Knowledge is power!

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


Exploding myths: the future of artists' livelihoods

Prospecting Photo By Leonie Hampton 2018

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

Doctoral research completed in 2020 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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Artists’ economic status: evidence 1985-2017

Key studies and quantitative surveys evidencing artists' income and employment

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"Nobody wants you but everyone needs you"

A provocation around the role and value of and expectations for artists within cultural and social change. Rather than expecting others to articulate artists’ value on their behalf, I am proposing that artists take responsibility themselves for this and for advocating for and translating their value to others.

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Are the creative industries good for artists?

Ever since the early days of New Labour in 1997, it’s been government and arts policy to integrate and progress development of the visual arts through the creative industry umbrella and to embrace its economic imperatives. As this situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, through my new research I’m addressing some key questions.  Do these industries provide a conducive environment in which visual artists can make a living and develop their careers? Are the conditions and employment practices more favourable to ways of working by some artists while others lose out? Updated 16/01/17.

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Residencies: practices and paradoxes

The terms of reference for today’s artists’ residencies are wide and various. Examples of the polarities artists are now presented with range from a considered opportunity over several months for artists to take stock and reflect with little or no expectation of ‘public’ output, to those residencies in which artists are expected find a solution to a community, education or arts ‘problem’ in a short time, often for a very small fee.

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Enforcement, equanimity and an afterword – thoughts on sustaining fair pay for artists

Introduction to fees to artists for exhibiting in public with examples indicating that sustaining such schemes is dependent on widespread and continued acceptance of the principle and rigorous self-regulation within the sector, and on gaining suitable levels of public subsidy to the visual arts. Three financing options are considered in support of equanimity. An afterword considers whether in a political climate of reduced subsidy to the public sector, some new strategies are needed to finance the arts and artists’ contributions. Updated 16/08/16

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