Creative commission opportunities at Kew Gardens - summer 2014

Kew is inviting a wide range of individuals and organisations across art-forms to propose new works or existing works for our summer 2014 festival programme. The theme of the programme explores the role of plants and fungi in the discovery of pharmaceutical drugs, folk medicines, psychoactive drugs and poisons.


Download the commission brief

Your questions answered

Answers to questions sent to the Festivals team are listed below.

Question Answer
Can I propose an idea for one or all of the glasshouses at Kew? Yes, past festivals have incorporated the glasshouses.
What are the dimensions of the glasshouses?

The Water Lily House measures approximately 5.2m x 5.2m
The Palm House measures approximately  111.7m length x 30.3m width
The Princess of  Wales Conservatory measures approximately  129.7m length x 61.7m at widest point

Scale drawing of these structures are available on request.
Can I submit a CV? No, we are looking for responses that meet the specific criteria of the creative brief.
Can you provide an estimate of ‘significant numbers’?

Kew is a weather dependent site and is, as expected, far busier in the school holidays, at weekends and on bank holidays.

A sunny Sunday in the gardens over the late May bank holiday saw 17 000 people pay a visit over the course of the day.

During the end of May to the beginning of September 2011, approximately 215 000 visitors came to the gardens, this includes all ticket-paying adults, concessions, children, Friends of Kew and their guests.
What workshop/teaching space do you have at Kew?

We have limited indoor space to use, however there is access to workshop space during the school holidays.

It is also possible to us temporary structures such as marquees, however planning permission would be required if the structure was in place for more than 28 days.
Would I be able to install a generator? Yes, if it was judged suitable for the space in which the generator was to be installed. Generator use would also have to be used in accordance with Kew regulations. Kew will not be able to supply generators or fuel.
Can my proposal include costs for the purchase/hire of relevant equipment? Yes, however, if items are purchased, the subsequent ownership of these objects would have to be agreed.
What plants found at Kew can be used as a drug or poison? It is advised to carry out independent research into plants and their uses, we are unable to supply detailed plant information at this stage.
I’d like to propose a performance piece. How numerous and at what times are performances usually held at Kew? Performances are usually held at weekends and in the school holidays. Usually, we offer more than one performance a day to provide as many visitors as possible with the opportunity to experience the piece.
Can community involvement be incorporated into the proposals Yes, in collaboration with Kew’s Communities team.
Is there potential to work with Kew scientists/archival material/images Yes, the engagement with Kew scientists and their work can be incorporated at the development stages of your project planning.
Will the accuracy of works that draw upon botany be verified in the development stages? Yes.
Will Kew help to advertise/promote installations and workshops Yes.
Is there space to display paintings? Yes, however suitable spaces are often shared with commercial/event bookings.
Do I have to include the cost of removing my installation/artwork? If possible.