here

News Project Updates

Parking Space: Level Up

From Callum Davidson

“Back in October I got the chance to take part in Parking Space set up by the Stove and Sleeping Giants. Such a great weekend meeting all the people there, having a great time skating and filming and just soaking up the good times. The whole idea that every level you went down was a new event to watch and take part in really made it for me. Here’s some stills from a video in the works from the event I filmed with Mutual Motion.”


Watch Callum’s short film created as part of Parking Space here:


Keep up with Callum and his film and photography work online:

Twitter: @MutualMotion

Facebook here


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