Plans for Exeter’s literary heritage to be visualised in striking artwork

Exeter City of Literature are looking to commission an artist to create a large new, permanent art installation at Exeter St David’s to celebrate the city’s UNESCO designation.

The commission has been made possible due to a generous grant from GWR’s Community Fund.

Earlier this year workshops were held with groups from St Martin’s Primary in Cranbrook, Exeter College, the University of Exeter’s Multicultural Students Society, The Pelican Project and passengers at St David’s to choose the location of the new artwork and the themes that they wanted to see.

It was decided that the bridge connecting the platforms would be the ideal place as it allows for a narrative to be told as people walk along it.

It intends to celebrate Devon’s rich literary heritage with community involvement.

The artwork, characterised by vivid yet tranquil visuals, will narrate Exeter and Devon's literary story, highlighting aspects like the mystery genre associated with Agatha Christie and Bram Stoker, historical literary narratives, contemporary authors and a representation of inclusivity and diversity.

The successful artist will be someone who:

  • Lives in Devon all year-round.
  • Has a visual style but can work from a brief and take on public feedback using perspective and creativity
  • Is able to effectively and proactively manage their own time and workload
  • Can communicate openly and proactively with those they work with and for
  • Is comfortable working in large physical formats
  • Is interested in Devon’s literary heritage and its contemporary readers, writers, residents, and visitors

In 2019, Exeter received the permanent title of a UNESCO City of Literature, recognising its emphasis on literature’s role in enhancing well-being through various literary partnerships in the region.

Operated by the registered charity Exeter City of Literature, the initiative seeks to amplify literary activities in Devon, facilitating local engagement and global storytelling. It is financially backed by Arts Council England.

For further information about the commission contact Anna Cohn Orchard at

To read the artist brief and to apply visit - Applications must be submitted by Wednesday 4th October 2023.

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