Sense Checking

Questions for you and your team

  • Are there restrictions or limits to working with our collection?
  • Where do we, or the artist or others working during this commission, find this information?
  • How do we find and share this information with the artist and the commissioning team?

There are differing parameters of collections’ remits dependent on your set up as a gallery, permanent collection, collective, museum, and so on. For example, working in or with Museum Collections can be very different from installing an artwork in a physical space. You should consider these parameters and restrictions throughout your commission cycle.

The artwork

Questions for you and your team

  • Are we expecting the artist to create a new artwork, or are we asking the artist to work within our context or collection or space?
  • Which staff and team members, within our organisation, does the artist need to work with?
  • Where can the artist go within the collection? / What is accessible and what is no-go?
  • What are the limitations of access / material / fixings?
  • Are there materials the artist can or can’t use?
  • Are there access considerations for the artwork within our organisation?
  • What is the permanence of the artwork for us and for the artist?
  • Are there size restrictions for the artwork, and how do we share this information with the artist?
  • What is the legacy of the artwork and the artist’s time with us?
  • What is our commitment to the aftercare of the artwork and the artist?

Defining the parameters in your organisation for creating the artwork will be particular to your commission and may be affected by the answers to these questions.  This information may not be decided or set before you engage the artist, and in many cases its best that they are agreed through discussion with the artist in the period of development and research when setting contract details.  For example, when considering the legacy of the artwork you might have expectations around what an artist will deliver in terms of workshops, performances, publications, photos, film, print, or other documentation.  Only through discussion and agreement with the artist can you determine what will be achievable and expected for each commission.

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