Accenture - Best Commissioning Practice

One part of the three-piece artwork entitled ‘Fierce Determination’ by illustrator Fuchsia MacAree.

In August 2019, Accenture commissioned two artists to help celebrate its 50th anniversary in Ireland this year – a sculpture by Paul Harrison called ‘Quinquaginta’ and three pieces entitled ‘Fierce Determination’ by illustrator Fuchsia MacAree.

According to Business to Arts judge, Creative Director of TileStyle Gerard McNaughton, it was hard to find fault with Accenture’s commissioning approach. “Accenture wanted to celebrate its 50th anniversary in Ireland in a meaningful way and create work that would have a very strong narrative and connection to Accenture itself and the members of its team,” he says.

“It took no short cuts – from the initial tender process, giving artists access and tours through to design-thinking workshops for employees exploring what Accenture means to them.”

“Accenture’s interest and commitment to connecting with the artist is second to none and its professional approach to ensuring the collaboration is a success is an extension of what makes it successful in business.”

During the project, Accenture created a dedicated internal webpage, developed videos with the artists talking about their work, commissioned miniature presentations of the works and replica prints to be presented to employees as a memento. The additional leverage activity of these artworks is another notable feature of Accenture’s 50th Anniversary commission.

Illustrator Fuchsia MacAree, found her commission by Accenture to be an amazing experience in terms of pushing herself. “I love problem solving, and the brief for this presented an interesting premise to figure out: three pieces, which should work independently of one another, but also be linked. I hadn’t worked on something of this scale before – the final three pieces were made of over 400 individual bits of wood which were all hand painted,” she explains.

“We had a day of workshops, which gave employees a role in the creative process. I came away from the workshops with a deeper understanding of the company culture and also a notebook of phrases and anecdotes which helped to shape the final pieces.”

Called ‘Fierce Determination’, MacAree’s work comprised three long, multi-layered wooden pieces which together form a grid . Each piece represents the building it is displayed in. The themes of progress, technology and social change – all based on people – are threaded throughout. “The title ‘Fierce Determination’ comes from something Country Managing Director at Accenture Alastair Blair said in one of our meetings and it stuck with me,” says MacAree.

Throughout the project, MacAree felt buoyed by Accenture’s enthusiasm for the project and found the company very accommodating. “They seemed genuinely invested in the creation of the pieces, which feels validating and helps you to push your own vision. These pieces were new territory for me and Accenture allowed me the space to experiment,” she says.

Design by New Graphic.