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Calling All Thamesmead Creatives

Thamesmead’s first public art team is looking for five young creatives to embark on its debut permanent art commission for Southmere’s Cygnet Square.

Cultural producer and former Thamesmead resident, Yinka Danmole, alongside curator Vickie Hayward and youth consultant Joseph Gray, has been appointed by Peabody to recruit five local residents at the start of their creative careers to form Thamesmead’s first local creative studio. The studio will commission artists to create permanent public artworks in Thamesmead and will contribute to the cultural strategy for Thamesmead which places culture at the heart of Peabody’s regeneration plans for the town.

Over the next 12 months the five young curators, aged 18 – 29, will learn about the complexities of public commissioning while earning a wage and gaining valuable experience in the creative industries. The young people will play a pivotal role in Thamesmead’s first public art team, with their experience acting as an exemplar for diversifying the creative workforce in London. Winning applicants will be selected at the end of August with the first studio session slated for September. Their involvement in the studio will continue until July 2022.

Those interested in applying must live or work in Thamesmead and be able to allocate a minimum of four hours a week towards the role. No experience is required for this opportunity, instead candidates are encouraged to introduce themselves and share their interests and skills in a creative way while outlining their motivations for applying and links to the Thamesmead.

They will be guided by Yinka’s team and will have the opportunity to commission permanent public artworks which will be installed in Southmere’s Cygnet Square, Peabody’s newest development. Phase one of Southmere is creating 534 new homes, commercial space, a new public square and a library with community facilities, and will become a thriving hub of this new community.

Yinka, leading the team which will oversee the overall project, grew up in South Thamesmead and attended St John Fisher Catholic Primary School which is situated close to Southmere where the creative studio will be based. Speaking about the five roles being recruited for, he said: “Having spent the last few months preparing for this moment, we’re incredibly excited to be announcing this call out for the five local residents who will form Thamesmead’s first ever public art team. I am one of many that Thamesmead nurtured growing up, so to be able to offer such a brilliant opportunity to other young people from my hometown means a lot to me. 

“We can’t wait to start receiving applications and are hoping to discover talented residents with a keen eye and the right vision for the type of public art that can take Thamesmead’s aesthetic to the next level.”

Adriana Marques, Head of Thamesmead Cultural Strategy at Peabody, said: “We’re really excited to be working with the new public art team on such an innovative project. Nothing like this has been done in Thamesmead and it’s going to be fantastic to see how the five young people will step into the role of public art curators and create artwork for everyone in Thamesmead to enjoy. 

Our cultural and creative endeavours in Thamesmead have consistently pushed the envelope, and the new recruits for the town’s first creative studio will have the opportunity to continue this trend. Responsible for commissioning the artist who will create Thamesmead’s first piece of public art, in addition to other projects in future, the significance of the team’s role cannot be underestimated.

“It’s always our priority to involve the local community in the work we’re doing in Thamesmead, and what better way to do this than by collaborating on a project that will live permanently in Southmere? We encourage anybody living in the area with an interest in art curation or public art installations to apply for one of the five positions. This is a potentially life-changing opportunity that offers first-class mentorship, training and guidance, and we can’t wait to start receiving applications!”

Applications are now open and close on 19 August. Click here for details on how to apply.


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