This blog is a brief response to the artwashing of the Great Exhibition of the North, particularly the inclusion of BAE Systems as a “premier partner” of the event, which is billed as the UK’s biggest event for 2018. There’s a campaign to force event organisers to remove BAE Systems from the list of sponsors and I’m a member, but I want to consider the following questions in relation to the scandal: a) Who really organises the exhibition?… READ MORE
This article was first published in print in Sluice Magazine and then on their website in 2017. I’ve decided to publish it on my website because I hope its content still resonates in 2018. It addresses issues of instrumentalism in the arts, artwashing, living creatively and cultural democracy. As I wrote in 2017, I believe “it is still possible to conceive of art as part of living creatively, as part of everyday life, as local cultural democracy, as artistic autonomy.”… READ MORE
I was kindly asked to talk alongside Labour MP Laura Pidcock, Jessie Jo Jacobs (Policy and Campaigns Officer, Northern TUC) and Ramona McCartney (National Officer for the People’s Assembly) at the People’s Assembly event, “In Place of Austerity”, in Newcastle on 20th January 2018. It was an incredibly inspiring day!… READ MORE
An amazing thing happened this week. The plans to redevelop Elephant and Castle shopping centre and the surrounding area by tax-avoiding, Tory-supporting property developer Delancey and London College of Communication/University of the Arts London where rejected (subject to confirmation on 30th January 2018) by Southwark Council’s planning committee.… READ MORE
Much has been written about V&A’s decision to purchase a part of Robin Hood Gardens: an ex-council estate; more recently social housing. The estate is currently being demolished to make way for Blackwall Reach – a luxury property development. … READ MORE
I was invited to lecture at Winchester School of Art on 3rd November 2017 as part of their Talking Heads series. This is a transcript of my lecture along with a link to my lecture slides (with notes) and a link to an edited recording of my discussion with Nick Stewart afterwards. … READ MORE
This is a short article that aims to explain my arguments about artwashing. It focuses on art’s long-standing relationship to property, power and publicity.
A brief art history of art, property and artwashing
Art has always been a form of property. During the Renaissance, art was the property of Royalty, the nobility and the church. … READ MORE
This is a response to Anna Francis’s article entitled ‘Artwashing’ gentrification is a problem – but vilifying the artists involved is not the answer . It includes comments from myself, Emily Jost, Rab Harling and Ewan Allinson.
Artwashing is a serious business and it is not something that’s planned or financed by artists. … READ MORE
This is my paper which I presented at the Northumbria-Sunderland AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training Art and Design Research Annual Conference at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead on 25th July 2017. Powerpoint and PDF versions can be downloaded here too…
Artists and arts organisations have always skirted the edges of gentrification.… READ MORE
I’ve written about the complex artwashing activities of Isle of Man registered V22 PLC and its “group” of associated companies before, first here, then an interlude, then a second piece here. This blog post seeks to reveal some of the interrelated layers of complexity involved in the artwashing of London’s art studios, regeneration areas, communities, ex-libraries and public buildings. … READ MORE