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Artist-led: Underpinning

Underpinning is the project of Aberdeen-based artist Kirsty Russell. This profile includes a video interview, recorded at Assembly Aberdeen, in which Russell introduces her practice, which often involves ‘creating spaces where there’s room for other people and ideas.’

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Artist-led: D2

D2 is a DIY event space in Aberdeen with a focus on experimental music, performance and immersive club experiences. This profile includes a video interview recorded at Assembly Aberdeen with D2 member Jack Ryan, who highlights the importance of building relationships and sharing skills.

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Artist-led: A+E

A+E is a Glasgow-based multi-disciplinary collective who work at the intersection of art and ecology. This profile includes a video interview, recorded at Assembly Aberdeen, with A+E members Lucy Watkins, Maria Sledmere and Finn Arschavir, who introduce their practice and describe the benefits of working with others to find new perspectives.

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Artist-led: Dain’ Hings

Dundee-based project Dain’ Hings was initiated by Duncan of Jordanstone fine art students Jek McAllister and Saskia Singer as a way to invite fellow artists to ‘just dae hings’ This profile includes a video interview, recorded at Assembly Aberdeen, in which they explain how they got started using readily-available resources, including their local pub.

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Artist-led: Gaada Projects

Gaada Projects works in venues across Shetland, offering platforms and support to local communities. This profile includes a video interview, recorded at Assembly Aberdeen, with Gaada’s co-directors Daniel Clark and Amy Gear, who outline the challenges and opportunities of setting up an artist-led initiative in a remote, rural location.

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Artist-led: Wagon

Naoko Mabon, who works under the name Wagon, is an Aberdeen-based freelance curator. This profile includes a video interview recorded at Assembly Aberdeen in which Mabon introduces her work and offers advice to artists thinking about setting up their own initiative.

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Artist-led: Jo Capper

Jo Capper is an artist educator and Collaborative programme curator at Grand Union in Birmingham. This profile includes a video interview recorded at Assembly Aberdeen in which Capper introduces her work and describes the importance of collective action.

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Artist-led: Jane Simpson, artist and programmer of Assembly Swansea

Artist Jane Simpson, who runs Swansea gallery GS Artists, describes the challenge of maintaining relevance as an artist-led initiative and her optimism for the future. In a video interview recorded at a-n’s Assembly Swansea event in May 2019, which was programmed in collaboration with Simpson and explored the difficulties and advantages of running artist-led projects in the city.

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Artist-led: Thomas Goddard, artist, Cardiff

With a background in gallery education and working with communities, and in research, Cardiff-based artist Thomas Goddard introduces his practice and describes the necessity and benefits of working with other people.

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Artist-led: John Byrne, Arte Útil

John Byrne introduces the aims of Arte Util, an international body that promotes ways for art to work effectively in ordinary life. Recorded at a-n’s Assembly Swansea event in May 2019.

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Artist-led: Tendency Towards, artist-run initiative in Aberdeen

Members of Aberdeen artist-led project Tendency Towards – Yvette Bathgate, Jessica Barrie and Jake Shepherd – describe the challenges and opportunities of working in a place that “people pass through on their way somewhere else”. Includes a video interview recorded at a-n’s Assembly Swansea event in May 2019.

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Artist-led: AltMFA

Founded in 2010 by a group of London-based artists, AltMFA is a free, nomadic, alternative art school whose fluid content and structure morphs around the needs of its members. Lydia Ashman speaks to co-founder Louise Ashcroft about the project and why radical inclusivity and a little bit of anarchism are essential to its existence.

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Artist-led: Hack & Host

Hack & Host in Hull was established in 2015 by three local arts workers as a public forum for structured conversations about contemporary art. Lydia Ashman reflects on how the project has been impacted by Hull City of Culture 2017 and speaks to associated artist, Clare Holdstock, about Hack & Host’s ongoing appetite for debates about art and politics.

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Artist-led: Keep It Complex

Formed in 2016 in the run up to the EU referendum, Keep It Complex: Make it Clear is a loose collective of London-based artists and cultural workers. Its members aim to challenge apathy and fear by providing people with ‘tools and ideas to get involved with everyday politics’. Lydia Ashman reflects on the ways in which the group use their skills and networks as artists to facilitate conversation in a divided world.

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Artist-led: Market Gallery

Market Gallery has been part of Glasgow’s artist-led ecology since 2000. The gallery is led by a volunteer committee and operates from a shop unit in the working-class neighbourhood of Dennistoun, where it presents a varied programme of exhibitions, events and residencies. Lydia Ashman talks to artist and committee member Catalina Barroso-Luque about how the gallery is responding to a reduction of resources through its programme and structure.

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Artist-led: Rhubaba

Rhubaba is a studio provider and a project space in Edinburgh. Led by a volunteer committee, it presents an interdisciplinary programme of exhibitions, workshops and events. Lydia Ashman speaks to committee member Ben Callaghan about Learnin’ Broke my 💔, Rhubaba’s research project on radical pedagogy and self-organisation, and the challenges and rewards of operating in an artist-led context.

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Artist-led: Treeline

Treeline is a Birmingham-based artist-led investigation into how artists can influence our relationship with nature. In 2017, members of Vivid Projects’ Black Hole Club visited Norway and Spain to research and develop an international network of artists, sustainability practitioners and academics for Treeline. Lydia Ashman speaks to Jaime Jackson, one of Treeline’s founders, about why artists are best placed to facilitate positive change.

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Artist-led: Low Profile

Low Profile is a collaboration between Plymouth-based artists Rachel Dobbs and Hannah Jones. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Cardiff, in which Dobbs and Jones discuss how living in Plymouth has shaped their attitudes as artists and cemented their commitment to making things happen in their city.

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Artist-led: The Sustainable Studio

The Sustainable Studio is a creative co-working space in a former munition factory in Cardiff. This profile includes a video, recorded at Assembly Cardiff, in which co-founder Sarah Valentin explains how a large warehouse space became a catalyst for working collaboratively and building creative relationships.

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Artist-led: The Royal Standard

The Royal Standard is an artist-led gallery, studios and social workspace in Toxteth, Liverpool. This profile includes a video, recorded at Assembly Dundee, in which artistic directors Lucy Bretherton and Becky Peach introduce their roles and outline the challenges of sustaining a volunteer-run organisation for over a decade.

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Artist-led: Generator Projects

Generator Projects is an artist-led gallery in Dundee. This profile features a video interview, recorded at Assembly Dundee, in which Generator Projects’ chair and committee members introduce the organisation and discuss its aim of supporting emerging artists in the city.

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Artist-led: Rat Trap

Rat Trap is a Cardiff-based creative collective of recent graduates who organise exhibitions and events as a platform for artists and musicians to share their work and develop their practice. This profile features two videos, recorded at Assembly Cardiff, in which members of Rat Trap introduce their work and consider the notion of success.

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