Artists Newsletter #3: The 2000s

Continuing our celebration of a-n’s 40th Anniversary with a series of online publications and features that explore the a-n archive whilst celebrating artists practices now.

For Artists Newsletter #3: The 2000s, and with a nostalgic nod to the visual culture of the noughties, Guest Editor Shy Bairns puts a focus on collectives and how artists work together to build their own art worlds.

PHD researcher Aisling Marks goes ‘Inside The ‘Archive’ of Islington Mill Art Academy’ and explores the contents of a large dusty box crammed with 13 years of memories and artefacts that reveal much about the ideological bedrock of a Salford-based alternative art school.

Islington Mill Art Academy is one of seven alternative art education collectives profiled across the publication through a series of advert-style pages. Click the hyperlinks to find out more about The Syllabus, School of the Damned, The Other MA, Babeworld School of Art, AltMFA and Working Class Creatives Database.

In ‘Rest, reinforcement, and resistance’ Chloe Austin looks back at Black Curators Collective first year of collective curating.

‘Collective Mindmap’ documents the tangled web of contemporary artist collectives, via a ‘pull-out’ poster researched and designed by Shy Bairns.

Three Points Press is a collective made up of three Risograph presses based in London, Liverpool and Glasgow. In ‘A chat with Three Points Press’, George Gibson of Shy Bairns discusses collaboration and community with members of two of the presses involved: Rabbits Road’s Sofia Niazi and Heiba Lamara; and Granby Press’ Sumuyya Khader.

In ‘Array Collective: The only rule is that we’re all equal’, Turner Prize-nominated Belfast-based Array Collective discuss art and activism, with questions by Shy Bairns.

And London-based designer Fraser Muggeridge, known for his collaborative relationship with high-profile artist Jeremy Deller, tells Shy Bairns that “It’s about having the confidence and the knowledge that it will be OK”.

Plus, in the latest 40 Years 40 Artists interviews by writer Louisa Buck, Barby Asante reflects on the true meaning of Decolonisation, and Forest + Found discuss their collaboration that explores dialogues between sculpture, painting and a new found language of craft.

Shy Bairns is an artist collective interested in the intersections of contemporary art and bookmaking, and the activation of projects within that space. Print runs through the core of their practice, utilising zines, print workshops and installations to create collaborative works. They are interested in ideas of identity, community, popular culture, and interactivity. Shy Bairns is the collaborative practice of Erin Blamire, George Gibson, Eleanor Haswell and Izzy Kroese, who have worked together since 2016.

More a-n at 40 features and content including our 40 Years 40 Artists series of interviews at

Artists Newsletter #3: The 2000s on Issuu (best viewed using Fullscreen button)

Artists Newsletter #3: The 2000s pdf (click image to view)