Hello this is my blog to record the development I make following the offer of a-n bursary for professional development.

First off making the application was helpful because it made me think what on earth do I want help with?

After a white board moment in the shed and some advice from a trusted friend I came up with some ideas: mentoring, support from role models who are ahead of me and more experienced. Talking to galleries about their relationships with artists, how to progress my work, thinking about locations for future work and of course personal development in terms of thinking, attitude and strategy…to an artist this all sounds a bit managerial but I know it’s important to focus on these things to have a clearer and more professional idea of my practice. Yes time to face the music.

So I applied – The bursary has come at a really good time for me as I have had regular exhibitions for the last few years and been very busy with preparations for those, all of them have been useful, very different and helped me learn a lot. Now though I have no print dates or deadlines fixed  and can think about underpinning my practice with some time to myself.

To do this I have arranged with the local estate of Ashburnham to go and be their artist in residence in return for a space to work in. Its pretty open ended though I have suggested 6 months as a guide to myself, probably working 2 days a week there. More about that later in the blog as I haven’t started it just yet.

I will be joined by two other artists at my invitation and perhaps more if it works out throughout the residency. Some peer support I think will be good for me and the residency as a whole.

I approached  Vanessa Gardiner, an artist I have admired for several years to mentor me. She very kindly said yes and I was lucky to be in her area on a short family holiday over Easter (staying in an eco yurt in Devon) I met her and felt both relief that she spoke my art language and excitement about how this is going to develop. To be honest I had been feeling a bit apprehensive about the idea of tackling both myself and my work – it seems like stepping off a cliff….in a leap of faith or an act of madness…

I am also going to receive coaching from Colin Pink, an art historian, poet, play write and life coach. This starts on Friday with a Discovery session – more about that in the next post! By then I may be a whole new woman and artist…!



I have some fantastic news! I have been awarded an ACE small grant for Revolution and Resonance 2017. After a self initiated research residency at Ashburnham Place in Battle. I formed the project using the space around me, the materials around me and the people around me. It is a space for visitors both international and local to come and either work, live or take time out. There are bigger more obvious events throughout the year and almost invisible daily  occurrences of connection and development often over coming personal issues.

So the time line: last September,  yes 10 actual months ago, I began the online ACE application and over the subsequent months attended ACE and local authority seminars, including Dodge the Shredder run by Emila Telese (which is excellent especially if you have a real project to work on and for more info see an earlier post) and used my Professional development bursary from The Artists Information Company to receive mentoring whilst putting applications together. Through this process of discussion with mentors about what it was I was asking for and how it would benefit me as an artist I defined and refined my project and my practice.

I used an opportunity to make a website earlier in the year (April) while I was recovering from a hip replacement operation which also clarified for me what my practice was currently about and how to communicate that. Here it is.


All the people I spoke to and built relationships with seemingly inconsequentially at the time – in passing or over coffee during the last 2 years but actually further back than that too, all became instrumental in contributing towards the application.

My original idea was re visited and re worked and most importantly made achievable and real by the circumstances and location I was in. So when I eventually made it to the stage of submitting the bid, July 2016, I was quite confident it was a robust application with a good balance of enough public engagement and enough artistic development – it and I had been through the ‘mill’.

The project gives me the chance to work with another skilled artist Annemarie O’Sullivan and to receive mentoring from Judith Alder which gives me a platform to progress to the next stage professionally with an exciting body of work properly recorded. Revolution and resonance is a project about rotation and change, touching on the familiar and drawing out the unseen. I still have to secure a bit more local funding and so far have been given £100 by a local business man straight from his pocket! Again this was a result of networking, as a school mum I have been until recently actively involved in the PTA and this meant I had knowledge of businesses that had a track record of giving to local projects and contacts with business employees through other parents. For a very local project this is invaluable and I have felt for a long time that its best to start small with what and who you know. So thanks to Emily for recommending me to her neighbour and friend ‘THE’ Tim Keeley, master cricket bat maker a warm and generous local business man.

