Since 2014 myself and Lydia Catterall have been developing a research based project initially titled ‘Art/Work’ – looking at the relationships between the arts and the systems that contain it.
Speaking to working artists and freelance professionals, deciphering relevant literature and collating current information we look for the reasons why we often struggle to justify creative practice as a form of employment.
On 26th – 29th March 2014 our small office within the exhibition space atSEIZE: OVERTIME housed all that we had found in that early stage and our thinking. This culminated in a group discussion and decisions about the direction in which this project should be taken.
May 2014 saw us travelling to Barcelona with East Street Arts’ Karen Watson and Jon Wakeman for the annual Tallers Obert (Open Studios), exploring artist studio spaces and meeting working Artists across the city.
On 26th March 2015 our Research Room opened again at UCA Canterbury as part ofWork & Art Symposium : How Artists Make A Living. Here we started new dialogues, re-visited previous topics and explored Art/Work/Life balance alongside a wide selection of key researchers and artists including Caroline Wright (Paying Artists Campaign, AIR Council), Shama Khanna (independent curator and writer), and Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt (Principal Investigator, ‘Evaluating the Relationship between Arts and Cultural Engagement and Long-Term Health’ as part of the Cultural Value Project).
Throughout October 2015 we both took position as Artist in Residence in Warrington responding to the idea of ‘the local’ and exploring the urban and the position of theContemporary Arts Festival in the town itself. Based at the Pyramid and Parr Centrein the Cultural Quarter of Warrington, our space housed or own research, ideas, artist maquettes and installations as well as becoming a temporary base for meetings, conversations and crowd-sourced information. Alongside Culture Warrington andNORTH we explored Art and its place within the town and the north of England as a whole.
Now in 2016 the research continues and I will be using this Blog as a way to document what we have learned to date and our findings as we continue.