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Call for Artists, National Trust

Call for Artists, National Trust

The brief:

We are looking for…

  • Conceptual art installations that are innovative or artistically challenging to tell the story of Margaret Dawson and Beatrix potter
  • Visual art projects that can be in a variety of media e.g Sculpture, graphic art, light installations, projections, etc.
  • Commissions that ideally people can interact with to encourage social interaction.

The focus should relate to one of the themes and incorporate the sub-themes as listed below:

Initial Provocation (to be positioned on drive way or at entry)

  • What was the convention for women at the time?
  • What level of control did they have over their lives?
  • Does this convention still influence women’s lives today?


Perspectives and preconceptions

  • Piecing together the story of Margaret Dawson: protagonist in a story recorded mainly from her husband’s perspective.
  • Beatrix Potter away from Hilltop and the ‘little books’.
  • Some things haven’t changed – convention still influences women’s lives today.


‘Daughters of the north’

  • Both Margaret Dawson and Beatrix Potter had established northern ancestry.
  • Both had families who had recently increased in wealth in the industrial and mercantile north.
  • Margaret Dawson’s family (the Prestons) had repeatedly prospered in the north and sometimes lost wealth / status before – in some cases restoring it through advantageous marriages.


Beatrix Potter: quietly progressive.

  • She came across some gender barriers i.e. not taken seriously in certain scientific circles.
  • She worked around these to achieve her goals i.e. through others including men.
  • She achieved some goals ‘for everyone’ i.e. support of the National Trust.


We are ideally looking for 3-4 projects costing £2000-£3000, or several smaller projects. However, if a submission is significantly more but exceptional then we would be willing to increase the budget.

Timeframe and process:

Artists are encouraged to visit the castle to view the spaces available and get a feel for visitor flow, just get in touch.

Submission of ideas with estimated cost by the 24th of October to

Installation26th of February