For this follow up to her Approaching galleries guide, Jennie Syson, director of Nottingham-based commercial gallery Syson, which was open from 2013-2019, asked artists, arts managers, curators and gallery directors to share their top tips, and dos and don’ts advice.
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Jennie Syson, former director of the commercial gallery Syson in Nottingham, which was open from 2013-2018, offers some advice on approaching galleries, through setting out the different research routes and methods you might use.
a-n’s News editor Chris Sharratt, who as a freelance writer and editor has written for Frieze, the Guardian, Sunday Times, and New Statesman and been arts editor at Metro, shares his experience and offers some top tips to consider when writing art reviews.
a-n Blogs is a great place to share the process of your practice or the progress of a residency or project you’re working on. We’ve pulled together a few tips on blogging on www.a-n.co.uk to help you get started.
London-based artist Liz Atkin creates work both in response to and as way of coping with compulsive skin picking. Alistair Gentry finds out more about her art practice, and the advocacy and education work she undertakes to help others understand and deal with this and other body-focused repetitive behaviour conditions.
Since the early 1970s, Bobby Baker has been producing art that documents and subverts her experiences of everyday life, drawing on motherhood, domestic labour, and mental illness and recovery. Speaking to Lydia Ashman, Baker reflects on the challenges she faced as a woman and an artist, her successes and why she’s ‘proudest of keeping going’.
Based on conversations with artists, Alistair Gentry reflects on the stigma that still exists around mental health, and discusses some of the coping strategies artists use in their work and careers when affected by mental health problems.
The Bethlem Gallery in Bromley provides a professional platform for artists who have experienced mental health difficulties. Alistair Gentry speaks to the gallery’s director Beth Elliot about the organisation and how it fosters a supportive artist-focussed environment.
Hospital Rooms is an arts and mental health charity that believes in the enduring power of the arts to instill value, dignity and wellbeing in people. Alistair Gentry speaks to Curator Niamh White about how the project enables access to art and culture for people using secure and locked mental health services.
Alistair Gentry offers guidance on what support is available for artists and others with mental health problems.
a-n’s former External Programmes and Partnerships Manager Hannah Pierce offers advice on the benefits to artists of mentoring and coaching, and highlights some of the differences between these two approaches to interaction and personal, professional development.
Interested in being a trustee or board member? Nicola Naismith explores what artists contribute and gain, and speaks to artists with experience to find out about their roles and their advice for joining a board.
Joining a board can provide artists with a voice in the decision-making room and a way to steer the arts agenda. Nicola Naismith explores what’s involved, and hears from artists and their fellow board members about the important contribution artists can make and why being a trustee matters.
Writing a manifesto was one of Dan Thompson’s first acts as an artist and he has since written several more including one about using empty shops, and The Paying Artists Manifesto for Artist-Led Work that showed how artists working with their own ecology, economy and excitement ‘make the world around them better’. He explores the history of artists’ manifestos and shares advice and tips on how to write your own.
In 2017, New Contemporaries, an annual exhibition of emerging artists from UK art schools, opened up its application to include artists from alternative learning programmes. Director Kirsty Ogg discusses this decision, the changing climate for emerging artists in the UK, and what artists really need to develop and challenge their practice. Interview by Michaela Nettell.
Alternative art education programmes come in a range of formats, from entirely self-organised to more structured offerings. Lydia Ashman hears from seven artists who discuss how they chose a programme which would develop their practice and fit with their lifestyles, and offer advice on selecting the right one for your needs.
Turps Art School was founded in 2012 as a medium-specific art school providing year-long studio and distance learning programmes for painters. Co-founder Marcus Harvey talks to Michaela Nettell about the ideas and values behind the school.
School of the Damned is a free year-long alternative, and unaccredited, art school. Each year a new student group comes on board and collectively devises and develops their programme of learning. Laura Davidson finds out more from members of the founding cohort, Class of 2014, and the Class of 2018 graduating students.
Ten guiding principles for artists working in social contexts, including a downloadable poster with illustrations by Rebecca Davies.
Hannah Pierce, a-n’s former External Programmes and Partnerships Manager, offers advice on writing applications for a-n’s member opportunities.
Colin Hambrook, disabled artist and editor of Disability arts online, gathers a selection of quotes and advice about the practice and development of disability arts from artists, arts managers, curators, producers and gallery directors working within the sector.
Colin Hambrook provides an introduction to the history of, and current practices in the field of disability arts, including an overview of key organisations that support disabled visual artists.
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.’
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.
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.