WERK specialises in commissioning artists within site-specific and context-specific projects, reframing the relationship between art, the built environment, communities and audience. WERK has devised over twenty projects in the last decade, commissioning over 300 artists (at different career stages) in project locales in the West Midlands, U.K. and internationally since 2006.
A pre-conceived notion of public art as an object often exists, WERK instead explore what public art might be away from this traditional and reductive definition. Every situation, context and physical site presents a multitude of complexities and opportunities, and new genre public art is therefore a source of ongoing interest.
We are interested process and making it visible and accessible. Devising new approaches to public engagement and working with local people to generate creative content, programmes and events is integral to project development.
WERK’s recent large-scale Longbridge Public Art Project (LPAP) 2012-2017 was an ambitious place-making and public art project in a regeneration context, working closely in a public-private partnership with developers St Modwen Properties PLC, Bournville College and Birmingham City Council. Significantly, Claire Farrell secured £1.25 million cross-sector funding to realise LPAP over a five year period, generating 97 artist commissions, eleven permanent public art works, delivering 264 events, activities and exhibitions including two light and art festivals within its public engagement programme, achieving a direct audience/participant reach of 18,079 people.
WERK's approach to working in the built environment is holistic, recognising that strategic partnerships and cross sector collaboration is critical in achieving great place-making. We have extensive experience working with private developers, transport operators (rail, bus and tram), urban planning and design professionals, retail and social housing.
Specific areas of interest are:
Urban planning and design
Heritage, social history and conservation
Green and open spaces