The Bank Job, London.
Manchester, November 2018.
Summary of my research on the mental health of artists for a-n: the artists information company.
New article for a-n News.
Towards a fair artist residency.
Notes on two new exhibitions of work by queer artists.
9am-12, Friday 9th June at The Brunswick Club, Bristol.
About five years ago when I and a few colleagues started talking about the (mostly really shitty) economics and realpolitik of being an artist who isn’t one of yer Damien Hirsts, Tracey Emins or Turner Prize winner– and aren’t we all glad not to be?– everybody else’s reaction was what the who now? You want to talk about money? Why? Don’t artists just do it for the sake of art? Then hundreds of artists, arts professionals and art lovers turned up to the public discussions we organised on the subject. Now everybody’s talking about it everywhere, all the time, from Facebook groups like Stop Working For Free to art blogs like Hyperallergic. Books are written about it, although none of them are as good as mine. There are campaigns like W.A.G.E. in New York and the UK’s Paying Artists. The more the better because it’s still not enough…
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“Unfortunately we have no budget to pay fees or expenses.”
a-n the artists information company have just published their draft recommendations and guidance on the payments and fees that should be due from publicly funded galleries to artists. FYI I’ve worked on the Paying Artists campaign and I work for a-n sometimes. I also think artists based in the UK should have their own look at it, so I won’t offer too much commentary except to pull out:
NOBODY IS ASKING FOR MUCH
Despite stiff resistance from an insignificant and usually bonkers minority of the public and a significant minority of people who work for public arts organisations, all of whom are baffled or bitter (or both) that an artist should get paid anything… the suggested fees for artists are far from outrageous and usually amount to no more than a few thousand or even a few hundred pounds…
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Writing workshops for artists based in Northumberland and the Borders.
Valuing art and artists in the east of England.
Wednesday 5 November, 4-7pm at City Hall, Norwich.
a-n have just published a very interesting document by Dany Louise, as part of their ongoing research and campaigning on the subject of artists’ livelihoods, careers and payment in Britain. It collects some worthwhile reading from bloggers and online news outlets, far too many for me to pull out each one for individual praise except to entice you by mentioning the great You Show Me Yours blog post by Briony Kimmings that hits a lot of stupid little nails right on their stupid little “we don’t have a budget for that” heads, the even more excellent open letter by Whitey to a TV production company whose multimillion pound turnover didn’t stop them from thinking it was OK to not pay musicians for their work, and the research done by New York’s W.A.G.E., including the payment and treatment gaps that still afflict many artists just because they’re female.
Naturally there are…
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My article about Arts Council England’s “small” (£100,000-£499,999) funding for stylish foyers, gardening and service lifts (while artists often can’t even get paid for an exhibition) has been picked up and republished in The Guardian.
I bet you wish you could get half a million quid in grants because you need a new bathroom, your garden needs doing, you’d like “state of the art lighting”, or you have “inadequate foyer facilities.” As similar as this may sound to the recent scandal of British MPs and their expense claims for absurd items like duck houses while some of their constituents can’t even find homes fit for human habitation (and it is very similar, though not quite so scandalous), it’s actually Arts Council England’s capital grants scheme for organisations that are already in receipt of regular, long term funding.
I’ve sometimes had to escalate to just a hair’s breadth away from taking galleries or arts organisations to court in order to extract a few hundred pounds that they owe me; and this is a situation where I’m supposed to be paid and they agree that I should…
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