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Call for Proposals - Site-Specific Commission / Grytviken Whaling Station, South Georgia

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What makes this event different?
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for artists to visit and create an installation on the sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia. There will not be another commission of this kind. This is a unique opportunity to create a legacy for the future. This international art competition seeks to interpret the past and highlight the successful turnaround in the fortunes of an island that was facing the destruction of its native and iconic wildlife due to human actions.
The South Georgia Heritage Trust, along with its US partner, Friends of South Georgia Island (FOSGI)  have been at the head of conservation efforts on South Georgia for the last 15 years. With the announcement of this 2-year artistic commission, the goal is to build awareness of the island’s environmental importance, through telling the story of the whale and humankind’s exploitation of these majestic giants of the southern oceans, through a new lens shining a light on current conservation, education efforts, and most importantly whale research.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for artists to create a site-specific commission on the sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia. This commission by the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT) will celebrate the whale through a reinterpretation of the former Flensing Plan, offering a message of hope for future generations by demonstrating how humankind can move from exploitation to conservation. 
At first glance, industrial heritage on the sub-Antarctic UK Overseas Territory of South Georgia seems remote and impenetrable. Artists, however, find South Georgia and all of its human associations inspirational.  At the furthest edge of the world, the island evokes a deep sense of spirituality, and as evidenced by SGHT’s previous artist residency programs, spurs creativity. At Grytviken Whaling Station, the scale of destruction of whale species sowed the seeds of a paradigm shift in our view of nature and its exploitation in modern times. With a mandate (through its contract to manage the Grytviken Museum on behalf of GSGSSI) to bring the cultural heritage of South Georgia to an international audience, SGHT seeks to bring the message of hope for the future of the whale to the 15,000 international visitors now arriving by ship at South Georgia each year.  
Central to the commercialization of the whale on South Georgia is the Flensing Plan.  It was here that whales were landed and processed on an industrial scale. Rather than simply restoring the early 20th century historic fabric of this site, SGHT and FOSGI, in partnership with GSGSSI, are inviting individuals, collaborative practices and organizations from varying artistic disciplines to submit ideas for a commission to celebrate the whale through a reinterpretation of the former Flensing Plan, the area at the heart of Grytviken Whaling Station.
Artist Commission Fee:
£50,000 (incl. of VAT if applicable) 
  • Open to individuals, collaborative partnerships or organizations from varying artistic disciplines.
  • Open to mid-career or established practitioners with a proven interest in one or more of the following areas - cultural heritage, the natural environment, ecological issues or conservation. 
  • 5+ years’ experience practicing in your chosen art form. 
  • Track record of delivering large-scale projects on time and on budget.

For more information about this opportunity for artists, please visit the Event Website.


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