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Artist Opportunity – Can you bring icon Lily’s story to life? Calendar

24 Jul 2020


The National Football Museum is looking for an artist (or artists) to play a key role in a new exhibition about footballer Lily Parr.

Football’s first female football superstar will get a new permanent museum gallery dedicated to her life and legacy and is set to open in spring 2021.

Born in St Helens in 1905, Parr was one of most astonishing and important figures in English football. Starting her career at hometown team St Helens Ladies, Parr moved on to Dick, Kerr Ladies FC and later Preston Ladies. Operating as an outside left winger, it’s believed she scored more than 980 goals in a 32-year career.

The museum has been awarded funding from the AIM (Association of Independent Museums) History-Makers scheme to tell the story of Lily.

Lily played from 1917 to the early 1950s, spending most of her career with influential team the Dick, Kerr Ladies, one of the most successful of the World War One munitions teams.

The AIM History Makers scheme celebrates 20th Century individuals who have helped to shape our world.

The Museum has made a commitment to increase its representation of women in football to 50% across its collections and exhibitions and this project will be a key part of that.

The centre piece of the new gallery will be a life-size bronze statue of Lily Parr, sculpted by Hannah Stewart and installed at the National Football Museum last year.

The gallery will also feature a new audio-visual presentation of Lily’s story and a selection of objects from the Museum’s women’s football collection that have not been previously displayed.

And that’s where the opportunity arises for an artist. Curator of Women’s Football Belinda Scarlett explains:

Tell us about the artist opportunity

We would like to commission an artist or artists to deliver some of the creative elements of the project and run community art activities.

One of the challenges is that there is very little footage or images of Lily available and so we want the new display to tell her story in a dynamic, engaging and inspirational way with a contemporary look and feel to emphasise her role as a pioneer.

We would like to commission an artist/s to deliver some of the creative elements of the project and run community art activities in-line with government guidelines.

What will we need them to do?

We would like them to create an artistic interpretation of Lily’s story which will be wall-mounted and displayed alongside Lily Parr’s statue.

We have had some ideas as a team but would like an artist to help us shape these and bring their own response to our collection on board.

We would also like to commission an artist to design and support the production of a series of terrace banners to interpret Lily’s story.

The production of the terrace banners will be done in partnership with our local community so the artist will be responsible for delivering a small number of community engagement workshops that will contribute to the final design of the terrace banners.

We would like to attract young people and particularly young women and girls and LGBTQ+ young people to these workshops.

The aim of this project will be to create something that will engage visitors who know little about the history of the women’s game with the needs of audiences who want to grow and deepen their knowledge and to challenge both.

What kind of artist are we looking for?

We are open to all interpretations of the brief but we are looking for a bold artist and making the story accessible and interesting to young people is very important.

Is there a deadline?

Yes – we need interested parties to submit their proposals by Friday 14 August.

How can interested artists get in touch?

There is a downloadable artist brief.

Further details email: [email protected]