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Lakeland Arts: Soft Play Artist Commission

Freelance Opportunity: Lakeland Arts: Soft Play Artist Commission

Support for museum object-inspired soft play creations for toddler group activity

Brief 2017

Lakeland Arts is one of the leading Arts organisations in the North West, managing Abbot Hall Art Gallery and the Museums of Lakeland Life & Industry in Kendal, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House in Bowness and is developing the Windermere Jetty- Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories.

Lakeland Arts (LA) is seeking to contract an experienced craftsperson to make textile ‘soft-play’ objects inspired by the objects at the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry (MOLLI). The objects will accompany a programme of activities we run for toddlers and their parents / guardians.

The Programme

Known as Crawl at the Hall, this well-established programme for children and parents was suspended following the damage to Abbot Hall caused by the December 2015 floods. We are planning to re-launch this popular programme with soft play-inspired interactives created for MOLLI, inspired by the collection.

The Crawl sessions are multi-sensory and encourage expression, exploration, language and movement for under 5s and their parent(s). The successful craftsperson will need to consider the needs of this audience group when creating the soft play objects. Please note that participant children are supervised at all times by their parent / guardian and the activity leader.

Brief specification

Lakeland Arts wants to commission the creation of 8-10 ‘soft play’ items that relate to the museum collection. We are looking for large scale, high quality, 3-dimensional objects in different shapes that are colourful and tactile, made robust textiles with zip covers (so that we can wash).

Objects should be stuffed with foam and or toy stuffing and made from materials that are varied in colour, texture and pattern, whilst ensuring that no parts can be easily unravel or removed (no choke hazards given young age range of participants). The materials must be non-hazardous and comply with relevant health and safety standards including fire resistance.

For example, we have a typewriter that belonged to Cumbrian author, Arthur Ransome.

The successful contractor will to create a large scale, soft toy version of a typewriter. See example for inspiration through this link.

Though this on-line example is overly elaborate, we are looking for soft play objects that are fun and colourful and interpreted in a way that turns the object ‘on its head’. In terms of scale we want objects to be roughly the size of large throw cushions or beach balls.

TimetableResearch, design and selection of fabrics to be developed by end of February 2017 (to be submitted and discussed with client for approval and so that we can test ideas with parents of under 5s).

Soft Play objects made and delivered to client by end of Easter 2017.

£1000 inclusive of VAT and expenses.

Tendering process

Please submit a proposal of no more than 4 sides outlining how you will deliver the commission together with a timetable, breakdown of costs, two referees and 2-3 photographs with examples of similar work from your portfolio (or a link to websites where this can be viewed).

For the full brief please click here.

Please submit your proposal by noon on Monday 13 February 2017 to: Jennie Pitceathly, Head of Learning jpitceathly@lakelandarts.org.uk