Well a 6am start and a convoluted journey (which way is it now??) were worth the bother to get to the YVAM conference, aimed at early career artists: “the artist’s journey – which way is it now?”. Lots of advice and information from art professionals and some inspiring speakers. Socially engaged art was high on the agenda, with artist talks from Smizz and Emilie Taylor.
Smizz “draws peoples ideas (and her own obvs!)” and has a passion for drawing as a means of communication. Her practice explores issues of power (whether that is social housing, injustice, elitism in art establishments, or enabling better information sharing, listening and communication within NHS structures). Her current work uses drawing as a critical-reflective tool to address communication barriers and conflict issues in healthcare settings. As she says, issues can be raised through drawing that are sometimes too difficult to say or write.
Smizz is an excellent communicator, inspirational speaker and passionate artist (also a healthcare professional & patient!) with a vision to make a difference in the world…
Advice (from Smizz):
- We don’t get forever
- You already know! (but how are you going to do what you know?)
Check out her website www.sarahsmizz.com
Emilie Taylor is a ceramic artist with a gallery-based and socially engaged practice and lots of tips for planning, planning, planning – what are your aims? What scale will you work on? what steps do you need to put into action now to make the aims a reality? On leaving art-school she struggled to find a way to connect ‘thinking’ with ‘making’. She now works as an art psychotherapist, has exhibited ceramics nationally and had some interesting ideas for funding self-initiated projects in the socially engaged art sector.
Grayson Perry, The Existential Void – 2012
Taylor’s ceramic work reminds me a bit of Grayson Perry’s pots – primarily because she paints images onto her pots from stories in the news or people that she encounters in her drug and alcohol support work, creating a cultural mis-match between the images depicted and the highly worked surface of the ceramic.
They are also inviting suggestions to feed into the strategic arts mentoring planning – contact them at http://www.yvan.org.uk
Many thanks to Jo and Anna for organising the hull contingent! (which way is it now??)