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Turn­ing the tables: strate­gies for artists’ equity

This pre­sen­ta­tion address­es the prob­lem­at­ic con­di­tions for artists’ prac­tices and lives that define and con­fine their con­tri­bu­tions to con­tem­po­rary visu­al arts and soci­ety. The aim is to inform sec­toral and polit­i­cal dis­cus­sions on future reme­di­al pol­i­cy inter­ven­tions, strate­gies and infra­struc­tures that ame­lio­rate bar­ri­ers to artists’ mul­ti­ple con­tri­bu­tions and secure their social and eco­nom­ic status.

Read “Turning the tables: strategies for artists’ equity” in full


Grass­roots call for rad­i­cal change

An inde­pen­dent review demon­strat­ing the severe impacts of the pan­dem­ic on the social and eco­nom­ic cir­cum­stances of visu­al artists reveals the diver­gent per­spec­tives at nation­al and local lev­els in Eng­land about what artists and the arts are for, and on how and where future arts pol­i­cy should be made and implemented.

Read “Grassroots call for radical change” in full


Crack­ing up: the pan­dem­ic effect on visu­al artists’ livelihoods

Analy­sis of the plight of visu­al artists dur­ing Covid-19 illu­mi­nates the work­ing con­di­tions of a chron­i­cal­ly under-exam­ined sub-sec­tion of cul­tur­al labour. It demon­strates the sever­i­ty of pan­dem­ic impacts on visu­al artists’ social and eco­nom­ic cir­cum­stances, includ­ing from inap­pro­pri­ate cri­te­ria for access­ing gov­ern­ment and Arts Coun­cil Eng­land emer­gency mea­sures. A cen­tral con­cern is con­sid­er­a­tion of how arts poli­cies might bet­ter acknowl­edge and account in future arts infra­struc­tures for the dis­tinc­tive, diverse social con­tri­bu­tions of this work­force ele­ment. The com­men­tary reveals a stark con­trast between ambi­tions at nation­al and local lev­els about what artists and the arts are for, and where and how arts pol­i­cy should be made and imple­ment­ed. It evi­dences an emerg­ing grass­roots appetite for a dra­mat­ic shift from cur­rent hier­ar­chi­cal pat­terns dri­ven by nation­al imper­a­tives to nuanced, localised infra­struc­tures that can ensure artists’ mul­ti­ple tal­ents and assets con­tribute ful­ly to social and eco­nom­ic change for the bet­ter with­in communities.

Read “Cracking up: the pandemic effect on visual artists’ livelihoods” in full


Roles and rea­sons: the scope and val­ue of artist-led organisations

The term artist-led organ­i­sa­tion encom­pass­es a diverse and com­plex range of artists’ activ­i­ties and philo­soph­i­cal stances, includ­ing stu­dio groups of all sizes, gallery spaces, groups con­cerned with com­mu­ni­ty action, oth­ers focused on cre­at­ing net­works or increas­ing mar­kets for their work, cam­paign­ing asso­ci­a­tions and prac­tice-led artists’ col­lec­tives that gen­er­ate col­lab­o­ra­tive art in pub­lic places.

Read “Roles and reasons: the scope and value of artist-led organisations” in full


Telling tales: artists’ pan­dem­ic stories

A new qual­i­ta­tive, lon­gi­tu­di­nal study sur­pris­ing­ly demon­strates how the lives and artis­tic prospects of many visu­al artists improved in pan­dem­ic con­di­tions and by doing so, pro­vides clues to the infra­struc­tur­al shifts need­ed to hon­our and sus­tain the tal­ents and vibran­cy of this diverse con­stituen­cy in future.

Read “Telling tales: artists' pandemic stories” in full


Artists’ pre­car­i­ty not just about pay

In the pan­dem­ic, gov­ern­ment and Arts Coun­cil Eng­land built a defen­sive hedge around the most vis­i­ble aspects of the arts infra­struc­ture. Staffers in insti­tu­tions got time, space and mon­ey to address frag­ile busi­ness mod­els and secure their futures. How­ev­er, the emer­gency arts fund­ing schemes for free­lance artists failed to address their artis­tic, emo­tion­al and liveli­hood needs. 

Read “Artists’ precarity not just about pay” in full


A flour­ish­ing life

A pub­lic con­ver­sa­tion in Novem­ber 2021 com­mis­sioned by Pro­for­ma for Desire Lines and facil­i­tat­ed by Chris Bailkos­ki brought togeth­er Jack Ky Tan and Susan Jones. Read extracts from this dis­cus­sion that explored how mis­con­cep­tions and imbal­ances in the arts ecol­o­gy lim­it artists’ sta­tus, pay and liveli­hood chances and what needs to hap­pen to ensure artists can live a flour­ish­ing life through art prac­tices over a life cycle. 

Read “A flourishing life” in full