I am really pleased to be able to share this extremely powerful, thought-provoking guest blog by Rosie Priest. It’s a personal account of how art can be part of everyday life as well as a challenge to the superficial rhetoric of institutional art as a vehicle for “transformative change”.
Rosie Priest is a PhD candidate at the University of Stirling, working with the National Galleries of Scotland’s outreach programme to explore “Collaborative Art and Transformation”, whilst also working as the Creative Learning Associate for Stellar Quines Theatre Company.
This is my take on what rewilding the arts means to me. I wrote this for Rewild the Arts . The original can be found here.
The nation and many Western countries have successfully suppressed, oppressed and controlled our arts and our cultures: narrowly defining and policing terms and practices, building brick and glass citadels for a wealthy minority and a false vision of economic growth, and creating a hierarchy which places artists as servants and denigrates many working-class communities as “hard to reach” and uncultured.
Perhaps, it’s time for artists to learn from the COVID-19 Mutual Aid groups that are self-organising and self-seeding across the UK and the globe? Imagine if artists set up local Artists’ Mutual Aid groups to support each other through these difficult times; to begin setting out ways of speaking to power with coherent voices; to start using art to demand radical changes to the way we work and live together.
I wrote this article for Super Slow Way, the Creative People and Places programme in Pennine Lancashire. I’m their critical friend. This is a reflection on where Super Slow Way are now and where I think they’re going.
Here’s the opening paragraph:
‘Creative People and Places has shackled itself to a notion of “place” as an area on a map.
This is a revised version of Duty Now for the Future – an article commissioned by Collecteurs NY to help launch its SUBSTANCE 100 initiative. The original article was written before the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the UK , Europe and the USA. Duty Now for the Future 2.0 is a call for everyone in the art world to finally wake up to our responsibilities in a world there can be no going back to the crass inequity of our lives before Corona virus.
These are terribly dark and confusing times. Corona Virus has changed everything and it will wreak havoc for months to come at least. It is time to put our creativity to use in our communities. It is time to make solidarity and humanity our art.
I had a conversation with fellow artist Martin Daws back in 2016. He had a great idea. imagine if artists were employed, full-time to work in communities? We worked on it. Martin then wrote a guest blog here in 2017.
This article sets out how we could easily and relatively cheaply employ artists in everyday community and how such a simple, yet radical system would create just the sort of transformative cultural change that is at the heart of Arts Council England’s new 10-year strategy, Let’s Create.… 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
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
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