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Discover: Craft + Design Pubic Art Trail in City West 

October-November 2022

DESIGN Canberra in partnership with City Renewal Authority 

Sponsored by Graham Humphries and Meredith Hinchliffe

Supported by Contour 556


Craft ACT members are invited to submit proposals for a temporary craft and design trail designed to activate City West in DESIGN Canberra 2022. The trail will engage audiences in a process of discovery and see the city in new ways. Artworks will be installed to be on display for both Contour 556 (1-29 October) and Design Canberra (2-20 November).

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work with mentors and will receive a $2000 artist fee to develop their concept and an additional materials fee based on their proposal (Maximum proposed materials fee must not exceed $5000). 

Applications close 5pm, Monday 14 February 2022.


Craft ACT recognises the devastating impact the Covid 19 crisis has had on the local arts industry and our devoted audiences. Design Canberra presents ‘Nurture’, draws on the well documented benefits of creativity to support wellbeing and is aimed at supporting our artists and the Canberra community during this difficult time. The program is specifically tailored to focus on the well-being aspects of creativity, making and crafting as tools for health and recovery; and as an antidote to the stresses brought about by the pandemic.

As part of DESIGN Canberra presents Nurture, Craft ACT is working in partnership with the City Renewal Authority to develop Nurture: Discover: Craft & Design trail.

This trail will activate City West and invites audiences to participate in a process of exploration and discovery as they follow the trail, and to engage with the city in new ways, changing our communities' experience of place.   

 How to Apply

  • Submissions open:  Monday 6 December 2021
  • Information session: 11am -12pm, Friday 14 January 2022

The information session will cover the Concept Brief, Mentor arrangements, possible sites in City West, artists’ budget and submission process. The session will be recorded and available on our website.

  • Applications close: at 5pm, Monday 14 February 2022.

Applications will respond to the concept brief and will be assessed by a panel including the mentors on:

  • Strength of concept
  • Quality of proposal in relation to the brief and chosen category
  • Artist /designer practice development potential
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Safety and security
  • Realistic budget.

Nurture: Discover Concept Brief: 

Create temporary, site specific works of art that respond to the theme of Transformation:

  • Theme: Transformation – Reflection on Canberra's recent experiences including the bushfires and the pandemic; and possibilities for transformation - what will Canberra’s immediate and long-term future be like? 
  • Experiential: inviting intimacy, close inspection, contemplation, discovery, interaction and or sensory engagement.
  • Ephemeral or Temporary public art in the form of single works or component parts within a specific space.
  • Materials: Any - but they must be able to last outdoors for 8 weeks
  • Site specific:  All proposed sites must be in the City West Precinct and artworks must demonstrate a creative response to their site
  • Security: Must be difficult for people to steal or damage.
  • Safety: Must be safe for public interaction


Applicants will select a specific category for their submission. Four of the categories will have a mentoring component working with local experts in their field. 

  1. Casting (with mentor Nick Stranks)
  2. Digital fabrication (with mentor Sam Tomkins)
  3. Wood (with mentor Thor Dissendorf)
  4. Textiles (with mentor Valerie Kirk)
  5. Open 
  6. Open


The aim of the mentors is to work with art, craft and design practitioners to translate their practice into a different context, that of the public realm. Each mentor will be on the selection panel and will spend approximately 10 hours with their chosen mentee to assist the artists with the realisation of their concept.

Casting (Mentor Nick Stranks)

Nick Stranks has extensive experience in the construction and installation of public art. He has been a lecturer in sculpture for over 20 years at the Australian National University and since leaving that appointment has managed a casting foundry on a rural property on the outskirts of the ACT. This foundry specialises in working closely with artists, mentoring them and producing a wide range of cast and fabricated sculptural works. 

Nick is keen to share this extensive experience with the selected artist. He can offer professional advice on how a project or concept may be developed into a physical outcome. He also has an extensive technical knowledge base specifically in metal fabrication, mould making and casting. He would be happy to meet and work with the artist if they are local or can meet virtually to discuss prospective projects. 

Digital fabrication (Mentor Sam Tomkins, University of Canberra)

Sam Tomkins is an Industrial Designer and lecturer at the University of Canberra with expertise in digital design and fabrication. He has extensive experience across a broad range of materials, fabrication techniques and technologies spanning both the traditional and the emergent.

Sam will work with the successful mentee to realise the physical artwork through guidance in digital to physical workflows. To execute the work, the successful mentee will also have the potential to engage with the digital fabrication facilities housed within Workshop7, the Faculty of Arts and Designs state of the art workshop at the University of Canberra. These include 3D printing, laser cutting and other digital processes supplemented by a wide range of manual equipment including lathes and welding.

Wood (Mentor Thor Diesendorf, Thor’s Hammer)

Thor Diesendorf is an expert in design and production of furniture and architectural components using recycled and other timbers. He has experience in old school hand work methods and large-scale production machinery. Thor also has experience fabricating steel components and hardware.

Thor will work with the successful mentee to refine designs and make sure they are suitable for construction in timber. For qualified or experienced woodworkers there will be potential to use the Thor’s Hammer workshop & machinery.

