As one Scandinavian artist interviewed at the time commented: “A new artist who comes directly out of college is looking to operate in a much more flexible working sphere and not especially interested in going to traditional meetings, etc.”

In establishing its frameworks, communications and activities, AIR has aimed to make itself as accessible an organisation as possible, whatever an artist’s career stage or approach to their practice. As a result perhaps of focusing more on communications and participation as well as providing direct member benefits, AIR’s already achieved a membership of over 12,000 artists.

Asked in the AIR member survey what they wanted next from their organisation, 90% said they wanted AIR to “lead campaigns for increased representation of artists’ concerns to government and policymakers”.

Over the coming months, a Working group drawn from AIR members will be addressing how best to create a framework for representation. It will be chaired by AIR Advisory Group member Paul Scott. Following last month’s call for AIR members to get involved in this group, London-based Jack Hutchinson, East Midlands based Sally Lemsford and Liverpool-based Katriona Beales will also be contributing their knowledge, experiences and suggestions to it.

The Working group will identify additional research necessary – case studies, models and options from within and beyond the arts – and act as a catalyst for a series of consultation meetings to enable more members to contribute to how representative structures are set up and operated.

News and progress reports will be circulated in the AIR e-bulletins. June 2009