Service Update – Coronavirus

Open Call to Renfrewshire-based Artists

Open Call to Renfrewshire-based Artists

Paisley Town Hall was officially opened on 30th January 1882. After 140 years of busy use, it is now undergoing a £22 million transformation. After a celebratory closure event at the end of 2018, the town hall closed for surveys and preparatory work to begin.

During research for the town hall’s redevelopment, the design team discovered archive material covering the opening event of the hall. Library news cuttings told the story of a time-capsule being buried in the hall at the time of its construction. We believe this is in the base of a pillar on the balcony – it hasn’t been recovered yet.

To mark the momentous change the £22 million investment heralds, the guardians of the building – owners Renfrewshire Council and operators Renfrewshire Leisure – intend create and bury a 21st century time-capsule for future generations to enjoy. The plan is to bury it in a different, more accessible location… most likely what is currently the North Minor Hall.

Like a baton in time, the purpose of a time-capsule is to:
• excite, delight and surprise those who open it – a future generation
• convey something of the nature of the people and place involved in creating it
• capture the essence of current hopes and concerns
• freeze in time key icons of the present
• celebrate the creativity of contributors.

Creative brief
The brief invites artists to propose ideas for content that celebrate Paisley and Paisley Town Hall. Co-creative approaches are particularly welcome, involving the local community in artwork development.
Outcomes might include:
• creating a narrative about the present
• engaging with children and young people or other citizens of Paisley
• sending a message to or about the future
• focussing on Paisley Town Hall and its role in the life of the town and region.

The contents created will be stored securely in a vessel designed for survival in an underground environment, long term. Samples below cost around £150-250.
The lead box will be welded closed for burial, so contents must fit comfortably within. The artist should select the time capsule. This might be in the scale and style of the sample shown (left): 457 x 154 x 122mm (18 x 6 x 4.75 inches)
Our Museum team advise that ceramics, glass, metal and acid-free paper last well. Textiles and other organic matter are likely to deteriorate and detrimentally affect other objects around them. Film is at risk to moisture. Avoid plastics. Items could be wrapped in newspaper to help protect them. Work on paper should use archival paper.

• Call to artists December 2019.
• Submissions close end January 2020.
• Evaluation and award of contract will be made February 2020.
• The time-capsule should be ready for end August 2020.

There is a maximum budget of £1,000 to cover all the cost of the capsule (selected and purchased by the artist), the artist’s time, any public engagement work, the making process and the production of creative outputs.

The artist retains the intellectual property in the work and Renfrewshire Leisure retains the right to reproduce the work.


How to apply
Please send a 2-page outline of your proposal – around 500 words.
Your application should include:
• Title for the project
• Details of the concept or idea you want to work on (200 words)
• Description of the medium or media to be used including the time capsule itself (50 words)
• Names of the artist(s) who will work on the project and their experience (200 words)
• Outline of your method and approach – how you will you create the work and with whom, where and when (200 words)
• An approximate budget outlining artist time including any co-design/co-production work with others, time capsule purchase and projected production costs
• Attach 2 examples of previous work including links to images, audio files, video content, whatever you think shows your work at its best.

Submissions should be emailed to Richard Weeks at Renfrewshire Leisure.
For more information contact Richard:




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