George Blunden Public Art Prize

For the first time, Stonewater is launching its own public art prize to give talented artists from all over the country – both established and emerging – who are producing ground-breaking and innovative artworks the chance to deliver a series of pieces that can sit proudly on its development schemes.

Stonewater’s public art

Strong communities provide the social cement that holds places together and often defines their success. Nowhere is this more apparent and needed than in the formation of new residential neighbourhoods.

Previously, Stonewater’s development team has worked closely within the local communities they are serving to commission artists that are able to create pieces that convey a distinctive narrative of place, uncovering histories and nuances of the area.

Having spent more time exploring our local surroundings throughout the coronavirus outbreak, the importance of having beautiful sights and engaging areas nearby has never been greater. Another really compelling reason why Stonewater is inviting artists of all disciplines to play their part in building community spirit and inspiring residents at new affordable housing developments across England.

The prize

The winning artist will be commissioned to create public art for five of Stonewater’s developments and awarded the prize of £75,000 for their creativity, project management and scoping out the pieces. Each commission will be allocated a separate budget for delivering and executing the public art, covering costs such as the fabrication, build, transportation and materials to create the public art.

The prize has been named after Stonewater’s former Board Chair George Blunden, who played a pivotal role in the creation of Stonewater and driving the organisation to ensuring our developments always add value to the local community and create a sense of place.

George was also recently awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his work in the housing sector with Stonewater and setting up Longleigh, an independent charitable foundation.

Competitors will need to pitch ideas for a long-term, low maintenance installation at a particular site and demonstrate how they would propose working with colleagues and communities to develop such artworks.

As part of its brief, Stonewater is also asking artists to consider the environmental impact of their designs and demonstrate how they would reduce the carbon footprint of their proposed work.

Stonewater – which works to deliver good quality, affordable homes to people who need them the most – is currently leading a significant housebuilding programme, aiming to build at least 1,500 new homes a year from 2022.

Our teams have been installing public art at new developments since 2012, working with local communities and commissioning artists to create pieces that convey a distinctive sense of place, exploring local history and characteristics of the area.

Prize entries

Entries for this year's George Blunden Public Art Prize have now closed.

If you would like to be kept updated about the prize, please register your interest here.  You can also follow progress on Instagram @Blunden_Prize.

Click here for the latest judging update.

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