More than 160 artists from across the UK registered their interest for the competition, which is offering the winning artist a prize of £75,000 and the opportunity to develop artworks for five of Stonewater’s affordable developments.
A panel of Stonewater customers and colleagues judged the submissions, which required artists to pitch a long-term, low maintenance installation for its Mulberry Meadows scheme in Castle Cary.
Located on the Wayside Farm site, upon completion Mulberry Meadows will comprise of 125 brand-new affordable homes with ample open space.
Centred around a village green and local play area, Stonewater has committed to additional funding for landscaping, which will include an eco-trail, wildflower meadow and community orchard for the new residents to enjoy.
Entrants were given complete creative freedom with their submissions but were asked to consider the environmental impact of their work, how the pieces would incorporate local history into the final design, and whether there were any opportunities to engage with the local community to produce the artworks.
Judge and Development Manager at Stonewater, Jack Bass, said: “It’s been a privilege to be on the judging panel and shortlist the variety of entries that came in from across the UK.
“Artists used an array of different materials, approaches to sustainability and ways to involve the community to create such distinguishable and exciting proposals, which was great to see.”
Six entrants have been shortlisted including George King Architects, Helena Roden, Hospital Art Studio, Coda Workshop, Art in Site and Matt Chinn.
The shortlisted artists will be invited to present their idea to a further panel of judges including Stonewater’s Chair, Chief Executive and Executive Director of Development on 30th September 2021.
Rob Hawkins, Head of Rents and Service Charges at Stonewater and another judge from the panel, added: “It was good to have the opportunity to participate in the first round of judging for the public art prize.
“In particular to see the inspiration artists took from the location and natural environment, and the consideration given to building spaces that create opportunities to bring communities together. I’m really looking forward to seeing which submission is chosen as the winner.”
Following the second round of judging, Stonewater will be announcing the first George Blunden Public Art Prize winner at a virtual ceremony in November.
Are you a social housing professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.