deadline for applications



First Plinth: Public Art Award 2019 is designed to offer sculptors an opportunity to extend their practice into competing for public art commissions. The winning sculptor is awarded £10,000 to produce a large-scale sculpture for the sculpture terrace at Dora House before moving to a second site at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The award theme is Progress.

This biannual award is open to any artist working in three dimensions, providing a unique and rare opportunity for the winner to build a track record in the competitive arena of public art.

The fabrication of the winning work is supported by the award, with the winner receiving mentoring from a team of experienced professionals – engineers, consultants and artists – to ensure the concept is delivered to the exacting standards required of work to be installed in public spaces.

This award is generously supported by the Mirisch & Lebenheim Charitable Foundation

First Plinth: Public Art Award is designed to closely replicate the public art commissioning procedure. The award’s aim is to challenge, yet support the sculptor through this process. Like most public art commissions there is a theme and therefore value will be attributed to a well-considered approach to the theme of Progress. Open to interpretation and approach, we hope this theme encourages applicants to push the boundaries of their practice.

The winner of First Plinth: Public Art Award will create an innovative work for the sculpture terrace at Dora House to be shown March–May 2020, before moving to a second site at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF SCULPTORS – sculpture terrace

The sculpture terrace is part of the Royal Society of Sculptors site at 108 Old Brompton Road. Please see below for full information regarding this space:

Dimensions: approximately 6 x 3.5m

Work will sit directly upon the ground

Weight bearing: approximately 2000 kg

Foundations: existing concrete foundation 2.5 x 2.5 m to a depth of 20cm

Covering: gravel

Lighting: floodlit at night; external power socket for additional electricity/lighting

The former site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is free to enter, and enjoyed by millions of visitors every year. The south of the Park contains the London Aquatics Centre and the London Stadium – former Games-time venues, now in everyday use – and the stunning ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture by Sir Anish Kapoor. It is designed as a modern-day ‘Pleasure Garden’, with plants from around the world, including prairie-style planting from celebrated designer Piet Oudolf. Not far away is Fantasticology meadow which is the largest colour segregated meadow in the UK created for the Games as a heritage art piece referencing the area’s industrial past. This planting complements the Park’s fountains, playgrounds and spaces to rest and relax, including access to east London’s historic waterways. At night, the main route through the south of the Park is lit by coloured lights, creating beautiful patterns of shadow.

Work will sit on the ground. Please note that size and weight restrictions as per the Royal Society of Sculptors site will not apply and lighting will vary.


To complete this application, please provide the following:

5 images of recent work or work which relates to this award
A CV of no more than two pages long
A description of your present practice (200 words)
Please outline your idea for the theme of Progress (200 words)
A statement on how winning the award will move your practice on (200 words)

The closing deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 1 February 2019. Unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive feedback will not be given at this stage. Notification of all results will be sent by email week commencing 25 February 2019.


Award of £10,000 ENTRY FEE Entry fees are: Non Society members – £32.50 Society members – £22.50