This article is my response to the shocking “artist brief” recently published by Wiltshire Council asking for a “volunteer community artist” to do what is clearly a paid piece of work. It’s an example of the increasingly commonplace substitution of properly paid work for artists with free labour dressed up as volunteering.READ MORE

This is my take on why only cooperation and federalism and democratic, participatory community development can begin to heal the divisions that exist in our communities. For me, the Labour party have lost any connection to its roots, so we need to radically renew the idea of working-class movements by ending the elite electoral machines that never listen and that reproduce the very conditions of our oppression that they claim to oppose.READ MORE

As part of my work as critical friend for Creative People and Places project Super Slow Way, I decided to spend two days exploring as much of the festival as possible. My review focuses on what were, for me, the stand-out exhibitions and explores why it felt like the British Textile Biennial felt like two festivals in one.READ MORE

This is a transcript of my keynote at the British Textile Biennial which took place on 1st November 2019. I performed the keynote to a film. I’ve included some of the videos featured. The Doves’ songs were played in full, the others only extracts. I’ve also included an audio recording that you can listen to here .READ MORE

This is a personal call for solidarity and collective support at this time of darkness and disarray. We are stronger together. Can we come together?

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Dante running from the three beasts , William Blake (between 1824 and 1827). Dante running from the three beasts , William Blake (between 1824 and 1827).

Dante running from the three beasts, William Blake (between 1824 and 1827).

WE NEED A MOVEMENT OF CULTURAL MOVEMENTS NOW!

Our cultures are nothing without their communities and groups and collectives, their ideas and creativity and passionate pride, and, most importantly, the people who make our cultures: everyone, every day.… READ MORE

This is the text version of my keynote paper I gave at the Culture and the Periphery conference at Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen on 4th October 2019.

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Screenshot from  Jubilee , Derek Jarman, 1978 (Featuring Borgia Ginz.) Screenshot from  Jubilee , Derek Jarman, 1978 (Featuring Borgia Ginz.)

Screenshot from Jubilee, Derek Jarman, 1978 (Featuring Borgia Ginz.)

LOW CULTURE: NEOLIBERALISM, CONSERVATIVE SOCIAL PRACTICE AND THE UNIVERSAL MARGINALITY OF EVERYDAY LIFE

Marginality is today no longer limited to minority groups, but is rather massive and pervasive; this cultural activity of the nonproducers of culture, an activity that is unsigned, unreadable, and unsymbolized, remains the only one possible for all those who nevertheless buy and pay for the showy products through which a productivist economy articulates itself. … READ MORE

This is the transcript from my keynote speech at Nuart Festival in Stavanger on 8th September 2019. It explores nostalgia narratives in Street Art and examines the practice’s links to gentrification. But perhaps we’re all gentrifiers nowadays?

The full article on which this talk was based is available in Nuart Journal III and can be downloaded for free here .READ MORE

I visited Super Slow Way in June and July this year. This blog post reflects those visits and begins to pose a question at the heart of my role as critical friend for the Creative People and Places project.


Gatty poster (Courtesy of Claire Wellesley-Smith, 2016, http://www.clairewellesleysmith.co.uk/blog/2016/12/19/madder-root-and-gatty-red). Gatty poster (Courtesy of Claire Wellesley-Smith, 2016, http://www.clairewellesleysmith.co.uk/blog/2016/12/19/madder-root-and-gatty-red).

Gatty poster (Courtesy of Claire Wellesley-Smith, 2016, http://www.clairewellesleysmith.co.uk/blog/2016/12/19/madder-root-and-gatty-red).

How far can you go?

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This is the text from my talk for the Market Forces event at the Swap Market Govanhill in Glasgow on 18th July 2019. It looks at the role artists play in the game of neoliberal planned gentrification.


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THE HYPER-MARKET STRIKES BACK!

Today, artists are portrayed by the creative industries as exemplars of a new class of creative entrepreneurs.… READ MORE

This is a transcript of the brief provocation I gave at Environmental Engagement and the Politics of Creative Practice workshop at Open University in Camden on 27th June 2019 – part of the Doreen Massey Annual Event.

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LIVING CREATIVELY AT A TIME OF CLIMATE CATASTROPHE

 

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.… READ MORE