Lost Species Day 10th anniversary commission

ONCA’s open call for new work

To mark ten years of Lost Species Day, or Remembrance Day for Lost Species (RDLS), ONCA is commissioning a new artwork that explores and facilitates engagement with this year’s theme of interdependence.


We seek work to be experienced in ONCA gallery in Brighton, with elements to be engaged with online via the ONCA website. We anticipate that the commissioned piece will be immersive, participatory and/or experiential, and generate depth of engagement from audiences and participants.

We are looking for art that supports diverse audiences to explore emotions arising from contemplating biodiversity loss and climate breakdown, and reflects consciousness of oppressive power structures* and the uneven harms causing/ caused by ecological exploitation. The commissioned artist or collective should also consider how audiences with a range of access needs can engage with the work. (We can offer support in thinking this through.)


A key event for ONCA this year is the recent death of Wayra, the puma who, along with CIWY, the people who cared for her, inspired ONCA’s founder Laura Coleman to set up the organisation. Read her story here. It has helped inform the theme of interdependence.

Some examples of effective interactive work we have seen are the conversational and sometimes playful approach of CMUK and the participatory practice of Beverly Naidus.

This commission is supported by a collaboration with Dr Sadiah Qureshi, in conjunction with her British Academy Mid-career Fellowship, and Arts Council England.


  • The budget is £2000 for design, fabrication and installation of the work
  • There is additional budget of up to £500 to be spent on materials/ as required
  • There is additional budget for artist talk/s
  • Homestay accommodation is available in Brighton for some of the duration of the exhibition if required
  • We have separate budgets for exhibition mediation/ facilitation, documentation and accessibility

Timeline & gallery specifications

  • Call live: Sept 2 – Sept 26 
  • Decision: Oct 1
  • Install dates: 22 – 25 November 
  • Exhibition live: 26 November – 23 December 2021 

ONCA Gallery is on the ground floor on a lively central Brighton street. It is 9.3m long x 4.1m wide. At the front of the gallery is the entrance and a large window (4 x 3m). There is a removable wall for displaying art in the window. A hanging rail runs around the space at a height of approximately 3.5m.

To apply

Please email an outline of your proposal to by midnight, 26 September 2021, including:

  • Clear outline of your idea, how it would be constructed, installed and experienced and visual mockups
  • Brief statement about yourself and your creative practice, including links to previous works/website etc
  • Details of any access/care needs you would like us to be aware of

We encourage proposals from collectives as well as individuals. We can accept proposals in written English, audio, video and BSL.


* By oppressive power structures we mean white supremacy, patriarchy, class, ableism and so on.