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

The selected commission will include:

  • An artist fee of £3000
  • Materials and production budget of up to £2000
  • Marketing
  • There will be a limited additional budget for travel and accommodation arrangements, if applicable.

The artist will get paid £1000 on selection, £1500 on presenting and development of ideas, £500 to finalise. Materials, production and travel shall be paid by invoice on receipt

We are looking to engage an artist with the following requirements:

  • Artist must have experience of creating work in collaboration with others and community participants.
  • Artist must have availability to meet with participants, with intention to process gathered information into the final product while being sensitive to their input and retaining their anonymity.
  • The work created must be suitable for easy transportation, and / or easily distributed product, such as posters, badges or postcards. We will work with the artist to decide how best to do this.
  • Artist must continue to include participants throughout the process, therefore sharing ideas and sketches with them to ensure they are in-keeping with their experience.
  • The artist must be committed to telling the story of participants, as well as a commitment to creating high quality and accessible art.

To apply, please send the below to by Friday 1st November:

  • A proven track record of quality arts provision through process and product. Please attach up to 6 images or 2 video clips.
  • An up to date CV outlining your relevant skills and experience.
  • Please provide a brief example of how you would engage with participants and take their input forward into finished artwork.
  • A brief explanation of initial thoughts of what a finished product may look like.

About Shetland Arts

Shetland Arts is the leading arts agency in Shetland, delivering a year round programme of festivals, film, music, theatre, literature, craft, visual arts, dance, and comedy events to Shetland’s diverse population. Shetland Arts is supported by Creative Scotland and core funded by the Shetland Charitable Trust. Shetland Arts is a registered charity (SCO37082).

About Voices for Equity

The Voices for Equity Project aims to reduce inequalities in Shetland through participation. The project is designed to enable people experiencing challenges because of inequalities to share their knowledge directly with decision-makers from Shetland’s public bodies.

In contrast to consultations and anonymous feedback structures, the focus is on building relationships and bridging the gap between people living within Shetland.

By its design, The Voices for Equity Project is enabling people who are facing inequalities to share their experiences with decision makers at Shetland`s public bodies. The project draws on the method of reciprocal learning, recruiting community and civic participants and pairing them in learning relationships. Together, the participants support and challenge each other through the exchange of experiences and perceptions around inequalities. The method of sharing experiences in the learning relationships is unique in Shetland, and enables decision-makers to be better equipped, with a more direct knowledge and understanding of inequalities in Shetland.

The project is a two- year project funded by the Scottish Government under the Fairer Scotland Action Plan.


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