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Rethinking artists: the role of artists in the 21st Century

This essay for the 2014 Seoul Art Space, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture Inter­na­tional Symposium briefly covers UK arts policies for support to artists’ devel­opment, comments on their impact on artists’ social and economic status and suggests a rethinking of the artists’ intrinsic role in society as a vital part of securing and sustaining contem­porary visual arts in the future.

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Creativity at the heart: the holistic approach

This paper combines arguments first presented by Susan Jones at an engage annual conference in which she questioned the efficacy of our insti­tu­tionally-driven visual arts ecology with new research and enquiry into future cultural, digital and social environ­ments for the arts. It calls for adoption of a more open, imagi­native, lateral, collab­o­rative and responsive approaches to creating cultural value, premised on building relation­ships and rapport with the different kinds and bandwidths of audiences and with the enablers and the makers of art. Links updated 17/05/2018

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Bite the hand that feeds you

This provo­cation commis­sioned by Stoke Airspace for an Artists’ Soup Kitchen addresses and confirms the impor­tance of the role and value of artists within cultural and social change. The four sections are designed to open up a discussion on what now?’ and – more impor­tantly – what next?’ for Airspace and artists and future artists located in Stoke.

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A case for the arts

In reaction to government arts funding cuts, Leeds Metro­politan University in partnership with Culture Vulture and the Audience Agency, initiated a public debate at which a panel of industry experts debated what arts funding is for and who is most deserving of it. A short provo­cation by Susan Jones argued for more recog­nition and resources for artists and individuals to counteract the slow, ponder­ousness of insti­tu­tions whether for the arts or otherwise. View the whole event including the audience question time’ at the end using the link provided.

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Ways and means: livelihood strategies 1984 to 2014

This audio presen­tation by Susan Jones at Work and Art, CRATE, UCA Canterbury, March 2015, considers the climate for visual artists’ practice and their artists’ ability to make a living. By refer­encing evidence and data from arts and cultural sources over the last thirty years and consid­ering insight from future forecasting, it identifies prevailing issues surrounding support to artists within the public sector. It concludes by artic­u­lating some of the inherent issues and challenges within the current and future ecology for artists and the contem­porary visual arts that need to be addressed by public funders and the sector alike. 

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Are there too many artists?

This paper used compar­ative data as a backdrop to a commentary designed to illuminate a discussion on whether there are Too many artists?’, raising a range of issues, questions and (mis)perceptions — in part about the role of artists in life in general and impact of state inter­vention and arts policy-making in particular.

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