Public Art in MK
Public Art in MK
"Public Art in Milton Keynes is about inviting the vision, creativity and skills of artists, to engage people freely with place, in a well-considered way."
Over the last 50 years, Milton Keynes has developed an excellent reputation for Public Art development, with over 220 Public Artworks across the city. The Culture Team within Milton Keynes Council supports the commissioning of new pieces and the care and conservation of existing works.
About our Public Art Collection
A selection of artwork trails are available here: Trails, Guides & Walks.
All Public Art Commission opportunities are openly advertised, with specific commission briefs that outline context, vision and approach. All opportunities can be found on Culture MK social media and Arts Jobs.
Milton Keynes Council supports developers to meet their % for art Section 106 obligations [legal requirement for creating new developments] for Public Art.
Oakgrove Public Art Commission, Milton Keynes
We are looking to appoint a specialist creative practitioner or collaborative creative practice who have significant and demonstrable experience of developing and delivering exceptional public art commissions.
This is an exciting opportunity to add to Milton Keynes’ rich heritage of public art commissioning, whilst demonstrating the value that creative practitioners can bring to public spaces, enhancing the lived experience and meaningfully engaging communities.
The successful creative practitioner/creative practice will need to consider and respond to the aims and objectives of the commission, specifically responding to people and place and adopting the principles of co-design, co-authorship, and community involvement in all stages of the commissioning process.
When we refer to Creative Practitioner or Creative Practice we use these terms in the broadest and most inclusive sense. We are interested in receiving proposals from visual artists, makers, designers, architects, landscape artists/architects, multi-disciplinary/hybrid practices, consortium submissions and also practices whose choose not to be recognized or labelled as artform specific.
Download the brief (PDF, 224KB)or register to view and submit an expression of interest on the Milton Keynes Council electronic tendering process.
Closing date: Monday 7 February 2022 at 12 noon.
Current Public Art Projects in MK
Milton Keynes Council’s Cultural team works closely with a wide variety of cultural partners, stakeholders, communities and developers to commission artworks for locations across the Borough. Here is a selection of our current Public Art projects:
Fossil by Something & Son in Oxley Park (concept design stage)
In 10,000 years what will be left behind? Something & Son’s work Fossil imagines a future landscape where civilisation excavates the ground to reveal a still life of early 21st life captured in fossilised form. The work depicts a house from Oxley Park, a typical modern day neighbourhood in Milton Keynes, that has fossilised through the passage of time, being enveloped by rising water, encroaching deserts and manmade materials that nature has processed and reformed. The house has slowly decayed from the inside out leaving behind an imprint of the anthropocene era.The sculpture will be the size a house and by drawing on the city’s pioneering recycling schemes will be made from the materials of time – plastic, concrete and aluminium. A public programme. Curated by Something and Son and delivered in collaboration with the community will take place for the first 12 months, following the artworks anticipated delivery in October.
Alfonse by Sarah Staton is being developed for Newton Leys (concept design stage)
Inspired by interactions with the community and the heritage of the local area Staton has designed a 3 sided archway clad with bespoke blue and white tiles on one side and pattern brick on the other which references the former brick making industry in the area. The sculpture offers visitors a seat to enjoy the view across the lake.
Milton Keynes Rose by Gordon Young at Campbell Park, (2013)
The artist designed civic space offers the people of Milton Keynes a place to come together to celebrate, commemorate and contemplate. The circular space with 106 granite pillars of varying heights, 64 pillars have been engraved with dedications, leaving 42 for future inscriptions.
Inscriptions so far include dedications for important dates of local, national and international significance, including;
- 23 January 1967, when MK was designated as a New Town, also host a plaque unveiled by Prince William in 2017 as part Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday events.
- 5 April, Father of Loud, A tribute to a local man Jim Marshall OBE, the Father of Loud. He was the founder and chairman of Marshall Amplification plc, one of the most recognised brands in music.
- 11 November, Armistice Day, The men and women from Milton Keynes who have died in wars. We will remember them.
Events are held though out the year to mark the dates on the pillars.
Pass the Parcel by Walter Jack at Broughton Gate and Brooklands
“PassTheParcel is an idea – of connected works. It is something that goes from one place to the next. Everywhere it stops it creates excitement: it 'gives' on arrival and 'gives' on departure. It is also a work that creates opportunities for engagement: community events are at the heart of PassTheParcel” - Walter Jack
Pass the Parcel is a long term project; Walter Jack has been developing designs in response to the community and the new and emerging area of Broughton Gate and Brooklands. The intention was for new artworks made of oak beams to appear and change as the development appeared and grew. The project will complete in 2019 and leave behind 4 permanent interactive structures for the community to enjoy:
- Theatre for Learning at Brooklands Farm School
- Fallen Oak at Broughton Gate, Watercress Way
- Oak Store at Brooklands Meadow
- Porte Cochere at Brooklands, Cooks Place
Last Updated: 20 January 2022