Artist call out: RLWC2021 Birds of Paradise Project

Culture Warrington, in partnership with Warrington Borough Council, are looking for professional freelance artists to produce five large scale public artwork to form a trail across the town centre. The trail will be part of Warrington’s cultural programme during the Rugby League World Cup tournament (RLWC21).


Warrington is proud once again to be an official host town in the RLWC2021.  It is a chance for us to showcase the town, getting more local people involved in the sport and the events that surround it, further strengthening our local economy and helping to shape our sense of place. We want to celebrate our strong community focus, inclusive of all, by presenting opportunities for specific groups within our communities to get involved in.

The project

Successful artists will create human-sized public art wings which will be located across locations in the town centre, making the spaces more attractive and providing photo opportunities for the public.

We will use the silhouette of the wingspan of the Raggiana Bird of Paradise (pictured) which features on Papua New Guinea’s flag to create the wings and encouraging the public to take a photo with the wings as their backdrop.

The successful artists will generate ideas for the artwork through workshops with one of our 5 identified groups from Warrington’s communities. The ideas will contribute to a final design which will become a large-scale Bird of Paradise.

The RLWC21 strapline, ‘The Power of Together’ will underpin the whole project.

The Brief

Each of the 5 artworks will be a separate commission, but artists are welcome to apply for more than one.
The artist will be paid £800 for each commission which will include:

  • Planning and leading a 2 – 3 hour (as appropriate) workshop to develop ideas and designs working with one of 5 community groups listed below;
  • Materials for the workshop;
  • Design of large scale public art wings;
  • Production of the artwork in situ around the town centre. Locations and dimensions will be confirmed before the contract commences.

We will cover material costs for the large-scale artwork (budget to be agreed) and installation support.
The overall theme is ‘The Power of Together’ but each artwork should reflect the experiences of the group who contributed to it and what this phrase means to them.
During the workshops, as well as generating ideas, participants should experience using different materials and techniques to gain some new skills.

How the work will be presented

The work will be displayed around the town centre to form a trail in windows and on walls. Exact locations are to be confirmed but work might be presented directly onto a window or wall, onto a board to be hung or to be reproduced onto a vinyl. There is also the opportunity to create something out of an alternative media, such as fabric. Locations will be confirmed before the contract starts.


Workshops will be held during August and the artwork will be installed mid-September.

The Groups

  1. Youth Group: 7 – 12 year olds who are eligible for free school meals, some of whom may come from vulnerable families.
  2. Homeless Group – Aged 18 – 60, male and female, people who are homeless or marginalised.
  3. Adults with Additional Learning Needs – Aged between 19 and 55. Varying needs including Autism, Downs Syndrome, non-verbal, additional learning needs.
  4. Men’s Mental Health Group – men aged 18 years old and over who have low to moderate mental health issues and are struggling with the challenges of life.
  5. Older age group – 50+ many who have been shielding and have suffered from feelings of isolation.

How to apply

Please email Leah Biddle (Cultural Manager) by the 27th July: [email protected]

  • Please include in the subject header: Birds of paradise commission
  • Please outline your ideas for engaging and creating the community-based wings art work.
  • Confirm that you are available during August for workshop delivery and design, and September for installation.
  • Describe any relevant experience working on a visual art project with one or more of the above groups. Please state if there is a specific group/groups you would like to work with.
  • Show evidence of previous large-scale public artwork, (Images/ website)

Applicants will be informed if they have been successful or not by the 31st July.

Please note that due to the tight time scales of the project we are not able to provide any feedback to unsuccessful applicants