Somewhere and Babylon 3

Somewhere in Ely is a project in partnership with Babylon Arts inviting local residents to join a conversation about the kind of arts and activities they would like to see in the city. 

Artists chosen by the public vote

We invited the local community to vote for the two artist proposals they would most like to see happen in Ely.  The public vote closed on 12 July and we had over 300 votes.  All 5 of the short-listed artists received votes and positive endorsements from local residents but the artists with the highest votes were:

Louise and Mike will be awarded commissions to develop their work and share it in Ely in October half term.  We’ll share news and updates about what they are up to over the coming months.  Louise will be inviting local people to get involved in making using clay.  Please get in touch if you would like to get involved.  You can keep up to date with creative opportunities in the area by joining the Babylon Arts mailing list here.


In Summer 2019 I started talking to Babylon Arts about the idea behind Somewhere in Ely.  With support and encouragement from Claire Somerville (Chief Executive of Babylon Arts) I put together a project plan and also made links with Ely Markets, Ely College and Isle of Ely Arts Festival.  In autumn 2019 I submitted a funding proposal to Arts Council England Project Grants.  I was thrilled that a small grant was awarded.

In spring 2020 I talked to local residents, visited groups and discussed the project with students at Ely College.  The information gathered helped to inform a creative brief.  This is the document we used to invite artists and creatives to respond with proposals for new artwork in Ely.  Please click here for details about the artist open call (now closed).

We received over 70 submissions from a whole range of creative people, who wanted to make something fun and interesting happen in our City.  In May 2020 the project steering group shortlisted 5 proposals who would then pitch their ideas for local residents to choose.  Each of the 5 artists made a 2-minute film to explain their idea.  People who live and work in Ely were then be invited to look at the film pitches and vote for the two ideas they would most like to see happen. You can see the short videos here on the Babylon Arts YouTube channel.  (Please note public voting is now closed).

The two artist proposals with the highest votes have been awarded a £1800 commission to share their work in Ely in October 2020.  The winning two artists chosen by the public are Louise Beale and Mike Hartley.

Follow the project on Instagram here.

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch using the form:

This project is in partnership with Babylon Arts, Isle of Ely Arts Festival, Ely Markets and Ely College.  The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

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