Sam Wilkinson has worked in the UK and internationally as an art consultant for over 25 years. She develops policy and strategy, and curates arts programmes for a range of clients. She has extensive experience of working with the private sector: her work with Hammerson PLC & Land Securities delivering a £12 million programme of permanent and temporary interventions for the Cabot Circus Development in Bristol was seen as a landmark in public engagement with art on that scale.
As Curator-in-Residence for the Olympic Delivery Authority she worked with artist Neville Gabie on the Olympic Park, working with the thousands of construction, landscape and design teams telling the stories of their lives and what it was to be part of the construction programme of that magnitude. She also commissioned works by Clare Woods and DJ Simpson addressing large scale energy structures to mitigate their possible negative impact on the design of the park.
Increasingly our cities and towns are being shaped by the private developer with the local authority taking a planning lead. However, in many cities it is now the university whose decision-making about their estates can inform the character of a city. Sam has been working on the North West Cambridge Development on behalf of Cambridge University focusing on the creation of this new part of the city and how communities will emerge, live and use their leisure time.
Sam immerses herself in design teams to ensure effective delivery. At London’s Leicester Square she worked in partnership with Make Architects on the last remaining single free-standing building. In Cambridge she worked with Stanton Williams on the Sainsbury Laboratory and the Cambridge Judge Business School. In Oxford she has commissioned a new work for the Herzog and de Meuron building The Blavatnik School of Government.
Artists responding to place in a challenging and insightful way underpins the success of public art and Sam has been fortunate enough to work with a wide range of artists including recently-shortlisted Turner Prize artist Nicole Wermers, Mark Titchner, Susan Collins, , Clare Woods, Kenny Hunter, David Batchelor, Somewhere, Ruth Ewan, Lise Autogena, Melanie Monchau, Bedwyr Wiliams and Dryden Goodwin and many more, representing a wide cross section of artists practising in many different media.
Sam sees public art as having an intrinsic value in the debate about how our public spaces should feel, how they should be used and how communities can take an ownership of their own environments. Public art’s physical manifestations should enhance that experience. Programmes she has delivered have embraced the ephemeral through to major permanent interventions integrated within the architecture of a new development.