The inaugural Women Make Sculpture: theCoLAB Commission will award a female sculptor £15,000 towards the research, development and making of work(s) to be exhibited at one of three possible outdoor sites on the University College London (UCL)’s Bloomsbury Campus from mid-October 2019.  The brief is open as to material, narrative and theme but the work must demonstrate an interest in making and materials or be inspired by the context for the work. The award may fund all or part of the development and making of a new or an existing idea that has not been realised or exhibited.

Women Make Sculpture aims to dispel the myth that women artists do not (or cannot) make engaging, ambitious and, if desired, large scale outdoor works. It is open to all women sculptors living or working in the UK of any age.

theCoLAB is working in collaborative partnership with UCL Culture of which UCL Public Art is an important part. Founded in 1826, UCL was the first university in England to admit students of any race, class or religion and to welcome women on equal terms with men. Public Art at UCL seeks to celebrate the culture and character of UCL, London’s Global University. The Public Art Programming aims to provoke debate, encourage engagement and cultivate partnerships between exceptional artists and those at the heart of education and research at UCL. A commitment to artists working alongside those shaping and generating knowledge within UCL will ensure that public art will play a valuable role in the educational experience and global mission at UCL.

theCoLAB is an independent curatorial practice which promotes the appreciation of contemporary sculpture in all its forms.  theCoLAB sets up collaborations with partners across the commercial and private, art and non-art fields to support the careers of sculptors.  Through site-specific commissions, residency programmes and exhibitions it acts as a platform for mentoring artists through the process of sculpting a living.


theCoLAB and UCL Culture are committed to supporting the commissioned artist throughout the process by providing critiques, advice, access to academic specialists across the University’s disciplines including engineering, architecture and physics and subject to separate negotation with UCL, the use of its fabrication facilities.

A programme of events including the unveiling, a panel discussion/symposium on women and public art, and a talk to current Slade sculpture students are to be arranged between Autumn 2019 and Spring 2020.  The commissioned artist will be required to be participate in these events aimed at raising both her profile and that of women sculptors working in the public realm.


The selection panel for 2018/19 is:

Polly Bielecka – Director, Pangolin Gallery

Zoe Laughlin – Director, Institute of Making, UCL

Claire Mander – Director + Curator, theCoLAB (Chair)

Anne Rawcliffe-King – Consultant, theCoLAB

Sam Wilkinson – UCL Culture, Head of Public Art


£20 per application as a contribution to theCoLAB’s administrative costs only. Only one application per artist is permitted.


Tuesday 4 December 2018Open Call – submissions open
Monday 7 January 2019 @ 5pmOpen Call – submissions close
By 17 January 2019Shortlisted artists notified; unsuccessful artists notified
By 18 January 2019Shortlisted artists to be sent brief to prepare initial proposal
6 February 2019 by 5pmShortlisted artists to submit powerpoint or other presentation to be presented at interview
*SAVE THE DATE* 13 February 2019 9.30am – 6pm Interviews at Somerset House
* SAVE THE DATE * 13 February 2019 6.30pm - 8.30pmAnnouncement of commissioned artist - all welcome
Until 13 October 2019Developing and making the work(s) including monthly progress meetings/telephone calls
Mid-October 2019Unveiling
Autumn 2019 - Spring 2020Panel discussion/symposium/talk to Slade students
Spring 2020End of exhibition/de-installation

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