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This past week has been about listening and taking snapshots of residencies popping up on social media. A good listen was Susan Jones lecture about artists pay since the 90s up until today and it seems that back then it was a golden age (http://www.collaborativeresearchgroup.co.uk/index.php/projects/work-and-art-symposium/). For example Susan goes on to say that a month residency would have been paid then at £3, 300 compared to that now of little pay even in some cases with artists having to pay as part of the application process. Susan talks in detail about the policies and changes in political parties that have impacted on arts funding to where we are today with artists all too often not being paid. Please have a listen to this to get an understanding of the drastic cuts in the arts. I have to admit in the past I have worked for free although after taking part in the paying artists research group co-led by Susan it really got me thinking about how by doing this I am the one missing out with the arts organisations or producers of events getting the pay.

Since gaining more knowledge around artist pay it was one of the reasons why I wanted to develop a bigger project for myself and for other artists. It also shows that if we share information about the arts ecology it gives the artist a fairer way to negotiate their practice. There comes a time that if your not happy with the system you have to try and change it and I feel artist led initiatives are the best way of seeing more of what the artist needs rather than top down from organisations. Another development within artist’s residencies Susan touches on is how in the past they where for the artist to do their own work however now they are expected to provide a service. A new area of her research is the artist’s portfolio and I don’t mean physical pieces of artwork in a black slightly bent folder but the many jobs they undertake to maintain a practice. I myself have juggled multiple jobs from working part-time in retail for many years, facilitating workshops, residencies, micro commissions and now being a mum. Fortunately with getting my Arts Council funding for We Are Resident it has taken a little bit of pressure off me, however it still isn’t enough in the long term to meet monthly basic needs.

Social media residency snapshots in September:

South London graduate 6-month residency
Fee – £5000 includes materials and living costs
Travel – None
Accommodation – free
Expectations- New body of work + exhibition. Specifically for UK or EU graduate.

air space 2-week residency – Winter Festival
Fee – £500
Materials + Travel- £250
Accommodation – free
Expectations – Respond to a specific theme. Live in the West Midlands.

East Street Arts –Velo café 10-day residency
Fee – £2100 to include materials, travel + accommodation
Expectations – Respond to a specific theme. Deliver an event.

Open call: 7 day Laboratory for Finnish + Flemish circus artists
Fee – None
Accommodation – free
Travel – free
Sustenance – free
Expectations – Respond to a specific theme. Artists are Finnish or Flemish.

Firestation curator residency awards – 1 week – 1 month
Fee – None
Travel – €200
Accommodation + studio – free
Expectations – Deliver curator talk. Attend studio visits. Write a report.

At a quick glance the most attractive residency from this small selection is the South London graduate scheme although aimed at a very specific group. It seems that a number of headers are sometimes rolled into one to give the impression of a higher fee. The most disappointing in terms of expectations of the artist and pay is the Firestation curator residency. I wanted to share this way of reviewing what is out there and I intend on doing this once a month to gain a broader view of the residency market. This is not about naming or shaming but learning about the language used within the advertising and understanding expectations in relation to artists pay. All of the above opportunities offer networking platforms meeting other artists or peers, which is why I have not gone into greater detail on each one.

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