24.07.17 – 28.07.17
Not exactly rejuvenated, but certainly less nervous than the precious Monday, the second week began. Maybe it was that the group were now comfortable with one another, or that the topics covered in week 2 were a little more practical than personal or even that the weather had cooled down, but everything felt a little less draining.
Topics covered included representation / finances / commissions / funding / negotiating / PR and marketing / social media / strategic planning – in a variety of talks, seminar-style and one-on-one sessions from arts professionals.
On Tuesday, we had a talk by Lindsay Ann Taylor on the StudioBook commission that the University of Salford are commissioning and which one of us will receive. By the end of this, we had all convinced ourselves that we wouldn’t get it but were already so happy for the participant who would! This is the kind of non-competitive, supportive environment the group embodied and the programme reinforced. It was questioned whether this would be the case if it weren’t an all female group?!
The final day was reserved for planning. I expected to feel overwhelmed and almost unable to do this. However, the way the day was formatted broke everything down so I realised I actually do know what I want, what is important to both my practice and myself and how to move forward. By 3pm, we all had 1, 3, 5 and 20(!) year plans. It almost felt simple! Now just 20 years work to do…
As the week came to a close, there was a mix of feelings – all in our own way, ready for it to be over, simply because it was so intense and we needed to rest and process the two weeks. And at the same time, so grateful we’d been chosen for such a unique and guiding opportunity that would feed into our artistic careers for years to come.
Now there is the commission to write a proposal for and the group show we have in November… along with actioning the countless personal and general points that came up. I do feel a little overwhelmed but with the ongoing support of a new art family (MDP and peers), it will all be good, I’m sure.