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Expression of interest guidelines

Russell Street Welcome Zone art commission

Please note that applications for 'Stage 1 – Expression of interest concept proposal' are now closed. 

Background information

State Library Victoria is currently undergoing a huge transformation, Vision 2020. As part of this project, in spring 2018 the Library will re-open its Russell Street entrance, which will take visitors into the new Russell Street Welcome Zone – a vibrant space for visitors to meet, collaborate, relax or work.

Objectives & outcomes

State Library Victoria is seeking expressions of interest from artists to produce an artwork for the Russell Street Welcome Zone, designed by internationally acclaimed architectural firms Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen.

The key objective of this commission is to produce an eye-catching, site-specific, temporary graphic artwork inspired by the Library's extensive collection of works related to Victoria's flora, fauna and natural history, which will welcome visitors to the newly redeveloped Russell Street entrance.

The successful design will be selected by a panel formed by State Library Victoria representatives.

Site location

From Russell Street, after making their way up a short flight of stairs, visitors will encounter the new Readings bookshop to the left, and a cafe to the right. Directly ahead will be two rebated entrances into the Redmond Barry Reading Room, flanking nine digital screens arranged together to present a single digital display. These elements are features of the 29m-wide wall which will be the site for the commissioned artwork. (See the elevation plan, in 'More to explore' below, for details and measurements from the Architectus/Schmidt Hammer Lassen design. This document is for EoI reference use only, and is not to be reproduced for any other purpose.)

Particular attention should be paid to the initial view of the artwork for patrons entering the space from Russell Street, bearing in mind the many obstructions to sight lines. Columns and various infrastructure will obstruct views to the artwork, combined with limited long-view distances.

The proposed wall presents physical constraints also: two sets of doors, which are rebated; various light fittings and mechanical services; and a central digital display.

The successful work should consider the above constraints in its presentation. It should reflect the project brief while responding to the space, enhancing its architectural features, physical conditions and purpose as a welcome zone.

Selection process

The selection process for the art commission will occur across three stages. For full details, please see the Expression of Interest (EOI) document (in 'More to explore' at the bottom of this page).

Stage 1 – Expression of interest concept proposal

Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) is the first stage of the process. At this stage we are only seeking a preliminary concept proposal. See the Submission requirements section below for information on how to register a Stage 1 EOI.

  • Expression of interest concept proposals must be received no later than 11.59pm, Friday 11 May 2018.
  • A shortlist of up to three artists will be selected from the Stage 1 submissions and offered an opportunity to develop a more detailed concept and design.
  • No fees will be paid for Stage 1.
  • Unsuccessful applicants will be notified via email.
  • Decisions by State Library Victoria are final. No further communication will be entered into with applicants regarding the final outcome.

Stage 2 – Shortlisted artists

  • Up to three (3) artists will be shortlisted for Stage 2.
  • A proposal fee of $500 (excl GST) will be paid by the Library to each shortlisted artist.
  • These artists will be invited to submit a detailed concept and design based on their preliminary proposal.
  • The concept must be inspired by the Library’s State Collection of works related to Victoria's flora, fauna and natural history.

Stage 3 – Selection

  • The Library will select one artist from the shortlist.
  • The successful artist will be required to sign a State Library Victoria Agreement, which outlines standard Library terms, including those relating to copyright. The Library shall not be under any legal obligation to accept a proposal unless and until an Agreement has been signed by the Library and the successful applicant.
  • The successful artist will be required to work according to the EOI guidelines (see More to explore, below) to deliver the work on time and in line with budget and installation requirements.
  • The successful artist will be paid in total a fee of $20,000 (excl GST).

EOI submission requirements

Please note: the Library will not return any submission material. Please submit copies only – do not include original artwork – of any documentation for Stage 1 and, where applicable, Stage 2.

Stage 1

Please submit the following via email:

  • Completed application form, including 300-word concept proposal (download from More to explore below)
  • CV of recent work, including two referees
  • Examples of up to four previous relevant works, noting artwork date and location (Consolidate into one document. Accepted file types: doc, docx, ppt, pptx, txt, mp4 or pdf.)
  • Information about any existing or potential conflicts of interest and the process for mitigating against any risks.

The total size of all file attachments should be no larger than 20 MB. Alternatively, use Dropbox or a similar file hosting service, or include links to webpages.

Stage 2

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Details regarding the installation of the work and materials surrounding the work
  • Proposed timeline for completion
  • Detailed budget
  • Evidence of current insurance cover, including Public Liability insurance.

Key dates

Stage 1 – Expression of interest

Closing date for submissions: 11 May 2018
Applicants progressing to Stage 2 notified: 17–18 May 2018

Stage 2 – Shortlisted artists

Site visit: late May 2018
Presentation to Library: 13 July 2018
Selection process & applicants notified: 16–18 July 2018

Stage 3 – Successful artist

Final artwork delivered: 10 August 2018
Installation of final work: Spring 2018


All submissions will be treated as strictly confidential between the Library and the applicant.

Reserved rights

The Library reserves the right to cancel this process and/or again call for further submissions should the responses be deemed unsatisfactory or insufficient.