The 'economic downturn' the UK currently faces provides unprecedented opportunities for artists in terms of spaces to show or create new work, while cutting back on opportunities for funding.
There have been numerous articles in national and regional newspapers on projects taking place in the UK that see artists taking over disused or closed shop spaces for exhibitions and studios:
- Evening Standard – Rowan Moore on the use of closed Woolworths stores as art galleries and projects
- Independent – Chalres Darwent on the use of a closed Marks and Spencer store in Margate used for exhibition space
- Guardian – Robert Booth on the use of vacant shops as art projects on the UK’s high streets
- Lancashire Evening Post – project using spaces earmarked for demolition for art presentation
- The Sunday Herald (Glasgow) – project where prime retail space was lent to an artist for a month rather than remain empty after a clothing store departed
Previous projects also include the Encounters project in Sheffield, which worked in disused shop spaces in the city centre.