Shetland is known for its close sense of community, however like any other community it still has inequalities lying just beneath the surface. Recent research and ongoing projects are highlighting the significance of stigma in preventing people getting the support they need to thrive.

Shetland Arts is working with Shetland Partnership to offer an artist commission as part of the Voices for Equity project.

Voices for Equity is a project run by Shetland Islands Council on behalf of the Shetland Partnership, aiming to reducing inequalities in Shetland through reciprocal learning and participation. The Shetland Partnership is the Community Planning Partnership for Shetland and focuses on collaborative work to improve the lives for everyone in Shetland.

To date, this project has received considerable national interest; it is therefore anticipated this interest will continue, producing a high profile audience for the art and outcomes.

We are looking for an experienced artist to work as a facilitator to tell the stories and findings from the Voices for Equity Project. The artist will gather information and process it into an accessible piece of artwork, appropriate for the general public. The aim is that participants feel a sense of ownership of the final product and that it can be used as a tool to highlight inequalities that currently exist in Shetland.

We are seeking to engage an artist to facilitate a community arts project to meet the following objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the significant stigma is experienced by and impacts on people living in Shetland
  • Engage with Voices for Equity participants to gather information about the project and understand what participation has been like for them, as well as what stigma and inequality they themselves experience and perceive
  • Involve participants throughout the artistic process to ensure the finished product not only highlights and challenges issues around stigma in Shetland but also celebrates the Voices for Equity project outcomes
  • Create accessible artwork
  • Create imagery that symbolises these outcomes, that can be placed on posters, postcards, badges, social media etc., to raise awareness of stigmatisation (please note, we are open to work responsively to what is created therefore these outputs can change)
  • Overall, to create artwork which provokes self-reflection and aspires to create positive change in society.

The artwork will then be displayed and / or distributed around Shetland.

Key dates and milestones:

  • 1st November 2019 – Closing date. Selected applicants invited to have a short discussion and informal interview
  • December 2019 – meet key strategic players seeking to tackle issues of Stigma in Shetland (through the Shetland Partnership); participants for research and development; Voices for Equity Management for information day on inequalities in Shetland.
  • January 2020 – share initial sketchings/ideas to participants and Shetland Arts
  • January - March 2020 - artist development
  • March / April 2020 – artwork Launch, marketing launch with Hashtag representing the project
  • April – September 2020 – artworks distributed across Shetland


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