Knowledge is power!

You're welcome to browse our stuff for insight, commentary and info for and about visual artists and practice.

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From myths to motility: doing better by artists

Motile Artists

“This is a moment fraught with possibility.” Isabelle Tracy, Parallel State: State of the Nation podcast 27 March 2020

This fourth text in the Covid19 portfolio is on the future of artists’ livelihoods. It starts by evidencing the impact of external trends on visual artists’ livelihoods. It then identifies some of the policy misassumptions and structural barriers that limit artists’ livelihood prospects before demonstrating that visual artists as a ‘special case’ within the arts workforce are deserving of individualised attention within arts policies. It concludes by outlining the core qualities for pursuit of livelihoods through art practices that enable many artists to contribute to society over a life-cycle as a point of reference for policy-making during the Covid19 emergency and into the uncertain decade ahead.

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An exceptional case: visual artists and self-employment

50Percentrule

Although 77% of visual artists are registered as self-employed (CCS, 2012), this bald statistic belies the nuance of how livelihoods are made up. This short text in the Covid19 portfolio on contextualises artists’ income sources and concludes with a call for arts funders, arts organisations and the Higher Education sector to advocate strongly to ensure visual artists receive the support they deserve during the Covid19 emergency and in future.

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State of the Nation: Parallel State

Parallelstate27 03 2020

Two podcasts within the Parallel State series discussing the immediate and sustained implications of the Covid19 lockdown and isolation on artists and the arts. They brought together virtually on 27 March 2020 Rose Butler, Jon Dovey, Tim Etchells, Adrian Friedli, Susan Jones, Simon Poulter, Isabelle Tracy and Hwa Young Jung.

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Artists’ emergency: arts policy’s role in the future of artists’ livelihoods

Artistsemergencyhashtag

“We must see the cultural ecosystem in which every person, every organisation, every cultural expression, has a legitimate place.” Francois Matarasso, Let’s use this breathing space wisely, 25 March 2020

Strategic arts policy funding interventions premised on equality and co-operation are key to sustaining visual artists’ livelihoods over a life-cycle. This text in the Covid19 portfolio combines secondary data analysis with cross-references to prior and new research to offer six reference points for the economic value of artists’ practices within the arts and creative industries including indication of their income sources in broad terms. It concludes with an argument for vital new structural arts policy and advocacy measures to ensure that many visual artists – not just a few - survive through the immediate period of the Covid19 emergency and during what is likely to be a sustained period of economic recession beyond.

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Do it all, for artists’ sake, now

Maia Tweet

After an introduction to the specific economic circumstances of visual artists and, mindful of the wide and extensive impacts of the Corona virus pandemic on their work prospects and livelihoods, this text in the Covid19 portfolio includes a four-point ‘hopeful proposal’ that sets out how to ensure artists survive the fall out, and can bring their multiple values to benefit the arts and society in the decade ahead.

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Exploding myths: the future of artists' livelihoods

Promo Pic

Presentation for CAMP (Contemporary Art Membership Plymouth) 13 February 2020

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The chance to dream: why fund individual artists?

Although not a major aspect of artists’ livelihoods, grants and awards to artists are a vital contributor to sustaining art practices over a life-cycle. This paper starts by outlining the benefits of direct funding to individual artists, describes differing arts policy perspectives on this in England over the last thirty years and provides a case study of Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts Scheme 2003-14 before making an argument for new, nuanced, localised approaches to nurturing and supporting the wider constituency of visual artists and diversity of art practices in future.

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Negotiating better - seminar for artists

Prospecting 2018 Photo By Leonie Hampton 2

Although negotiated relationships forms one of the three core conditions enabling artists' pursuit of livelihoods over a life-cycle, the over-competitive and disparate nature of contemporary visual arts acts as disincentive to achieving them. This seminar on offer to artists aims to provide rationale and tactical tips for achieving a 'win-win' situation.

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Artists' livelihoods: the artists in arts policy conundrum

Artists Livelihoods

Doctoral research 2015-19 that gathered qualitative evidence from artists in North West England about conducive conditions for pursuing art practices and livelihoods over time. Includes critique of arts policies in England 1985-2015 intended to be supportive of artists and new insights into barriers to sustaining artists' livelihoods in future. Updated 21/01/2020

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Artists work in 2016

Artists Work 2016

This Research paper commissioned by a-n The Artists Information Company is part of a series which first began in 2007 as a means of providing on-going evidence and insight on the context for, and nature of, employment for visual artists. By referencing data from prior years, Artists work in 2016 identifies the implications of changes in the conditions for artists’ employment and livelihoods and proposes some areas for consideration by those charged with formulating policy and measuring the economic and social impact of the arts.

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