Been a bit awol haven’t I? This last couple of weeks has been fairly manic! Several things have happened that I should have written about, but because there is some time lost, they have lost their immediacy. It’s hard to write when it’s not fresh.
Things I will no doubt come back to –
Making a Living’s open letter to Tate and Tate’s ‘No Soul for Sale’ weekend.
The new government and the state of the arts.
The difficulties of trying to make ambitious new work for an exhibition where there is no budget available for anything. Currently £123.81 down. More to go…
So, the sun is a blessing as I am working on a 14ft high tower in the garden. I love making things like this, although I am not the best at it and can get very frustrated when things don’t go to plan. A family friend has been incredible with his van and local wood yard discount. He is taking the work to Liverpool on Monday, so that means I have to finish the thing tomorrow – good deadline; a week in advance. There is no projector, so one piece of the work cannot be shown. It changes it all completely of course, but I just refuse to pay to hire one myself, and I’m certainly not buying one. So, sculpture and drawing it is, there is a slide projector, so maybe that will do.
Anyway, enough whining, apologies! Spreading the drawing paper in London was a joy and prompted lots of great conversations. If you asked me for one and haven’t had it yet, please remind me, I got confused with my mailing list!
I also saw this when I was catching up with the papers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/may/22/fine-a…
What to do with a fine art degree. Hmm, sorry Guardian, but this is pretty useless as far as the title goes. It is essentially saying that fine art graduates don’t so very well as far as employment goes. Yep, we know that. No mention of how crappy the data might be given the difficulty of collecting statistics in this area.
It also goes on to say what skills you may have gained, but the focus is on practical skills and creative flair. No mention of any other transferrable skills or of the kind of roles that a lot of artist make money from.It’s also too simple to say artists might be good in jobs that will use creative flair, because altough this may be true, employers will generally have difficulty making the imaginary leap when looking at a CV with no industry experience. This also misses the vital point that people would need certain skills like using photoshop to a professional level for this kind of role; a different matter to being self-taught and using it to edit images of your work and make the odd flyer.
The graphs at the bottom mean little to me. Data here, collected by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit and Graduate Prospects
This shows the kind of work people are doing – retail, catering etc, gender breakdown, what happens after uni and lastly, a sector breakdown using descriptions like commercial artist, fine artist and photographer. Trouble is, it just doesn’t mean anything. It’s all too generalised and doesn’t account for people saying they are a fine artist, but not receiving any money from that and so on. I remember putting that on a questionnaire for ECA one year. There was no way I was calling myself a waitress, although that is how I payed my rent. It seemed very important to hold onto the fact that I was an artist, however dishonest.
Looking at these statistics doesn’t give much idea of what actually goes on in the art world and how graduates operate. Also, it would be hard to look at this kind of thing and use it to improve things, which is surely what an overview should do; make obvious the big gaps/problems. The only thing that seems obvious is that there are too many fine art graduates per fine art related work opportunities.
Thanks for putting it in though, better than nothing I guess.