“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.
After an introduction to the specific economic circumstances of visual artists and, mindful of the wide and extensive impacts of the pandemic on their work prospects and livelihoods, this text in the Covid-19 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.
Presentation for CAMP (Contemporary Art Membership Plymouth) 13 February 2020 that addresses some of the myths about artists’ practices and livelihoods, the conditions most conducive for supporting the personal and professional lives of many artists over a life-cycle and provides some radical propositions for achieving them.
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.
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.
Doctoral research 2015 – 19 that gathered qualitative evidence from artists in North West England to define 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.
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.
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.
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?