I want to say categorically in this blog that this would not have been possible if I had not been awarded the re:view bursary in 2015. initially it gave me the foundation and confidence to grow and develop professionally beyond my expectations. Some aspects of my progress have surprised me like being able to take much longer over developing pieces of work and valuing the ‘not making’ time as much as the making itself. Earlier posts are witness to the struggle. It has on occasion felt uncomfortable and self indulgent but now I feel that the naval gazing was necessary and that it  has given me the opportunity to deepen my practice.  I used to think my work was about depth now I think I have depth to my work. Thanks for supporting me and reading my blog.



Whilst recovering from my hip replacement I have spent the time building a website, considering my practice, talking to my mentor and applying for funding. I have been able to spend time actually reading other people’s blogs, articles and dang even the Guardian. For my sanity this definitely needs to continue!

I also had an epic fail when I tried to link my domain name, felicitytruscott.com  to my new wix site…. (now temporarily not working) I was triumphant…. without relying on anyone else I followed on line instructions to the letter and managed DOH! to transfer it away from my domain provider and host. It now is with wix but remains  unseen unless I pay them more money….and I can’t transfer it back for 60 days..so I’ve decided I’m in no hurry and I’ve learned my tec lesson: ALWAYS ask for help!

But here’s my new site which I am pleased with…


It’s been great to be able to have longer days (no school runs coz I can’t drive yet) to think in continuous streams of thought and I have upped my game in terms of expectations of my practice…

I am clear about what I do (and if I forget I can always look at my own website now) and that I need to spend some time researching specific lines of inquiry in order to underpin my practice.

so with this new strap line in place
I use drawing as a site specific process to explore repetition, relationship and trace.
I am prepared better to align future work and I am going to investigate

1 air movement and how it affects the landscape

2 resonance in the body

I am not a natural academic and am feeling a little apprehensive but with the guidance of a mentor who I will disclose later …(they are going to be challenging and exciting…) I will be able to find a method that suits my process and reflects who I am without trying to be something super clever and cerebral!



For some months I have been working on a project idea called Revolution and Resonance, which is the result of my seed research at Ashburnham Place, I am glad I was slow at getting this off the ground because this is something that needs a more sophisticated level of approach and planning than I have had to do previously. I say slow but just working alongside running the family, supporting others and then needing to liaise with organisations and learn how they communicate takes time. I still have a very strong urge to rush at things hoping all will be well so this is a new found slow burn building of relationships, work and purpose.

This time is good because it allows other developments and opportunities to influence progress. Such as going to the a-n.co.uk workshops Emila Telese’s Dodge the Shredder and Lucy Day’s Navigating the Art world. Together with a recent one to one with Matt Roberts http://www.mattroberts.org.uk/who advises artists on career development I am now in a healthy position to strike out and put the project together.

It will take another 6-9 months to get it finessed and funded but this time will be one of learning a new process, learning a new professional attitude in communicating my project and so much more. It feels exciting and solid to have a strategy and one that is built on reliable advice, opportunity and existing work.

Another major factor has been my need for a total hip replacement. This physical iron grip of arthritis has created an imbalance in my life affecting it for years and as I now am working in a more expansive way the operation has come at a crucial time to release me back into being able to move freely again. I have now had the operation and am recovering well. The 6 week convalescence gives me the opportunity to complete stationary computer based tasks – normally ones I run a mile from – I have built a website which has really helped clarify what I am about http://felicitytruscott.wix.com/mysite-1 and next I will be working up Revolution and Resonance in my first attempt at applying for ACE funding.

