Field of Play | Active Landscape

Performance Brief                                                                                            February 2017


The Brief


KickstART are seeking to commission an artist/ performer/ facilitator with experience of engaging with the public, to encourage interaction with the ‘Active Landscape’ a year-round all-age play space, at Field of Play 2017 an annual community event at Mitchams Park Cambridge.


The exact nature of this engagement is to be developed through discussion with the consultant artist and project manager but the main aim is to show potential of the Active Landscape and encourage participation by giving an insight into the origins and uses of the work through performance or other artform. 


The artist may choose to focus on the Field of Play event only or engage with residents prior to the event to build further interest in the work. A series of ‘game’ cards have been produced by the design team to encourage different uses of the space for exercise and play, which can be used to facilitate the process if appropriate.


The artist’s work will:


  • Encourage an engagement with the Active Landscape at Field of Play 2017and help create a sense of place for residents and neighbours to the site who experience the work as audience.

  • Contribute towards creating a distinct identity for the development

  • Create an opportunity for residents and members of the wider community to experience the work of a contemporary performance artist.




­­­kickstART – Field of Play

Cambridge KickstART is a programme of public art projects celebrating the creation of over 100 new homes at Mitchams Park, the former site of Cambridge City Football Club.  Field of Play is part of the KickstART programme of artworks developed by artist and producer Zoё Chamberlain, supported by award-winning house builders Crest Nicholson Plc.


kickstART incorporates a variety of cross art-form collaborations in both the ‘community spaces’ and built environment  to help foster community pride and enhance a sense of place within the neighbourhood of the new development. Find out more about the other artists commissions at

Field of Play 2017 is the second annual community event to be held on the last Saturday of April, to mark the final match played at Milton Road Football Ground and to celebrate the new community at Mitchams Park. (This year’s Field of Play is to be on 22nd April 2017) It was conceived by Liminal in collaboration with Zoë Chamberlain to take place on the Saturday closest to the day of the last Cambridge City football match played at the Milton Road grounds on 27 April 2013.  It is intended that Field of Play 2017 will encourage residents and the surrounding community to continue to come together to create their own future Field of Play events.


The inaugural Field of Play event in 2016 was a wonderful warm and friendly community celebration with food and music.  It included ‘And now it’s time to celebrate’ a call to arms written by local resident and celebrated author Ian Whybrow; ‘This is The Place’; performance by Chesterton Youth Theatre, Liminal’s End of the Game; a memorial to the lost sound of the football crowd, and alongside performances by local musicians and art activities, Kathryn and Jason Rowland’s Spirit of Song was performed for the first time in the presence of the Mayor of Cambridge; a new anthem for Mitchams Park.

Pictures of Field of Play 2016 and the other commissions in the kickstART programme can be found on this site.

The emphasis for Field of Play 2017 will be to celebrate the completion of phase 2 of the Active Landscape, a year-round all-age play space designed by artist Zoë Chamberlain and local school students in collaboration with Murdoch Wickham Landscape architects.


Active Landscape encompasses the design of all of the public open space at Mitchams Park and engenders a sense of place for residents and neighbours inspired by the origin of the site as Cambridge City football ground. Underpinned by the notion of Service – Movement – Desire (a Football tactics motto coined by Sir Bobby Robson) Active Landscape responds to the energy and enthusiasm associated with football, tactics and gamesmanship and concepts of movement. It makes connections with the visual language of football, whilst encouraging and engaging active lifestyle in the public spaces. 


There is rich history and local pride associated with the former football ground.  The site has been used for collective enjoyment of the game of football for nearly 100 years. Generations of families from the surrounding area have memories of time spent at the grounds, or identify it as a distinct part of the local neighbourhood.  It has served the community in many ways beyond sport. 


The sculptural approach to the design and integration of all age play facilities across the site aims to create an environment that can be used and interpreted by residents in different ways, to encourage people of all ages to actively engage with both the formal and informal recreational space, whilst making subtle and ingenious reference to the previous spirit of the site.   


