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.
Profile - a-n The Artists Information Company
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.
Artists Jason & Becky introduce their socially-engaged practice, outline the advantages of working together, and discuss their PhD research which focuses on collaborative practice.
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.
Roger Lougher shares his experience of running artist-led project Rhôd in rural Carmarthenshire. Recorded at a-n’s Assembly Swansea event in May 2019.
Karen Mackinnon, curator at Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Gallery, introduces her work and talks about the importance of art having a social purpose. Includes a video interview recorded at a-n’s Assembly Swansea event in May 2019.
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.
Swansea-based artist Owen Griffiths introduces his socially-engaged practice in a video interview recorded at a-n’s Assembly Swansea event in May 2019.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tin Roof is an artist-led collective that runs Dundee Ceramics Workshop. This profile includes an interview with artist and co-founder of Tin Roof, Joanna Helfer, recorded at Assembly Dundee, in which she describes her involvement with Dundee’s artist-led scene and her optimism for the future.
In 2017, Wysing Arts Centre restructured its residency programme to be more responsive to artists’ situations and to support a more diverse pool of practices. Drawing on a conversation that took place between Wysing’s director Donna Lynas and resident artist Tessa Norton at the ‘Pivotal Moments’ conference, Lydia Ashman explores how and why the programme has changed.
Visual Arts in Rural Communities hosts residencies in the remote hill-farming area of Tarset in Northumberland. In August 2018, the organisation piloted its first residency for a disabled artist. Lydia Ashman speaks to Project Director Janet Ross and artist, curator and disability advocate Aidan Moesby about the development of the pilot and its impact on the organisation’s programme.
Based in Wakefield, visual arts development agency The Art House continually explores ways to work with artists who face barriers to their practice. Its residency programme supports artists at different stages of their career and is shaped around individuals’ needs. Lydia Ashman speaks to Programme Producer Simon Boase and artist Rosanne Robertson about the tailored support the organisation provides to artists.
The Mothership is an independent residency programme run by artist Anna Best from a purpose built studio nestled in Dorset woodland. Lydia Ashman speaks to Best and former resident artist Dominque Golden about how the flexibility of The Mothership is particularly supportive of artists with families.
AirSpace Gallery is a studio provider and gallery space in Stoke-on-Trent. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Birmingham, featuring AirSpace Gallery’s co-director Anna Francis introducing the organisation and explaining its deep commitment to being part of Stoke-on-Trent’s evolving post-industrial identity.