Projects in 2011
Programmes ending or continuing through 2011 included:
- Channel Q (2010-2014): a series of practical talks about diverse artists careers
- The Real World (2009-2014): philosophical and critical discussions for artists in their working lives
- <<3 Months in Berlin>> (2007-11, 2014): three month accommodation and studio residency with stipend, travel and materials budget
- Going Dutch (2010-2014): a three-month international studio residency with stipend, accommodation, travel and materials budget
One-off or short-term projects in 2011 were:
Selling Out (2011-12)
A series of talks and a bursary to encourage the practical and critical skills artists need to make money out of their practice. Responding to the idea that artists and makers in London are under increasing financial pressure, these seminars equipped artists with the knowledge they need to sustain their practice. It provided a practical project to test out ideas which can generate income through sales of editioned artworks. It was aimed at artists and makers at any stage in their careers that already had the necessary practical skills to create their own work – in printmaking and photography – but were looking for ways to develop new editions.
Talks were run in partnership with Four Corners (with a presentation by Emily and Anna of Contact Editions), London Print Studio (with a talk by Nobrow), and London Printworks Trust (with a talk by printmaker Linda Florence). Each also offered discounted membership for attendees to use their facilities to make new editions. Artist Paul Greenleaf was selected on application to receive a £1,000 bursary to make an edition for sale, recording his experiences for the Artquest website.
The New Economy of Art: panels and debates (2011-12)
A series of open discussions throughout 2011-12 that focus on the economic developments and opportunities in the cultural sector that impact on artists, from the perspective of artists. The series shared knowledge and provoked action to enable artists to influence the future ecologies and economies in which they operate. Talks included:
- Instituted by Artists (on organisational structures artists use and their motivations for doing so) with artist Barbara Steveni of the Artist Placement Group and Flat Time House, artist Alistair Gentry, James Early and John Hill of LuckyPDF, and Elinor Morgan from Wysing Arts Centre.
- Market Matters (on the complex and overlapping motivations behind various kinds of ‘art market’ from commercial galleries, private dealers and auction houses to art fairs, online selling and gift economies) with arts journalist Louisa Buck, gallerist Kate MacGarry and artist Matt Roberts. As well as the audio, below, a transcript of this session is available for download.
- What are we worth? Artists and the Economic Crisis (on how artists create income in support of their practice in a period of dramatic economic, social and technological change) with arts consultant John Kieffer, artist Zineb Sedira and artist Bob and Roberta Smith. As well as the audio, below, a transcript of this session is available for download.
The New Economy of Art was a collaboration between Artquest, the Contemporary Art Society and DACS. In 2014 Artquest and DACS published a book, The New Economy of Art, which drew on research instigated by these panel discussions and other debates.
Five commissioned film interviews with artists and gallerists talking about the legal issues they have faced in their work – copyright, appropriation, censorship, commissioning, and working with galleries – with comment from legal specialists.
Adhocracy a mini-festival celebrating D.I.Y. cultures, collective action, creativity and can-do attitudes: past, present and future, convened by New Work Network (now closed). Adhocracy included an alternative Fair; dialogues and panel discussions; demonstrations and How-To’s; a pedal-powered cinema and a night of Good Attitude. Artquest supported this event by facilitating contributions on artists collectives in Adhocracy’s Rally of Speeches from Marlene Smith and David Curtis / Biddy Peppin.
Festival of Blackboards
Venice Agendas: Soundings
Held in La Chiesa Anglicana di Venezia during the opening week of the 2011 Venice Biennale, Soundings was a three-day exhibition and series of events bringing together open critical discussions, artworks and readings that questioned the Biennale’s power as cultural commodity. National boundaries are being redrawn, cultural identities are being questioned and centres of global economies are shifting; these dialogues will focussed on culture as a global currency used as an expression of power through national identity.
Talks were on The Artist as Critic (with artist/writers Nathaniel Mellors, Richard Grayson, Martin Holman and Rachel Withers, with interventions from Jon Thompson and Lutz Becker), National Assets: peripatetic global cultures (with Beijing-based art writer Iona Whittaker, Jean Wainwright, artist Gayle Chong Kwan and Alan Haydon), and Hidden Agendas: Global Art Education and the Biennale Aesthetic (with Parsons Paris School of Art + Design Chloe Briggs, Ingrid Koenig and Mark Gaynor of Southampton Solent University and ELIA European League of Institutes of the Arts). The programme also included an exhibition by William Furlong: Passage of Time and Terry Smith: Naming the dead, and readings by Maria Morganti. Soundings was organised in partnership with workinprogress, Audio Arts, de la warr pavilion, Q-Art London, AICA UK and supported by St George’s Church, Sonica Studios, Nuova Icona.
A pilot project in the early days of crowdfunding, in collaboration with WeDidThis, that sought to support artists in the production of new work. As funds were not raised, the programme did not take place, but our learning from this experience led to new content on Artquest about crowdfunding for artists.
A one-off talk by Dr Peter Hill on his practice and the ideas around ‘Superfiction’.
Emerge seminars (2010-11)
A series of hands-on seminars and workshops to help artists sustain their practice. To accompany this season of events, five artists’ commissions took place in curating, peer mentoring and networking, setting up an artist led space, working in education and working collaboratively. Events were held at: The Showroom, (on setting up an artist run space); Enfield Civic Centre (on writing and speaking about your work), Salon Contemporary (on gallery education); Arts Depot, (on working collaboratively); Acme studios and Intervention Gallery (on curating).
E17 Art Trail
In Autumn 2011 Artquest supported E17 Art Trail: Walthamstow’s artist-led art festival across Waltham Forest. The Trail in 2011 had 258 events and venues – artist studios, galleries and pop-up events. E17 Art Trail is the brainchild of arts development organisation Artillery, whose aim is to support and promote local artists during the annual festival. The Trail, now in its seventh year, will present a myriad of events covering all art media, from a Poetry Trail to a Film Club, from a Designers market to exhibitions in shops, private homes, gardens, café’s and more. Artquest was present during various events, helping artists to make the most opportunities, and meeting with them over the length of the festival.