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 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
It’s been almost 50 years since Jennie Lee published her white paper A Policy for the Arts – The First Steps (1965). It was Britain’s first state arts policy. Some revere it. For others, the white paper ushered in a period of government instrumentalism in the arts, increasing the powerful influence of the Arts Council.… READ MORE
I have always been perplexed when people talk of “quality”. It’s a strangely powerful word, given that it is essentially neutral. Colloquially, people say things like, “He’s a quality player,” meaning that the person has an excellent footballing attribute (or attributes): goal scoring, tackling, whatever. … READ MORE
What a week. A great week. A deeply challenging week. A week which saw me invited to Arts Council England’s HQ in Bloomsbury Street, London, thanks to CidaCo and Anamaria Wills in particular, to present a resilience lab to almost thirty people from arts organisations from Birmingham and South East London. … READ MORE
Our regular contributor Stephen Pritchard has kindly agreed to review for The #culturalvalue initiative ‘Evaluation Survey of Artists’, a recent report by ArtWorks, one of the Paul Hamlyn’s Foundation’s Special Initiatives.
This link takes you to a really interesting piece by the BBC from 2012 exploring how Occupy use arts as a powerful means of producing counter-hegemonic discourse with big public impact. Features Illuminator 99%.… READ MORE
I have been a long-time admirer of the amazingly simple, incredibly expressive and exceptionally impactful work of activist arts movement Illuminator 99%. Their work epitomises, for me, the spirit of Occupy and other non-hierarchical counter-hegemonic movements. This video is the first of two I wish to post to (hopefully) stimulate some discussion around arts, activism and social justice.… READ MORE
This is the fifth post taken from my draft literature review which is part of my on going PhD research centred around the question: Can participatory art support sustainable social change? Previous posts are below. This is a rough and ready document I just wanted to put out there. It will be refined. … READ MORE
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