Kemnay Public Art Project



Waymarkers for Wandering



We wish to commission an Artist with experience of working in the public realm to create and produce a series of permanent structures in Kemnay.

The commission is for an Artist to create “waymarkers” to be located along the path networks around linking the village.

The commissioned Artist may choose to work with other artists, but the proposal should be submitted by a named lead Artist.

The waymarkers will be designed to encourage and enhance the appreciation of the environment and enjoyment of using the paths and therefore are not required specifically for directional purposes.  Kemnay has many fine features, both historical and natural, and we expect the Artist to draw on these as inspiration for the installations.   We look forward to seeing how the brief is interpreted by Artists.


Kemnay Public Art Project, through Greener Kemnay, wants to celebrate the landscape and nature of the village by commissioning an Artist to create a work of public art.

Situated on a bend of the River Don, 16 miles west of Aberdeen, within Aberdeenshire, Kemnay is a thriving village with a population of approximately 4000 residents. During the last 45 years, there has been significant residential development and it is now the third largest village in the Garioch area. There are two primary schools and one secondary school serving the catchment area. This has led to very good community facilities, with high levels of engagement and voluntary activities.

Originally famous for the granite quarry on the outskirts of the village, there is also a thriving High Street and business community, containing a variety of independent long standing, family businesses, retail shops, service sector establishments and, recently, some new award-winning start-ups. An excellent monthly newsletter is run and distributed by dedicated volunteers.

The area is popular for walkers, cyclists and runners with its network of linked paths and scenic viewpoints including the River Don, Place of Origin, Fetternear Estate (and the archaeological site of the Bishops Palace) and also the views towards Bennachie. There are sporting facilities including a golf club, playing fields, a skate park, cricket pitches and a bowling green.

One of Kemnay’s greatest strengths is its diversity and growth over the last 45 years, as the oil industry brought people in from near and far with many skills to add to the local area. Present day Kemnay reflects the efforts of local residents who have participated in shaping the village and wider community.


Kemnay Public Art Project is a sub group of Greener Kemnay. Greener Kemnay was formed in 2012 to support the green agenda in the Kemnay area.  It is a Scottish Charitable Independent Organisation (SCIO) whose main aim is to support: access to the local path network, sustainable energy and development, local food growing opportunities and promoting community composting schemes.

To date Greener Kemnay has:

  • Informed and designed maps for walks within and around Kemnay
  • Built link paths for safe use of pedestrians and improved networks
  • Installed benches
  • Created a Community Garden
  • Held regular community events including workshops on permaculture, picnics, pop up movie night, seed and produce swops,
  • Engaged, informed and involved the Community.
  • Planted trees and encouraged birds
  • Conducted Needs Assessments

Greener Kemnay was approached by the Arts Development team, Aberdeenshire Council in 2018 and was invited to facilitate a Public Art commission using funds allocated to Kemnay for Percent for Art.

There are other pieces of Public Art in the village – most notably the award winning Place of Origin.


We propose to commission an Artist to create waymarkers along paths in and around the village of Kemnay. These will not be waymarkers in the traditional sense of signposts, instead they will be designed to enhance and encourage people to explore, appreciate, celebrate and connect with their environment, landscape, culture local dialect.  The initiative is intended to improve health, create connections with others as individuals and in groups, to build a more cohesive community and sense of civic pride.

It is expected that the Artist will foster community involvement/engagement to promote a sense of ownership and belonging amongst residents.

Kemnay Public Art Project is particularly keen to see something tangible that would represent and link with Greener Kemnay’s aims, green agenda and sustainability. Upon completion a launch will take place to share and celebrate the work with the community.


The aim of the project is to site the commissioned art at carefully chosen points on the established paths in and around the village.

The exact locations will be decided through discussions between the project group, the wider community and the appointed Artist.

These sites will be on publicly owned land and the Artist will liaise with Aberdeenshire Council on the required planning permission for each of the locations identified.


The Kemnay Public Art Project is looking for an Artist with experience in the public realm. They will be expected to engage with the community and local groups as part of the creative process, the aim of this being to promote a sense of local pride and ownership of the final artworks.

We would require the artist to be environmentally aware and would encourage the use of sustainable, recycled and (where possible) locally sourced materials.

The Art Works will be expected to focus on the environment in which they are situated, and enable people to explore and connect with their natural surroundings.

Attention to local culture, history and language would be encouraged.

The Artist’s role will be to interpret this brief and produce ideas and designs for approval.

The Art Works must be hardwearing and fit for purpose with consideration given to health and safety issues, security and maintenance of the finished work.

Once the commission is approved, the Artist will be responsible for sourcing the relevant materials needed for the project.

The Artist will be expected to work on the project up to and including its installation on site and a launch event.

The commissioned Artist may choose to work with other artists.


Funding for the project has been obtained, in equal parts, from Aberdeenshire Council and the National Lottery Community Fund.

A fee of £18,700 to include VAT, has been allocated to this commission.

This sum is fixed and will cover all of the Artist’s costs including fees, travel and accommodation, research, consultation, collaboration/meetings, detailed and technical designs, materials, fabrication and installation including VAT.

The fee will be paid in stages to be negotiated and confirmed with the artist following discussion of the Artist’s proposed programme requirements and delivery. A final instalment will be paid on completion of work.

It is expected that the Artist will provide verbal and written updates at key stages of the Project to be agreed as part of the commissioning process


We foresee the timeline for the Public Art Project running for a 12 month period, July 2019 – July 2020.  This would allow plans, consultations, events to be run alongside each other or completed, prior to the installation of the Art Works.


Artists should submit:

1.  A current C.V. that demonstrates their creative, technical and design skills including;

  • Ÿevidence of experience of leading public realm projects.
  • Ÿevidence of past experience of working with all members of the community.
  • Ÿdemonstration of the ability to address a range of visual elements including colour, texture and 3D.

These skills and experience should show clear links to this brief.

If other artists are to be involved alongside the lead Artist, their C.V.s should also be submitted

2. A proposal of around 500 words indicating how they would approach this commission, including an outline work schedule to suit the timeframe showing plan for community engagement, details of methodology, key milestones and expected number of days working on the commission, including those spent in Kemnay.

3.  Proposed but detailed staged budget, including indicative costs of artist’s time and materials, travel and any other anticipated expenses. Indicate any sub-contracted work where appropriate.

4. Visuals of previous personal work that are relevant to this commission (clearly marked with artist’s name) with a brief description and date of creation.

5. A copy of their Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance

6. Proof of membership of PVG scheme.

7. The names and contact numbers of two relevant referees.

Please note that any supporting material submitted is done so at your own risk and will be returned only if requested. Do not send actual art work.



The deadline for submissions is 9am on Monday  24th June 2019.

All applications should be marked Kemnay Public Art Project and emailed to or

Alternatively posted to:

Lorna Forsyth
Community Learning and Development Worker
Victoria Street
AB51 3QZ

Applications will be assessed by a panel comprising Kemnay Public Art Project members and the local Cultural Development Officer.

Short listed artists will be invited to make a short presentation and discuss their response to the brief either in person or on skype.

The selection panel intends to make an immediate appointment if possible but reserves the right not to choose any artist.

Further information: Lorna Forsyth (contact details as stated above)

Further Reference

Bishops Palace

Dalmadilly Ponds

Kemnay History

Kemnay Legend

Kemnay Quarry

Kemnay Railway

Kemnay Photos Archive

Kemnay War Memorials

Place Of Origin