Through an underlying playfulness, Active Landscape engages an active interaction with the site, encouraging people out of their houses to share in the communal spaces.  It responds to the energy and enthusiasm associated with football, tactics and gamesmanship and concepts of movement, making connections with the visual language of football.

Children’s engagement with their environment only relies on simple, safe, abstract interventions to stimulate activity and imagination, a wall to run along, a post to swerve around.  Adults are also increasingly more interested in using their environment for fitness and active lifestyles. 

Speed, Strength, Stamina and Suppleness are key words in football training, but yet relevant to all of us who want to live an active healthy lifestyle. These key attributes can be gained through sprinting, jogging, hopping, running, jumping, kicking, turning, balancing and stretching.  All of these activities are encouraged through a cleverly designed engaging environment developed by Zoë and the design team advised by sports scientists and behaviour experts.


Residents are already using the Active Landscape under the advice of Rachel Amies from Cambridge Bodyfit who has recently become a resident of the development. 

To promote the use of the Active Landscape by local residents and the wider community, a series of ‘game’ cards and a website have been produced in collaboration with Sports Scientist Diane Johnson and Acteon Communications to further encourage the use of the space for both exercise and play. 

Find out more about the Active Landscape and see suggested activitiesat 

To see the Active Landscape game & activity cards click HERE.

Physical Context

The Active Landscape incorporates pavement markings, sculptural seating and other interactions within the central grassed central public open space, and routes and pathways that form a ‘circuit’ around the development.

The development, approximately 1.7ha in area, lies to the west of the Westbrook Centre with access gained via the access road, Westbrook Drive serving the neighbouring office development.  The site has been used as a football ground for approximately 80 years prior to which there is evidence of gravel extraction and a dog track.

To the east of the site lies Chesterton Community College comprising a purpose built sports centre.  To the north are large semi-detached properties with generous rear gardens and to the south are higher density residential properties.  A key neighbour to the south is the Victoria Homes accommodation for elderly residents.  To the north east of the site, just adjacent to the Westbrook Centre is a newly constructed care home.  The new Milton Road Primary School, on Ascham Road, is a short distance away.

The development consists of 106 residential units being a mix of town houses and apartments, 40% of which are affordable housing.

Technical Considerations

It is considered that the work intertwine with the other activities on offer at Field of Play 2017 rather than be a ‘stand alone’ performance. Practical requirements for presentation of the work need to be devised with public safety in mind. In addition the artist needs to address the following considerations:

Accessible Designs – The work should not create a hostile environment for disabled people. Consideration should be given to including different types of engagement that can engage all ages and abilities.

Sustainability – Where possible the artist should consider the use of sustainable and low energy solutions if appropriate.

Project Support and Management:

Key outcomes of the work will need to be determined with the Consultant Artist and Project Manager to fit in with the agreed project timetable and presented for approval by Crest Nicholson.

The Consultant Artist and Project Manager will help inform the artist’s work providing information or supporting practical arrangements where necessary, plus facilitate the production and promotion of the work.

The commissioned artist will be expected to attend any necessary project meetings in preparation for Field of Play 2017

Outline Budget:

A budget of £1,000 has been allocated to support all artist fees and expenses to prepare for and attend the Field of Play event on 22nd April 2017.



Project Timescale:

Expression of interest application deadline               Friday 3rd March 2017

Shortlisted artists notified                                          Monday 6th March

Interviews and selection                                           Monday 13th March

Commissioned artist concept review                       Monday 3rd April

Field of Play 2017 event                                           Saturday 22nd April

Application procedure:

Please send an expression of interest with CV/Bio and two examples of previous work to



Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information:


Zoë Chamberlain

Consultant Artist

07941 792517

Nathan Jones

Project Manager  - Babylon ARTS (operated by ADEC)           

01353 616995