Press Release: Shortlisted artists announced for new Dulwich Park commission

19 January 2013 By

31 January 2013

The commissioning process for the new sculpture for Dulwich Park has gained momentum with the announcement of the four shortlisted artists.

Recent winner of the prestigious Zurich Art Prize, Ryan Gander; Turner Prize nominee in 2003, Anya GalaccioConrad Shawcross, whose work Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 was commissioned as part of the Cultural Olympiad’s London 2012 Festival; and internationally acclaimed Eva Rothschild have been selected.

Following the theft of the Barbara Hepworth sculpture from Dulwich Park in 2011, a steering group made up of Southwark Council representatives and members of Dulwich community groups was set up to oversee the commission of a new artwork for the park. Last year, the steering group appointed the Contemporary Art Society to manage the artist commissioning process. With over 100 years of expert purchasing for public collections around the world, the Contemporary Art Society’s Consultancy team is one of the UK’s leading contemporary art advisory bodies. The team works with clients both in the UK and internationally on commissioning, curating and project management, and is renowned for identifying outstanding creative talent. All advisory fees from consultancy projects are reinvested back into the Contemporary Art Society’s charitable mission.

The selected artists now have a period of three months to develop their design proposal. Following this, a public consultation will be held in June 2013 to gauge opinion on each of the art work proposals. Details of the locations for public consultations will be made available in April.

Each artist will be judged on their ability to meet the commissioning principles agreed by both the steering group and the Contemporary Art Society ahead of the public consultation.

Commissioning principles:
1. Responsive to Context
The commission process for Dulwich Park should allow time for artists to engage with the Park, its history, its landscape and the communities who enjoy it. Setting an inspiring brief for the commission that encourages the artist to interpret the context sets the scene for a remarkable and responsive commission to emerge.

2. Providing an Experience of the Park
There is an opportunity to develop an artwork that provides new ways of appreciating the park – and that engages audiences dynamically.

3. A Legacy for Hepworth
The commission ultimately should represent the highest quality contemporary art, achieved by working with professional and critically endorsed artists and valuing the creative response.

4. Best Practice
As a public project it is important that the process reflects best practice commissioning guidelines. The commission should be delivered through transparent and accountable procurement processes, reflecting the necessity for a robust and sustainable artwork, managed to a high standard throughout and communicated via sensitive public engagement.

Fabienne Nicholas, Head of Consultancy, Contemporary Art Society said: “We are delighted to present this strong shortlist of artists for the Dulwich Park Sculpture Commission. Each artist has a varied approach to sculpture: Gallaccio’s site specific works are concerned with beauty, nature and the passing of time while Gander’s ideas based practice ranges from installations and sculptures to lectures and publications. Rothschild’s sculpture plays on minimalist traditions whilst exploring architectural and urban space and Shawcross creates static and moving sculptures which explore geometry, philosophy, physics and metaphysics. The four artists live and work in London, and while each has an international and prolific career none have a permanent sculpture in the city. This list is an illustrious and varied one, befitting of the ground breaking artist of her time, Barbara Hepworth.”

Councillor Veronica Ward, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Sport, Olympic Legacy and Volunteering said: “We were overwhelmed by the response we had from such amazing talents. Although it was a tough decision to make, we are confident that the shortlist reflects a good pedigree of artists all capable of fulfilling the brief in their own individual way. We look forward to reviewing their individual visions for Dulwich Park and we pleased to be able to honour the legacy of Barbara Hepworth in this way.”

The Barbara Hepworth sculpture was stolen from Dulwich Park last year following several incidents of metal theft in the capital. Since then, following a national campaign to target metal theft, the council has enforced measures to protect the boroughs most valued artefacts including the Henry Moore sculpture on the Brandon Estate.

For all press enquiries please contact:

Jenny Prytherch, Communications Manager, Contemporary Art Society
+44 (0)20 7017 8412.

Florence Igbokwe, Southwark Council
+44 (0)20 7525 0382


Notes to Editors:

Encouraging an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art by a wide audience and donating works by important and new artists to museums and public galleries across the UK.

The Contemporary Art Society is a national charity that encourages an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art in the UK. With the help of our members and supporters we raise funds to purchase works by new artists which we give to museums and public galleries where they are enjoyed by a national audience; we broker significant and rare works of art by important artists of the twentieth century for public collections through our networks of patrons and private collectors; we establish relationships to commission artworks and promote contemporary art in public spaces; and we devise programmes of displays, artist talks and educational events. Since 1910 we have donated over 8,000 works to museums and public galleries – from Bacon, Freud, Hepworth and Moore in their day through to the influential artists of our own times – championing new talent, supporting curators, and encouraging philanthropy and collecting in the UK.
The Contemporary Art Society’s Consultancy team offers independent and expert advice on public art commissioning and cultural strategy and develop outstanding contemporary art collections for companies and private individuals.  With over 30 years of experience in commissioning, curating and project management, our skill is in understanding each client’s needs and creating visionary linkages to the best in contemporary art.  We advise on corporate and private collections internationally and our recent public art projects include major commissions for the Olympic Park, public art strategies for Camden Town, the University of Cambridge & the Waterways Trust.

