Beacon Tower Commission – Call for Applications

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop is inviting applications from artists to create a sound work for our buildings located in Newhaven and Leith area.

The work will be installed in the Beacon Tower an iconic landmark that completes ESW’s open courtyard and faces out onto the cycle path that connects Newhaven with the rest of the city. Influenced by signalling towers and factory cooling vents, the tower is visible from the heights of the city centre. It was designed by Sutherland Hussey Harris Architects as part of the development of ESW’s Creative Laboratories building which won the Arts Funding Prize for Edinburgh in 2010.  This is an exciting chance to place work in the public realm giving passers-by an alternative experience as they move about the city.

This will be the third sound commission for the Tower. Previous commissions been Concrete Antenna by Tommy Perman, Simon Kirby & Rob St John and The Noise of Making Spills Over by Adam Benmakhlouf.

Deadline: 31 January 2021 at midnight

Bursary: £500

Production Budget: £500

Number of Places: 2

Eligibility: Individuals and collectives are welcome to apply. Students are not eligible to apply.

Details of the Bursary Support and Commission:

You will receive support from the staff team for the planning, development, production and installation of the work and access to ESW’s production facilities.

Application Process

Please send us one PDF which contains the following:

–       Your name, contact info including web links to examples of your previous work

–        50 word bio

–       Brief CV information.

–       Up to 500 word description of your proposal for the commission including if you have identified any specific needs or mentioning any collaborators, equipment or services you would need to include in the production process. The focus of the commission is on sound but artists applying may want to include information about how they would physically adapt the listening environment in their proposal.

–       3 – 6 examples of your work

The PDF file name should be: YourFullName_BeaconCommission.pdf

It should not exceed 8mb in total.

Please email this to  subject line Beacon Tower Commission.

We are promoting this opportunity widely and expect applications from people who have already been involved with ESW and those who have not yet worked here. We are actively seeking applications from disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic artists and others who are underrepresented within visual art or are experiencing barriers, particularly socio-economic issues, in continuing to develop their practice.

The places will be selected on the artist’s work and their strategy for developing their practice through this commission.

Selection Panel: Final names to be confirmed and will include one or two ESW staff members and one to two artists, including an ESW Member.


Deadline for Applications: 31 January 2021 at midnight

Candidates Notified of Selection: 8 February 2021

First Commission Launch: 29 March 2021

Further Support in Making Your Application

If you would like to discuss this opportunity with Dan Brown in advance of making an application please get in touch to arrange an appointment or phone call in January.


ESW has adapted access protocol in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more about the current arrangements on this page. This will be updated regularly in line with government guidance. You can read the current guidance specifically for Studios and Shared Workspaces here.

We are continuing to adapt the systems and infrastructure of our organisation to meet the needs of our communities in respect to the pandemic. This project is a new model which we have developed to make sure we are continuing to support artists and freelancers despite some previous models of activity being on hold.

The Bursary will be paid on receipt of invoice at agreed instalment times, you would be responsible for your own tax and NI. The production costs will be agreed in advance and paid directly by ESW or reimbursed through expenses claim forms with receipts.


Images: Views of The Beacon Tower and an audience member listening to Adam Benmakhlouf’s The Noise of Making Spills Over.

Woman in dress and sandals leaning against a wall based cushioned blue ribbon listening to sound installation
Tall brick tower with large open window viewing into angular interior concrete space