Annabel Tilley and I have been running DIY Educate with the help of Elizabeth Murton, Charlie Norwood and our DIY Educate Ambassador Graham Crowley for the last two years. Central to the programme is an ethos of generosity and sharing and the idea that more experienced artists will act as role models and share their experiences and different careers in the art world and give a more realistic picture of it.

Each talk is a different journey, allowing you to reflect upon and examine new possibilities in one’s work, practically or conceptually. We have had talks from Phoebe Unwin, Fiona Macdonald, Matt Roberts, CoExist, Rob Turner, Emily Speed and Day+Gluckman amongst others.

Marion Michell has been an artist I supported and admired for some time. We first met at Core Gallery (which I founded and ran 2009-11). Marion applied for and was selected for our open submission exhibition 2010 and went on to win a 3 person show with Alyson Helyer and Tom Butler in 2011, Extra-Ordinary which I co-curated at Core Gallery with Jane Boyer.

I have been aware of Marion’s ME and her indomitable courage, persistence and strength. Our audience is geographically vast, from Bristol to Cornwall. I was keen to try to involve Marion as much as possible with our DIY Educate Programme. I was delighted to see her joining (and enjoying) twitter and connecting to people after she attended one of our seminars at Goldsmiths. It was something that had been on my mind, how to connect with all these people who could not come to our talks.

The difficulty is that as an artist-led space we are very ambitious but just do not have the resources. We are a small organisation with big ideas, literally 2 artists on limited time & resources.

I tried to be a live tweeter on the nights of the talks (which can be very successful).

‘Definitely better than nothing, but lonely, fitful and fragmentary’ Marion said in a recent post.


Three events later, I gave up the live tweeting job as its not possible to multitask to that extent as co-organiser, co-chair, speaker, note-taker, photographer (& enjoy and absorb the talk myself)

We tried Skype, which failed too….

As Marion says ‘Nothing can really replace direct contact… of course you also miss out on the chance to meet the other artists in the audience, chat, over a glass of something.’ With our talks, we definitely watch networks building and see that people are inspired and enlightened.

No matter these live technologies it is not the same as being there, for all the bits that cannot be explored in 140 characters or notes and for the connections made. For all that you are partially living through and feel like you are missing out on, it seemed to make things even more excluding to some.

So, I am going back to good old fashioned note taking, less problematic as Susan Francis comments. The talks will be published here after they have taken place. Plus some insights into what we are doing. Already it has been positively received on facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZeitgeistArtsProjects/302887699736353

Susan Francis Brilliant Rosalind, and I do find notes like this often more useful than tweeting which tends to have gaps in information etc, thanks for posting

Thanks Rosalind. Good notes, encouraging talk, especially if you want to know how people start their own gallery/mags/projects. Blog for talks=great idea. (Shelley Calhoun)

Jane Ponsford Thanks so much for posting this..

Lisa Muten Thank you – good to read as couldnt get there.

And a rather happy Marion marjojo2004 @ZeitgeistAP Thanks Rosalind, you’re a star!