Creative Youth Network is looking for emerging and early career artists aged 16 – 25 years old to create artwork for their new creative enterprise hub in Bristol’s city centre, The Courts.  

These paid commissions, of which there are two, are available for individual artists or collectives, with a particular focus on commissioning: 

  • 1 x artist or collective from a Global Majority Ethnic background 

  • 1 x artist or collective who identifies as Disabled  

Creative Youth Network is looking to commission Bristol or South Gloucestershire-based young artists that represent the communities and cultural diversities of those areas, whilst providing opportunities for early career artists to gain commissioned work. 

  1. About Creative Youth Network 

Creative Youth Network (CYN) is a Bristol and South Gloucestershire-based organisation that works with young people aged 10 – 25 through creative and youth work programmes. Engaging with those from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds, CYN enables young people to reach their potential no matter their background.  

  1. About The Courts 

Creative Youth Network are currently redeveloping Bristol’s old magistrates court, turning it into a creative enterprise hub for young people to have access to space and businesses within the creative sector. By doing so, The Courts will provide accessible and inclusive space for young people to access jobs and opportunities within the creative industries, whilst providing creative businesses space to flourish.  

Opening in 2024, The Courts will house a co-working space, a café and meeting spaces for formal and informal working, rehearsal and events space, offices and visitor experiences to explore the heritage of the building. Alongside the physical spaces will be programmes of support and opportunities for 16 to 25 year olds looking to develop creative careers and practice. Programmes will include industry professional mentoring, events, talks and networking, paid employment and commissions, subsidised spaces and desks to work and create, and access to a wealth of professional expertise and experience within the community of those based at The Courts.  

  1. Support available for those interested in applying  

CYN is aware that those applying for these commissions may have never applied for work like this before, and we want to make this as achievable as possible for as many young creatives as we can. Therefore, we’re providing the following opportunities ahead of and during the commission process: 

🌟 Information Drop-In at The Station will be run on Tuesday 13th and 20th February from 3 – 4pm with the Head of Creative at CYN. These drop-ins will be a space and place to meet, chat about The Courts and this commission, and workshop ideas around your proposal and application. There is no need to book, you can turn up on the day to find out more.

🌟 Have a chance to see The Courts as it’s being rebuilt, giving you an insight into the space and locations of the commissions. By doing so helping to visualise where your work could be featured and what to consider in your application. Hard Hat tours are available on request subject to access requirements of the space as it is a building site. A virtual tour of the space, before reconstruction began, can be found here - Inside the Courts | Creative Youth Network 

🌟 During the commission process there will be access to a wide team of professionals working on The Courts redevelopment. They will include;  

🌟 a heritage interpretation team and historians to help share the heritage of the space should you wish to respond to that within your work,  

🌟 a Youth and Community Inclusion Officer to support you with your access needs (this post is currently being recruited for within CYN),  

🌟 The Courts Project Manager leading the redevelopment of the building to give you insight into the process and requirements for your work, 

🌟 CYN’s Head of Creative to provide mentoring and support in the development of your piece and process in making it. 

🌟 During the commission, those commissioned will have access to studio space at The Station to make work from Monday – Friday, 9am – 8pm.  

🌟 Further to all of this, during the commission process regular meetings and times to meet will be arranged with you to support you on your process and ensure there’s opportunities to discuss progress.  

🌟 If you have any access needs, CYN will work with you to ensure they are met and you have all the support you need.   

  1. The Courts Heritage an opportunity to respond to it in your commission 

An optional consideration for this commission would be to create a digital artwork that is accessible from within the Heritage Interpretation smartphone app we are producing.  This would likely be an Augmented Reality feature that allows users of the app to reveal your artwork via a smart phone's camera.  You could think of this as digital exhibition space within the building only accessible via the app.   

Working with CYN to interpret the heritage of The Courts is dBs Pro, a creative audio company, who in association with Controlled Frenzy will be creating a digital experience within The Courts.  This experience will use location aware Bluetooth technology to guide visitors through the Courts, triggering a series of audio and augmented reality experiences.  With historic retellings of cases that were part of social movements, including stories of real-life suffragettes and from the Victorian LGBTQ+ community. The heritage interpretation of the space will highlight the role The Courts has played in the social change of Bristol’s history. 

The Interpretation experiences will use a smartphone application which automatically triggers audio and AR content depending on the user's location in the Courts. For this option your artwork could be uploaded and made available within the app at a designated area within the building. 

Locations of artwork within The Courts 

The following locations within The Courts have been identified for the commissioned artwork. When making your application, please identify which place or places your work would fit or be made for: 


(These photos were taken during the building phase. The space will be fully refurbed when the artwork is hung) 

Position A – The stairwell 

Position B – Ground floor toilets 


No photo available / tiled space and plastered ceiling 

Position C – Corridor  

Position D – Entrance



Style and brief 

The following word cloud below has been created based on the styles and themes that commissions can respond to should you wish:


1. Heritage Interpretation-optional 

Working with CYN to interpret the heritage of The Courts is audio and digital professionals, dBs. dBs are creating a Bluetooth audio trail around the public spaces of The Courts for visitors to experience and hear the voices and stories of those who’ve had court cases in the space. With historic retellings of cases that were part of social movements, including stories of real-life suffragettes and those who were persecuted for being Trans, the heritage interpretation of the space will highlight the role The Courts has played in the social change of Bristol’s history.  

Part of the interpretation will be a series of digital portraits that can be scanned using QR technology to bring stories to life. Should you wish to, your commission could be one of these portraits or beacons for the audio stories. For more information on the historic cases the interpretation will be retelling in order to feature them in your commission, visit here [insert link].  

2. Fee 

The three commissions are paid, with each successful applicant receiving £1000. This fee includes materials and equipment for making and presenting the finished artwork, and  expenses to attend commission meetings with Creative Youth Network. Where required, Creative Youth Network can provide studio space for making the work at The Station, Bristol, BS1 2AG. 

Payments will be made in a staggered arrangement with CYN to ensure there is a payment at the start, middle and end of the commission.  

Dates and deadlines 

The successful applicant must be able to commit to deadlines and provide mock-up and final designs for the artwork to Creative Youth Network for final sign off before installation. The commission process will begin [date] and the commissioned artists are expected to attend regular meetings and / or site visits to the Courts with CYN and contractors to discuss the artwork and installation. These meetings and work on the commission can be flexible around the artists’ availability. 

Dates you should know about before applying: 

  • Deadline for applications – 10am on the Friday 23rd February 2024 

  • Interviews – Wednesday 6th March between 3 – 5.30pm 

  • Start work on commissions – March 2024 

  • Final design presentation of artwork – April 2024 

  • Installation – May 2024 

  • Completion - May 2024 

How to apply: 

There are two ways you can apply for these commissions: 

  1. Please email us your application covering the below topics to [email protected] : 

  • Your name, address, and date of birth 

  • An artist statement which tells us about you, and your work/practice (this can be written or recorded) 

  • A description of the work and piece you’d look to make with the commission (this can be written or recorded) and ideally which location in the building based on the above images. Where possible, please create a mock-up design of the artwork so that we can see what you’d like to create 

  • Examples of your work to 

  1. Fill in the Google Form application here Link to google form 

Do you have any questions for us? 

Contact information: 

If you have any queries or questions ahead of making an application, or if you would like to speak to anyone about this call out, please email [email protected], or call Emily on 07341456167 

*commissions are made subject to the artists having their own public liability insurance and registered as self-employed with HMRC if at the point of application, you do not have these, please still apply as CYN can help you set yourself up, which can be useful for all future work and commissions. 

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