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This competition has been launched by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) for the development and delivery of a “visionary idea for a landmark – a sustainable icon representing the East of England to the rest of the world”. The competition stems from research indicating a weak identification with the East of England amongst its residents. The deadline is 18 February 2004 and the first round of judging, to agree a shortlist of twelve, will take place on 24 February.

Manchester International Arts is looking for ideas and proposals from artists, groups and community organisations, to participate in next year’s Garden of Delights from 4-6 June. For a whole weekend a part of Manchester’s Platt Fields Park will be transformed into a Garden of Delights: colourful-tented environments, sculptures, decorations and a continuous programme of outdoor theatre, puppets, dance, music, creative activities and strolling entertainment. This year the theme for installations and so on was ‘Hanging Gardens’ (and over 20 organisations took part, bringing decorations, sculptures and/or performance). That theme is being retained for 2004, with another, ‘Fabulous Beasts’ – mythical, fantastical or zoological.

Decorations and installations may be hung in trees or use woodland, grassy areas and even the lake. MIA is interested in hearing about people’s new ideas, or existing installations or structures that might fit into the Garden. In previous years over 300 promoters, presenters and programmers have attended x. trax (always held before in the city centre) looking for artists, groups and performances. The challenge of x. trax taking place at the Garden of Delights is that it offers opportunities for new areas of work to be developed for touring to festivals – particularly temporary sculptures and outdoor installations, side-shows in booths and tents – as well as street theatre, dance and music.

Developed by the Crafts Council and Arts Council England, North West this three-year pilot scheme has provided unusual opportunities for the 26 makers so far involved. C J O’Neill’s ceramic lighting has been commissioned by Manchester City Art Galleries; Junko Mori’s metalwork has been purchased by two national collections and won awards internationally; electricwig’s unique products including crotchet furniture were included in Contemporary Decorative Arts at Sotheby’s; Louise Jenkins has been inundated with orders for her innovative work combining ceramic and printmaking processes following exhibiting at 100% Design.