Public art commission announced for Brockley

The search for Brockley's answer to Anthony Gormley has begun.

The Brockley Cross Action Group (BXAG) has produced the details of its public art competition to create a centrpiece for Phase Two of the Brockley Common project. The total commission price is likely to be between £20,000 and £40,000, although fund-raising is still underway.

In a competition document published this weekend, the BXAG explains:

"As part of phase 2 the group would like to commission a significant piece of public art which would occupy a strategic position on the site and indeed in the Brockley Cross area. It will be visible from the main Brockley Road, to passengers passing through the station and using the main public footbridge and also, depending on its height, glimpsed by passengers passing through on trains on both the low and high level lines."

"In order to select an artist to create, build and install the works a public competition is being launched with a first stage closing date of the 30th April 2007. Artists with local connections are particularly encouraged to participate."

The aims of the commission are simple:

  • to celebrate and mark the past and current history and diversity of the community of Brockley
  • to enliven and give meaning to this new shared space, thereby contributing to it becoming a loved and accepted place for all the community
The site lies close to the source of the original well and stream feeding the farms and hamlet of Brockley. A canal also ran through the site until it was filled in and the railway line cut through. A fascinating history of the area is currently being researched by Chris Woods which amongst other things has identified a fallen standing stone very close to the site, now possibly under platform 1. The research paper is available on the Brockley Cross website ( go to brockley common page, download history).

The £350,000 Phase Two development will open up the site and create an attractive new gateway to Brockley from the station, through new landscaping and pedestrian access. A planning application is due to be submitted in the summer. Preparatory works have just been completed. The art commission will be funded separately but the chosen artist will be asked to work alongside the Brockley Common team to integrate the two:

"The project was initiated by BXAG, who now work closely with Lewisham Council, which is the accountable body for the whole project. W are looking for the artwork to be fully integrated with the overall scheme and a close working relationship will be important with the chosen landscape architect as well as the Brockley Commoners (local steering group) and a wider Partnership group chaired by Joan Ruddock, MP and the key players (Network Rail, Southern Rail, John Stainer School, Lewisham Council and the BXAG.

"We are looking for an artist experienced in public art design and installation who will not only inspire the steering group, but also the whole of Brockley. We set few boundaries as to what might be created. We invite a bold, but deliverable and safe installation that will make its mark and fit in well with the overall design direction. We believe it should have height, but probably not more than 5m, combine with water and both be excitingly lit by night and interact well with light during the day."

The Competition Process

The competition is in three stages. These dates are not fixed in stone and the BXAG reserves the right to extend the deadlines at short notice.

Stage 1 (deadline 30th April) invites all those interested to send in a short letter of interest to the group. This should be no more than two sides A4 and clearly show evidence of previous public art commissions relevant to this project, together with your working methods. Unfortunately any CDs or other material will be non-returnable.

Stage 2 (May/June) we will invite a shortlist of 3 candidates to work up their ideas and proposals in detail. This will include a model or 3D illustration, a risk assessment, outline costs and timetable for implementation. All short-listed candidates will be offered a small honorarium of £350 each.

Stage 3 (July/August) will be a public vote to decide between the 3 short-listed candidates via our website and in the local caf├ęs and pubs.

All Stage 1 submissions should be clearly addressed to:

Jill Connell
Brockley Common Arts Commission
27 Prendrell Road

Enquiries should be sent to: