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OPEN CALL: Digital Commission with Turner Contemporary for Disabled Artists

OPEN CALL: Digital Commission with Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary invites applications from disabled artists for a new digital commission. We are offering an artist a £3,000 award to create a new digital artwork to be experienced online.

During a period of closure due to the COVID crisis, we have been considering our role and how we respond to the changing world in which we all find ourselves. As we take this opportunity to review our approach, our commitment to artistic excellence and support for artists continues. This autumn we will be closed again for a planned building refurbishment and we want to use this time to explore how we work in the digital realm, from supporting artistic practice to collaborating with diverse audiences, in order to connect art, people and place at home and around the world.

About Turner Contemporary

Since opening in 2011, Turner Contemporary has become one of the most successful galleries in the UK. We’ve achieved more than 3 million visits and the gallery has been a catalyst for the regeneration of Margate. Located in a building designed by David Chipperfield Architects, on a site overlooking the North Sea, our programme of world-class exhibitions, events and innovative learning programme have fast earned the gallery an international reputation.

Inspired by JMW Turner’s relationship with Margate our programme of temporary exhibitions makes connections between art from 1750 to the present day. The programme has featured exhibitions by leading contemporary artists including John Akomfrah, Michael Armitage, Phyllida Barlow, Kashif Nadim Chaudry, Jeremy Deller, Helen Frankenthaler, Alex Katz, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Rose Wylie, Pedro Reyes and Barbara Walker; major historical exhibitions of artists including Turner, Constable and Mondrian; and ambitious group exhibitions including ‘Entangled: Threads and Making’, ‘We Will Walk’ and the Turner Prize 2019.

The Brief

We are excited to invite proposals from disabled artists for a new digital artwork to be shared with audiences online this autumn via our website and digital channels. This opportunity is open to artists already working digitally as well as those new to digital media.

The commission can be on any theme and in any genre (for example video, sound, animation or performance) but we are particularly interested in work that speaks to the contemporary moment. We welcome submissions that demonstrate a creative, questioning and playful approach. The artwork must be created specifically to be experienced online and explore innovative and ambitious ways of using digital media to engage and connect with audiences. We are looking for proposals that demonstrate a consideration of audiences and how they will engage with the work.

The Award and Selection Process

An award of £3000 will be made to each selected artist for the creation and production of a new digital artwork.

The artist will be supported by members of the Turner Contemporary exhibitions, learning and communications teams to develop and present the artwork. The artwork will be showcased on Turner Contemporary’s website and promoted widely through our online channels.

There is a small additional budget for digital expertise and advice. However, we encourage the artist to include any direct technical expenditure required to realise the artwork within the award budget.

How To Apply

Applicants should send:

– A completed application form in PDF form or Word, which can be downloaded here.

– A current CV

– Up to 8 images or 4 video files that support your application. You may like to send these separately using a file sharing platform (ie. Dropbox or WeTransfer)

– A completed equal opportunities form which will be separated from your application form and used for monitoring purposes only. Download it here.

Closing date for applications: 4th September 2020, midnight

Please send your applications and supporting documents or weblinks to

If you have any queries regarding the brief, your eligibility for this opportunity, or access related queries please contact Fiona Parry at Turner Contemporary on:

We can also accept applications in audio or video formats.

Selection Process

Shortlisted artists will be invited to attend an online interview in September.

All artists invited to interview will receive a fee of £200.

The commission will be selected by an external panel, Chaired by a member of the Turner Contemporary programming team.

The panellists are:

Dee Ajiba, Learning Producer, Turner Contemporary

Roland Cowan, Architect & trustee of art charity Outset

Sarah Griffin, Chair, Open School East

Tony Heaton, artist and Chair, Shape Arts

Jim Moir, actor and artist

Jason Tennant, Turner Contemporary Access group

Victoria Barrow Williams, Co-Founder of People Dem Collective & PWR, Margate

The commission will be launched from October 2020 via Turner Contemporary’s website and digital channels.


Open to disabled, UK-based visual artists practicing in any media at all stages of their careers. We are not able to accept applications from artists living outside the UK or those undertaking an undergraduate course.

This opportunity is one of three online commissions, which will form a central part of Turner Contemporary’s public programme while our building is closed. The first of these commissions was open to Black artists. For the third we will be inviting applications from artists living or working in Thanet. If you are eligible for more than one of these opportunities we encourage you to submit the same or different applications to any of these open calls.

FAQ’s for applicants

Is there any support available to help with submitting an application?

We are happy to receive applications in an alternative formats (video, audio file). We may also be able to find other ways to make the application process more accessible to you.

If you require access support with your application please contact Fiona Parry at Turner Contemporary on: Email:

Will my access costs be covered?

Any access costs you incur as an artist or practitioner should be covered by Access to Work* if you have self-employed artist status or work as part of an organisation or company. If you do not draw an income from your work, we will work with you to meet your access costs if you are selected, please still include these figures within your project budget.

*Access to Work is a government scheme that is designed to meet the additional costs of employing a disabled person where they are directly a result of that person’s impairments. For more information go to:

Do I need to be registered disabled to apply?

No. There is no longer a register of disabled people.

If you self-define or view yourself as a disabled person, then we invite you to apply. You do not need to disclose details of your disability or supply any medical evidence. For a definition of the Social Model of Disability visit the Shape website:

Download a Word version of this brief here.