Patricia MacKinnon-Day

Newport Wetlands, RSPB, Wales 2005

Newport Wetlands
Artist collaboration on design team

The Countryside Council for Wales has instigated the development of Newport Wetlands. A new Environmental Education and Visitor Centre is to be built at Newport Wetlands and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is commissioning a strategy for the landscaping around the new Centre. Landscape Architects Macgregor Smith have been appointed as consultants and wish to collaborate with an artist on the overall concept as well as developing specific designs for certain key areas. The key objectives are to:
• Create a welcoming entrance to the Centre
• Design an integrated learning journey
• Develop designs to complement the setting of the building
• Encourage visitors to venture out onto the wider Reserve area.

The project
It is envisaged that the selected artist will collaborate closely with the landscape architects Macgregor Smith and Cywaith Cymru, feeding into the overall concept design of the scheme as well as designing specific artworks for certain key locations. These could include interpretation artworks, entrance features, and/or functional artworks such as signage or seating. We do not wish to fix the outcomes at this point as ideas for specific artworks should evolve from a broader framework.

Education is central to the project and the artist will also need to collaborate with an Environmental Education consultant on the design of outdoor teaching areas. Signage and interpretation are also a priority in order to encourage exploration of the wider Reserve area and all designs should take into account that the Centre is open throughout the year.

The artwork could draw upon themes such as ‘water’, the history of the site, and the wildlife and the artwork might also start from inside the Centre and ‘run out’ into the surrounding landscaping.

We are looking for an enthusiastic artist with experience of collaborating on a design team and working to tight schedules.