Textiles (Mentor, Valerie Kirk) sponsored by Meredith Hinchcliffe

Valerie Kirk is an artist and tapestry weaver who has worked on public and private commissions, community art and curatorial projects. From 1991-2017 she was Senior Lecturer and Head of Textiles at the Australian National University, School of Art and Design and is now an Emeritus Professor. Since then, she has continued to work in her studio in O’Connor towards solo and group exhibitions, produced commissioned tapestries and held public Open Studio days. 

She can share her experience and knowledge of collaboration and teamwork, verbal and visual communication, working to a brief and meeting a deadline. Valerie is happy to set up a schedule of meetings with the artist in person locally or online.

5. & 6 Open Category

This category does not have a mentor but allows the artist to respond to the concept brief and work up their idea independently and in a medium of their own choice. 


  • 6 December 2021: Competition launch and call out.
  • Friday January 14 ,2022: Online information session. A recorded version will be available on the website after this date.
  • Monday 14 February 2022:  5pm Competition deadline 
  • March 2022: Winners announced
  • March 2022: Artists concept development
  • April 2022: Mentoring 
  • May 2022: Production & Permissions
  • September: Site preparation & installation
  • 1-29, October 2022:  Public launch at Contour 556 
  • 2-20 November 2022: Design Canberra 2022
  • December 2022: De-installation and Evaluation

Selection committee and sponsors:

The selection committee will include the mentors, event sponsors and Craft ACT staff.



Public Programs Manager, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre

02 6262 9333

Terms and conditions

1. Entrants must be aged 18 or over at the time of entering the competition.

2. Entrants must be Craft ACT members.

3. Submission dates are from 6 December to 14 February 2022

4. All submissions must be made via DESIGN Canberra website. Emailed or posted entries will not be accepted.

5. Incomplete entries, or entries submitted past the submission deadline, will be deemed ineligible.

6. The competition will accept one (1) design per artist. Any entries in excess of one (1) design will be invalid. (The design can contain composite parts)

7. Entries must not have been previously exhibited or won a prize in another competition.

8. Current staff and board members of Craft ACT are ineligible for consideration in NURTURE: Discover: Craft & Design Trail.

9. 5 - 10 works will be selected for execution. Successful artists will receive a $2000 artists fee to develop their concept and an additional materials fee based on their proposal, Materials fee up to $5000, Transport, installation, deinstallation and engineering fee up to $2000.

10. Entrants must retain a copy of their entry form.

11. Entrants warrant that: (i) they have personally created their entry and own all rights to it; (ii) all related intellectual property belongs to the entrant; and (iii) the entry does not violate any laws of any country or infringe upon another party's trademark or copyright. Entrants indemnify Nurture: Discover: Craft & Design Trail and its Administrators against any loss or damages resulting from a breach of this warranty.

12. The winner will be notified in March 2022 and may be asked to supply further information and images for marketing and communications purposes.

13. Selected work will be required to be produced and installed within the timeline outlined above.

14. This award may be cancelled at any time at the discretion of Craft ACT. 

15. Artists must maintain their artwork in a presentable condition throughout the exhibition.  This includes the repair of any minor damage to the artwork.

16. All risk in the exhibition of sculptures remains with the artist at all times. By signing the entry form, artists authorise the exhibition staff to move their artwork or remove it from the site for any reason, including but not limited to public safety, damage or potential damage to the artwork.

17. Artists must provide a Public Liability certificate of currency with their application. Craft ACT Accredited professional and Associate members have Public Liability insurance included with their membership.

18. The exhibition does not have an accidental and malicious damage insurance policy to cover the sculptures.

19. Artists are to provide a written statement on how they propose to install and de-install their artworks. 

20. Artists are responsible for the transportation of their artworks to and from the exhibition site and for arranging the removal of all packaging materials from the site.

21. Ensuring their exhibits is safely and securely in place is the responsibility of the exhibitor.

22. The responsibility for installing and de-installing the artwork is the artist’s.  Assistance will be given where negotiated, with regard to Temporary Traffic Management, provision of volunteer assistance as arranged with the event team. Please bring your own tools.

23. After deinstallation, all sites must be returned to their original condition by each exhibiting artist. 

24. Work exhibited as part of this trail is not for sale.

Copyright, moral rights, privacy, and liability

25. Copyright in the design/artwork remains with the artist.

26. By submitting an entry, the successful applicant grants a worldwide, non-exclusive, non-commercial license of the copyright in the Artwork for as long as the Artwork remains installed on the Site for the exclusive purpose of making and using images of the Artwork for non-commercial purposes including but not limited to:

(i) permit it to publish the images of the entry, in print and on the Craft ACT and DESIGN Canberra Websites;

and (ii) permit it to record and broadcast the selected entries, online and in any other media without fee, for the purpose of promoting Design Canberra and Craft ACT.

27. We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the Artist is attributed in any publication or communication of images of the Artwork by Craft ACT.

28. We will not modify or edit the work without the permission of the artist.

29. By entering the Prize, you guarantee that the personal information you provide is accurate. Personal information will only be used in administering the Prize. When you provide this information, you consent to it being used for this purpose.

30. Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, the Administrators (including its respective officers, employees and agents) are not responsible for and exclude all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of: (a) any technical difficulties or equipment malfunction (whether or not under the Administrators' control); (b) any theft, unauthorized access or third party interference; (c) any entry that is late, lost, altered, damaged or misdirected (whether or not after their receipt by the Administrators) due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Administrators; and (d) any variation in prize value to that stated in these Terms and Conditions.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.