Mermaid & Monster (M&M), the Cardiff-based contemporary art agency known for representing emerging and established artists from Wales and beyond, has announced it is to refocus activities, citing the significantly reduced market for smaller, regional agencies and galleries.
In a statement, M&M said: ‘Due to various factors, M&M will no longer be representing artists, but will continue to curate projects and exhibitions.
‘The past 12 months have seen established galleries close across the UK, and the market in general for smaller, regional agencies and galleries has reduced significantly. We don’t receive Arts Council of Wales funding, and M&M has battled along on the goodwill and support of good people, sales, curatorial fees and consultation.’
Since 2007, M&M has promoted the work of over 30 artists through curatorial projects, publications, events and fairs. Those represented by the organisation include Michael Cousin, Lloyd Durling, Helen Sear, Anthony Shapland and Miranda Whall.
Speaking to a-n, director Gordon Dalton said: “M&M was created out of frustration initially. Despite a number of artist-led galleries and agencies in cities across the UK starting to show at international art fairs, Wales as a country didn’t have a single outlet representing artists. This was against the backdrop of Wales at Venice, Artes Mundi, a new wing at the National Museum, and a proposed National Gallery of Contemporary Art.
“Wales at Venice provides an aspiration, but the rest of the infrastructure – apart from some notable, hardworking organisations and artists – is littered apologetically with potholes. The new contemporary gallery is still a pipe dream.
“There is an appetite for contemporary art in Wales, but it seems shackled by something unseen, be it old politics, bad marketing or a timid politeness.”
Looking to the future, Dalton added: “M&M has an upcoming show at Aid & Abet, Cambridge, some consultancy for Turning Point West Midlands, and will continue its successful series of One Night Stand exhibitions across the UK. We will continue curating on both sides of the border, being a little unruly and ruffling feathers. Someone has to.”
More on a-n.co.uk:
Wales in Venice – Bedwyr Williams discusses his project for Wales in Venice 2013 at the opening of his new show Dear Both.
Evidencing the Impact of the Arts – Hosted by Arts Development UK and Arts Council Wales, this seminar in Cardiff looked at new ways of thinking and working in order to determine the difference the arts make.
Artes Mundi: Social Contours – Artes Mundi’s Art at the Borders symposium successfully provided a Welsh context in which to discuss the work of the prize’s international artists.
Plot twists in Cardiff’s artist-led narrative – As part of the council-supported Cardiff Contemporary festival, g39 gallery is highlighting the creativity of artist-led activity.
New artist-led studios for Cardiff – Artist-led collective B I T celebrate the launch of its new studio complex.
Gordon Dalton: Something Has Happened, Nothing Has Changed at Supersaurus, Swansea – review by Tom Goddard