This is the transcript of my talk entitled Cultural Democracy, Community Development and the Old/New Normal which I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to present at the Imagine Belfast Festival on 28th March 2021. It’s about re-enchanting our art, cultures and everyday lives.
Sheelagh Colcough, David Boyd, Conor Shields and I had a great conversation after the talk which could have gone on a lot longer.
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.
Remember what is was like to be sung to sleep. If you are fortunate, the memory will be more recent than childhood.
mUCH MORE THAN MAKING DO
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.
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 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 review was first published in November 2017 for Artworks Alliance. It was the first review of the book which is published by Bloomsbury and can be purchased here. I am publishing it on my blog in the hope of stimulating new discussion around cultural democracy, community arts and everyday art and creativity – an area I’m working on quite a lot at the moment.… READ MORE
I believe that there is not enough emphasis placed upon understanding the theoretical and historical perspectives and contexts of ‘participation’ that are, for me, crucially important to both practice and research that engages with people, place, power and politics. Similarly, I also believe that, whilst this field is situated within ‘the social’, there is not enough emphasis on how practice and research may fit with broader understandings of art and society, nor, for that matter, with wider theoretical from other interrelated disciplines. … READ MORE
This is a guest blog by Martin Daws. Martin is a Spoken Word Poet and Community Artist. Full-time freelance since 1999. Young People’s Laureate for Wales 2013-2016. Check out his website and follow him on Twitter.
Martin came up with the idea of paying artists to work with communities instead of “investing” millions of pounds in “capital projects” such as arts centres. … READ MORE