This time next year I hope to be creating large site specific structures for Ashburnham with the forward plan of applying for further grants to fund an exhibition. Starting the process that Emilia Telese outlined in her workshop getting a project going, running it and applying for the following one simultaneously. The advice Matt gave me was to also look to some kind of commercial relationship perhaps via limited editions of drawings or maquets for temporary site specific works which is what is beginning to be the mainstay of my practice. Any income could then matchfund further applications and support my practice development. This ties in snugly with feedback from Bluemonkey unfinished business that I should be valuing my entire process of making evenly from start to potential finish, or at least stopping point. I know I have been repeatedly saying that this last year has been about process and play and remaining in the unknown but I think the penny may now at last be dropping into the slot and the monkey is about to dance!

restricted practice:

until then I am observing, writing notes, taking photos of my experience of the hip operation and my recovery….this is embracing a working title I have wanted to use for something and now I know what it is….mostly on instagram so far http://felicitytruscott.wix.com/mysite-1#!contact/thzi4

I’m not sure how the rest of it will unfold yet…


Recently I went to a Dodge the Shredder workshop run by Emilia Telese for a-n.co.uk. I can say without a shadow of a doubt this is the best and most effective professional development training I have ever received. At the moment applying for funding is what I need to improve on and get on with doing to keep my practice moving. I need to understand how what I write is read and how to communicate all aspects of my project to different audiences. Looking at a diagram designed to show artists professional pathways reinforced what I know so far from experience. It gave me a set of reference points for making career choices. I have been wanting exaclty this type of structure for a while. The diagram was created by Morris, Hargreaves and Mc Intyre for ACE Tastebuds report, 2004.

The reality of moving my practice on has to contend with the ongoing transition that feels so unprofessional and clunky; from mother to artist, back and forth, often several times a day or worse night! Trying to remain professional and have a clear idea of direction and purpose whilst having my self belief constantly eroded by endless interruption, having to make decisions and juggle priorities, un-equal opportunity to have or develop a career from family and fatigue all of which result in a fuzzy head. A fuzzy head does not write clear and purposeful proposals. Emilia showed me a way of being more purposeful and gave me the tools to achieve it. This is going to make a huge difference to me in the way I think about my work, the way I think about where my practice is heading and just day to day the way I think about planning and working in the here and now. Yay.. this is exciting!

The morning provided good concrete and constructive feedback for my current draft application to the Arts Council helping me to think what to keep, throw out or change and actually has made me review how I write in general.

We then moved onto talking about budgets, this is a big deal for me because I am not comfortable or confident with numbers and it showed me how budgeting fits into the whole philosophy of my practice. I find it very dificult to value myself, my time and work in a monetary way. (which also links into the disturbance I mentioned regarding fuzzy head syndrome and its very real effects on my career) Now I am moving towards making temporary art works and installations it is even more crucial – I think this was key for me as it highlighted the cognitive shift I need to make from viewing funding proposals as opportunities for income in isolation or a one off way; to viewing them as overall projects built on the foundations of an ongoing art practice. Emilia highlighted that it’s preferable to be running with three projects at any one time in order to make a living; easy to say…. but as a general rule of thumb and a work ethic it makes so much sense – this model reinforces for me an ongoing and serious commitment to my professional journey a state of mind even, which is kind of what curators need to see when they are researching new artists. I have to say I thought I knew this already but I feel like the penny had dropped a lot further into the slot.

In order to know what I should be earning and charging all year round I used the a-n.co.uk online artists toolkit where you can work out what your daily rate should be. https://www.a-n.co.uk/resource/the-artists-fees-toolkit It is recognised by industry and it’s important for me to use as a thorough and legitimate apprasial of my costs. I found it quite shocking to do the first time.

One thing that is going to practically help me ‘de fuzz’ my head is the atomic system, https://www.a-n.co.uk/resource/signpost-2. It was developed by Emilia to provide a consistent frame work for planning and writing proposals both for making work in her practice and for funding. It has 8 elements that are connected to your central idea, these elements contain everything that should be considered and this helped me to see how to group together and identify any aspects of the project without doubling up and getting confused. If I can be clear at this stage it is really going to help when I am writing the project up as a proposal.

Understanding this and seeing that I can then apply systematically to several funders made a real difference to me as it takes the pressure off me and the project stands alone alongside or within my practice. Strong, attractive, clear, purposeful and fundable. No fuzz.

Emilia is very good at explaining difficult and confusing subjects clearly and with humour – definitely go to her workshops if they come to a venue near you!

Thank you a-n and thank you Emilia.

….now to apply what I have learned to my rotation installation proposal called ‘revolution and resonance’ and my whole life!