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Artists Seek Fellow Inmates for Prison Project: Plan to Turn Cells into Scarborough’s ‘Tate Modern’

Scarborough Prison © Tony Bartholomew

A group of artists are seeking others to join them behind bars as part of an exciting project for next year’s Coastival event in Scarborough.

‘The Prison Project’ will transform the town’s disused prison off Dean Road, Scarborough, into a visual arts space, featuring contemporary work inspired by the prison.

Six artists have been commissioned to run the project and they are looking for 10 others to join them in creating work in the prison to exhibit at Coastival between 13 and 14 February.

Artists are now being invited to submit proposals for how they would use one of the cells in the prison (2.5m high, 2.1m wide and 3.8m long). These proposals must be focused upon using drawing, in its broadest sense, as a medium.

There is scope for 10 artists or students to take on a commission and they will be selected by the panel of six project artists.

People interested have until 15th November to submit a proposal to

Each artist will be paid £150 and will also be part of an online publication recording the event, have professional documentation of their work and have the opportunity to sell other work for zero commission at the venue during the event.

Coastival’s organisers, Scarborough-based arts development agency Create, say the prison project represents a fantastic opportunity.

Director Wendy Holroyd said:

"The prison is an amazing, unique building that offers a truly inspiring backdrop to the six artists and the 10 that will join the project."

"It is a great opportunity and we expect it to generate a lot of interest from artists locally and across the country."

The six project artists are Tracy Himsworth, Andrew Cheetham, Andy Black, Kate Black, Sally Taylor and Lucy O'Donell.  They have a wide skill base and knowledge, with experience of putting on exhibitions both in galleries and in unusual spaces,

The proposal should be 500 words maximum and explain how the artist would use/ respond to the space and their technical/ practical requirements and it should be accompanied by four images that are representative of their work (no larger than 250k).

The prison project was one of four new art commissions selected to be part of Coastival.

‘Wet Sounds Scarborough’ will see an event performed at Scarborough Indoor Swimming Pool and the audience diving in to the water to enjoy music, sounds and images under and above the surface.

 ‘A Light to Guide’ will be a lit story trail through the Spa gardens and South Cliff. Working with children from East Ayton Primary School, the story will be transformed into an eco-friendly installation with each sentence illuminated, guiding visitors on an evening adventure.

‘The Many Faces of Scarborough’ will be an art installation, with three large translucent heads magically lit by projections, offering participants the chance to see their own face animated, fully lip synced, telling stories, recounting legends, and singing short songs about life in Scarborough.

Coastival 2016 returns to the three-day format and will feature music, theatre, fine arts, installations and entertainment for children.

Rock band Cast will headline with a concert at the Spa Grand Hall on the evening of Friday 12th February, supported by Two Skies.

Popular saxophonist Snake Davis will play at the Spa during the afternoon of Saturday 13th February, supported by Jazz Aesthetic.

Asian Dub Foundation will headline at the Spa on the evening of Saturday 13th February, supported by Project 12.

Meanwhile, A Band Anyone Can Join will see local musicians join Leeds-based rock band Hope and Social on stage at the Spa Grand Hall for a unique participation concert on 14th February from 2.30pm. To get involved in A Band Anyone Can Join, please contact Create on 01723 384545 or email

Tickets for all the concerts are on sale now via the Spa box office and Coastival website at As well as individual tickets, two special ticket offers are available, one covering the whole weekend’s music, the other for the Saturday only.

Music will be just a part of Coastival 2016 and it will also feature theatre, dance, fine arts, comedy, performance and activities for children. More details will be released shortly.

For more information on Coastival visit

Artists Seek Fellow Inmates for Prison Project: Plan to Turn Cells into Scarborough’s ‘Tate Modern’ Reviewed by Editor on 21:12:00 Rating: 5

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