Exeter Culture

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FLOW commissions - Iconic Portable Shelter for Events at the Orchard - Deadline 01/06/18


East Devon District Council is seeking an artist/maker/designer.

The commission is to make a portable event shelter that can form an iconic part of the FLOW project for events and gatherings over the years.

The total fee for this work is £3000 including materials.


This commission is part of FLOW an orchard along the River Exe that was designed and created as part of an artist in residency in 2017-18.
During this time eco-artist Anne-Marie Culhane worked with residents in Exwick and St Thomas to design a fruit and foraging route of 200 new trees, reworking the original landscape plans created by the Environment Agency to include fruit, nut and foraging trees where possible. Many of the trees were planted in early 2018 and with a community celebration and wassail to welcome the trees to the site.
For more information on FLOW see the website: https://flowriverorchardexeter.wordpress.com/ and short film: https://vimeo.com/265786119

The project is now transitioning into the hands of the local community guided by Anne-Marie and supported by Simon Bates, Green Infrastructure Project Manager, East Devon District Council. The intention is that FLOW is a cultural resource that can support events, walks, and celebrations which bring people to the orchards and reconnect people to the land for years to come.

This project has evolved from Exeter and East Devon’s Green Infrastructure Strategy, the major £31m flood defence works currently being implemented by the Environment Agency along the river Exe, and the master planning of the Exe Riverside Valley Park, intended to set out a strategic approach to the way the Park is managed, enhanced and used in the future.


Simon Bates will oversee the practical delivery of the commission with creative support from Anne-Marie Culhane (FLOW, artist and designer) and with support from the Devon Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency & Exeter City Council Park’s department. This element of the FLOW project has been funded by Coastal Recycling Fund, Eagle Land and Environment Agency.

The event shelter must be freestanding, portable (by trailer, van or roof rack) and light weight Portability via trailer(s) towed by bicycle(s) would be an advantage, as the Riverside Valley Park is served by an excellent, flat cycleway.
It must be weather proof and also, if possible, useable as an open framework (e.g. like a yurt without its cover which can be a visual/focal point for gathering. It would be great if it wasn’t completely closed off so people outside could see what was going on inside.)

The shelter must be able to accommodate 30 adults. Please state the maximum number of people your design will shelter.

Materials should be sustainably sourced or recycled. Design reference to the river and estuary through materials, and other marine vernacular is encouraged, given Exeter’s maritime history, and/or reference to the FLOW orchard route and orchard biodiversity. The shelter must be durable, waterproof and able to be constructed and taken down by four people (there will probably be more people and construction can form part of public events). It must be visually striking and arouse curiosity and interest from passers by. Commissioners may be able to help with sourcing of materials.

Some suggested materials: thick bamboo, recycled sailcloth, canvas

The designer/maker:
• Should have experience of working with appropriate materials for physical, durable, outdoor installation, and exploring bespoke design
• Will be expected to hold public liability insurance of £5,000,000
• Will be engaged on a freelance basis
• Should be able to demonstrate best practice in terms of sustainable resourcing of materials and /or use of recycled or reclaimed materials.
• Will be expected to work in a safe and professional manner to comply with all relevant health and safety legislation and requirements
• Will have experience of partnership working and delivering commissions.


Portable event shelter suitable for holding 30 people.


This commission needs to be completed by 1st December 2018 as it will be used in January 2019 at an event.

Artist(s) appointed July 2018
Meeting to discuss and show plans and drawings and confirm suitability with commissioners by 1 September 2018
Revisions/adaptions. Approval of final design by end of September 2018
Completed and demonstration construction on site by 1st December 2018 at latest.

An initial fee of £1,000 will be made on appointment and the balance on completion of the commission.


Please submit a brief CV, your estimated cost breakdown and a sheet of up to two sides of A4 outlining your interest in this project, with some sketches or images of some first ideas by Friday 1st June and send to Anne-Marie Culhane:        mail@amculhane.co.uk.  mail@amculhane.co.uk.

We will let you know as soon as possible after this date if you have been successful.

Anne Marie Culhane's Exeter Cultural Partnership Page

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