The recent ‘Hope to Nope’ exhibition at The Design Museum ended in controversy earlier this month when artists and designers removed their work in protest at the museum hosting a private hire event by an arms manufacturer. One of those activist groups to remove their work was the artist-run organisation Keep It Complex, who share here what they learned from the experience.
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A group of 27 artists and art lecturers are taking the National Gallery to tribunal following their dismissal last year, in a bid to prove that they were employees rather than freelancers. ‘NG27’ member Richard Stemp argues that the case has important implications for all artists and those working in the arts.
A much-loved and admired member of the a-n team, digital manager Eleonora Schinella died on 5 August after suffering from a rare bone tumour. She will be greatly missed.
When artist and writer Alistair Gentry first shared his experiences of depression earlier this year it resulted in a flood of private feedback and led a-n to commission a series on artists and mental health for our Resources section. Drawing on the conversations he’s had with artists and arts workers, he argues for more openness about mental illness and wellness in the arts.
To mark the end of her time as the 2017-18 Clore Visual Artist Fellow, an initiative supported by a-n, Nicola Naismith presents an A-Z of what the year-long experience has taught her about leadership and being an independent artist.
At the recent Jamboree 2018 event on the Dartington Estate in Devon, the London-based German artist Rosalie Schweiker presented an improvised slide show about the difference between being a conventional ‘sausage’ artist and a hard to pigeonhole ‘mince’ artist. Here she turns that talk into a short explanation of her thinking – with added drawings of sausages, mince, and mince-based products.
Taking place on the idyllic Dartington Estate in Devon the a-n-supported Jamboree 2018 brought together 150 artists, curators and programmers from across the UK for lively discussion and the exchange of ideas. Hannah Pierce, a-n’s external programmes and partnerships manager, shares the key things she learnt from the event’s four days.
Following a call-out asking artists to submit their ‘preparations, patterns, neuroses, speculations, and procrastinations that surround the production of art in the studio’, the four-day Inventory of Behaviours event at Tate Modern saw these submissions turned into instructions that were carried out by volunteer artists, students and members of the public. Trevor H. Smith explores the value of the transitional space between not making and making art.
Titled ‘The Planetary Garden: Cultivating Coexistence’, for its twelfth edition the roving European art biennial explores ideas around how life forms meet and adapt to coexist, while also aiming to put down roots in its host city of Palermo, Sicily. Eva Rowson, one of 10 a-n Artist members who attended the Manifesta 12 preview, reports from the Italian island.
The second event in a-n’s Assembly series was hosted by Eastside Projects in Birmingham and aimed to address the increasing amount of development taking place across the city region and the opportunities this might offer for artists. Confirmed conference sceptic and Birmingham-based artist Pete Ashton reports.
As numbness turns to anger following Friday night’s fire at Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building, Chris Sharratt hopes that the building can rise again after this second even more devastating blaze.
The 10th Berlin Biennale, titled ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’, sees curator Gabi Ngcobo and her team presenting a finely balanced exhibition that allows individual works to speak and collective ideas to be explored. Cathy Wade, one of 10 a-n Artist members who attended the Biennale preview, reports from the German capital.
a-n launched its current series of UK-wide one-day Assembly events at Paradise Works, Salford with a packed day of discussion that included presentations exploring how to create and sustain a building-based artist-led organisation. Writer and curator Tom Emery reports.
With ongoing demands for greater equality in the arts, the need to reimagine a more inclusive visual arts sector is increasingly urgent. On the eve of the European Outsider Art Association Conference at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, Lydia Ashman makes the case for a new approach to ‘outsider’ artists and their art.
With the recent announcement by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland that both QSS and Paragon Studios in Belfast have lost all their annual funding, Damian Magee addresses the impact of the decision on the city’s artist community and argues that it is indicative of a general lack of support for artists living and working in Northern Ireland.
Build Your Own Art World was a one-day seminar at OSR Projects in Somerset that considered what it means to be artist-led and if there is an alternative to a global gallery system. For Julie McCalden, it highlighted the need for artists to resist the behaviours the art world encourages them to adopt.
With reference to Edmund Clark’s current Ikon Gallery exhibition ‘In Place of Hate’ – the result of three years as artist in residence at the therapeutic prison HMP Grendon – a recent symposium in Birmingham explored the role of art and its use as a rehabilitative tool. After a day of talks and presentations, Carrie Foulkes finds her belief in socially-engaged practice reaffirmed.
a-n Research editor Dany Louise highlights content that focuses on education in schools and universities in our growing, free-to-view index of visual arts cultural policy and strategy documents.
Do the pressures of being an artist, with the precariousness of funding, the demands of unrealistic deadlines and the need to be seen to succeed and deliver consistently, make talking about depression and mental health tantamount to career suicide? Artist and writer Alistair Gentry, who has suffered with depression since a teenager, thinks the answer is ‘Yes’ – but that the issue is too important to keep quiet about.
Over 100,000 children a year will lose the chance to study the arts when the EBacc becomes compulsory in schools in England and the least privileged will lose out most. Is this a conspiracy or a cock-up, asks ArtsProfessional’s Liz Hill.
Writing for a-n News in August 2016, Hull-based artist Paul Collinson called on the City of Culture legacy team to “set foot outside their fortress and talk to those who will be left behind to carry on the good work”. Now, after the city’s high-profile year of cultural activity, he looks back over the year and asks, “Where next?”
Lubaina Himid has approached the fanfare surrounding her Turner Prize win with characteristic low-key charm and generosity. Sonya Dyer hails her influence and achievements and hopes she will now be properly recognised as a contemporary artist making vital work today.
With too many artists’ residencies excluding those who don’t have independent means of support or who have responsibilities at home, Alistair Gentry welcomes Wysing Art Centre’s new residency programme and calls for more of the same from building-based arts organisations.
A group of artists in Bristol has coordinated a united front in the face of an Arts Council England visual arts review in which they feel they weren’t offered an equal seat at the table. They outline their intervention in a recent public consultation event while proposing a new approach for the city’s art ecology.
The recent ‘What Should White Culture Do? Art, Politics, Race’ brought academics and artists together for a day-long symposium at the Royal College of Art. Sonya Dyer contends that, judging by the approach of some of those talking at the event, the answer to the question is, ‘Much more than this’.