Collections in Dialogue: Artist Commission

The British Library in partnership with Leeds Art Gallery

The British Library and Leeds Art Gallery seek to commission an artist or artist collective based in the North of England in 2023 and 2024. This commission will culminate in the creation of new work by the artist to be exhibited at Leeds Art Gallery from July – December 2024. The research and production period is December 2023 – June 2024.

The selected artist or artist collective will be invited to engage with digitised and physical collections at the British Library and Leeds Art Gallery as a catalyst to produce new work that creates a dialogue between the two collections. The focus will be on exploring areas of identity, activism and social change within the Oral History collections at the British Library and the Leeds Sculpture Collections at Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute. Further information can be found here. The selected artist or artist collective may wish to use digitised versions of parts of the collections in their work directly, or make reference to them. The commissioned work should seek to link the two collections in some way – conceptually, thematically or otherwise.


The artist fee for the project is £8,000 and there is a budget of £6,500 for materials to realise the project, along with additional resources to cover expenses.


Applications are especially encouraged from Disabled and LGBTQA+ practitioners, ethnically diverse artists who may identify as black, brown, people of colour or global majority. We also encourage applications from those who have experienced disadvantages due to their socio-economic background or who have otherwise faced barriers to a career in the arts.

Full details of how to apply are detailed in the PDF below. Please send your application to [email protected]. If you require any assistance with the application process, please contact us using the above email address.


The deadline for proposals is midnight on Sunday 8 October 2023.

Interviews are likely to be held in the final week of October 2023. Artists will be notified and given a minimum of two weeks notice to prepare for interview.

Header image: Installation view, Jill McKnight: Desire Lines at Leeds Art Gallery, 2022. Photo: Jules Lister