Councillor Hargrove – Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Recycling

Councillor Ward – Cabinet member for Culture, Leisure, Sport and the Olympic Legacy

Ian Dejardin – Dulwich Picture Gallery

Ian McInnes – Dulwich Society

Trevor Moore – Dulwich Park Friends

Deborah Collins – London Borough of Southwark Strategic Director of Environment and Leisure

Rachael Roe – London Borough of Southwark Arts Officer

Rebecca Towers – London Borough of Southwark Parks and Open Spaces Manager


Anya Gallaccio
Born in Paisley, Scotland 1963, Anya Gallaccio’s work is concerned with nature, beauty and the passing of time and often uses ephemeral materials to refer to the cyclic nature of life and death. Often her work includes organic materials which undergo a change during the course their life, nodding to the core aspects of her practice: change and transformation. Her sculptures have a multi-sensory and experimental element which allows the viewer to engage with their rich tactile qualities. The conceptual framework of her art is often developed from the specific site and its historic resonance, yet she stays loyal to her themes of preservation versus perishability, the natural versus the artificial. Anya lives and works in London.

Kingston Polytechnic, 1984–85
Goldsmiths College, London 1985–88

Selected Exhibitions
Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, UK, 2012
Highway, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL, 2011
Where is Where it’s at, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, UK, 2010
Eastshire Museum, Scotland, 2010
Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2011
Camden Arts Centre, 2008
Three Sheets to the Wind, Thomas Dane Gallery, 2007

Ryan Gander
Born in Chester in 1976, Ryan Gander has established an international reputation through artworks that materialise in many different forms, from installations, sculptures and photographs to performative lectures, publications, inventions and interventions. His associative thought processes connect the everyday and the esoteric, the overlooked and the commonplace. His work is often humorous, and challenges the viewer to fill in the gaps, whether establishing a story’s hidden character or an object’s possible function. Creating narratives that are hidden within the work, his inclusion of missing pieces allows us to make up our own stories and explore our own ideas, allowing us to take the work to unexpected and new places. Lives and works in London and Suffolk.

BA (hons) Interactive Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, 1999
Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, 2000
Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, 2002

Selected Exhibitions
Esperluette, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2012/2013
Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, 2012
Documenta (13), Kassel, Germany 2012
Yokohama Triennale, Japan, 2011
Locked Room Scenario, Artangel, London, 2011
Intervals, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2011
Prizes Zürich Art Prize (2009) ABN Amro Art Price (2006) Baloise Art Statements of the Art

Conrad Shawcross
Born in 1977, Conrad Shawcross’ static and moving geometric sculptures in wood and metal appear to be scientific and rational, but they each explore subjects that lie on the borders of geometry and philosophy, physics and metaphysics. Inspired by failed quests for knowledge of the past, he often appropriates redundant theories and methodologies to create structural and mechanical montages. His work while systematic often combines irrational and rational elements to create beautiful, majestic works that bewitch viewers with their design and function. , London Lives and works in London

MFA, Slade School of Art in 2001 BA in Fine Art, Ruskin School of Art, Oxford, 1999.

Selected Exhibitions
MUDAM Luxembourg, 2012
Turner Contemporary Margate, 2011
The Science Museum, 2011
Pace Gallery, New York, 2010

Eva Rothschild
Born in Dublin in 1972 and lives and works in London. In Eva Rothschild’s sculptures, the magical meets the minimal. She plays on our tendency to imbue objects with meaning and power beyond their mere existence, prompted by the knowledge and beliefs we bring to them. Hints of spiritualism, mysticism and the aesthetics of New Ageism, as well as ideas around craft and its various associations, are clearly present in her work. Rothschild harnesses these diverse influences by using evocative materials, such as leather fringe and incense sticks, and by mining an archive of universally resonant forms, such as spheres and pyramids. Her interest in elemental shapes recalls the Minimalists’ pursuit of purity of form, but she also questions whether archetypal forms can be seen simply as form or whether they will be forever associated with layers of spiritual and psychic meaning.

BA (hons) Fine Art, University of Ulster, Belfast 1993 MA Fine Art, Goldsmith’s College, London 1999

Selected Exhibitions
Douglas Hyde, Dublin, Ireland, 2012
Sightings The Nasher Sculpture Centre, Dallas, TX, USA, 2012
Childrens Art Commission: Eva Rothschild: Boys and Sculpture, The Whitechapel Gallery, London 2012
The Modern Institute, Glasgow 2012
The Heart of the Thousand Petalled Lotus, 303 Gallery, New York, 2011
Hot Touch, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, 2011
Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland, 2009
La Conservera: Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Murcia, Spain, 2009
Tate Britain, London, 2008