People United: Female artists commissions 2018

People United are thrilled to announce the 2018 Artist Commission programme exploring the themes of Self-Identity and Home. In consultation with partners and participants, we are looking for exceptional female artists to work with specific groups of women in Kent.

For the first time, our artist commissions will focus on women. 2018 is the 100 year anniversary of women gaining the vote in the UK. Although progress has been made, gender inequality in the UK and across the world stills exists and there can still be many disadvantages facing women and girls.

The commissions this year bring women together to engage in a creative process in which they can share their own stories, build positive narratives and legacies, and make a difference to how people feel about and behave towards themselves and others.

Commission 1: Self-Identity
We are delighted to be co-commissioning with the community group Joining Hands, Joining Hearts, a self-led support network for women who are survivors of domestic abuse. The group are looking for a female artist and invite proposals from a wide range of artists and art forms, but in particular, would like to receive applications from artists in the fields of digital art, sound and music, filmmaking or animation. They are looking for an artist who can help them explore the theme of Self-Identity and create a social action artwork that, using their own experiences, might encourage a positive sense of self in others. This work will take place in Sittingbourne, Kent, and is supported by Optivo and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Commission 2: Home
The second commission will take place in Ashford, Kent and will bring newly arrived Syrian women and local women, all mothers, together to explore the idea of Home and home-making with a female artist. Proposals are invited from a wide range of visual artists and art forms, especially applications from artists in the fields of photography and multi-media arts.  With support from the Diocese of Canterbury and Ashford Borough Council (both the Culture and Housing departments), the selected artist will enable the group to produce work and curate an exhibition.