Projects in 2012
Ongoing projects starting and/or running through 2012 included
- AWP Internships (2012-current): Paid high-quality internships at small London arts organisations
- Primer (2012-current): ebook aimed at new graduates about the first steps of practicing as an artist
- Lifeboat (2012-2019): studio residency programme for new fine arts graduates
- 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
- Selling Out (2011-2012): Talks programme and award for artist run in partnership with London based production facilities to create a commercially viable edition
One off programme in 2012 included:
A series of audio interviews with artists originally broadcast on Resonance FM about artists attitudes to money
Make Art Pay
Artist Katharine Morling, designer silversmith Shona Marsh and potter Billy Lloyd are at different stages in their career and in 2012 had been practicing respectively for nine, seven and four years. They discuss in detail different types of funding they have received, how (not) to approach galleries, how they have gained commissions and awards and how do they promote and sell work. This series was produced in collaboration with Cockpit Arts.
Two different approaches to selling work from Rosalind Davis and All Cats are Grey (Delphine Parot & Ovannak You) as part of 2012 Enterprise Week at UAL. Talks covered how to keep hold of your collectors, how to promote your project to gain some funding and how to sell more by pricing correctly.
Mixing It Up: An Intergenerational Perspective
a series of short films, documenting dialogues between artists / artist groups from different generations exploring how they have sustained their practices over the years both from a practical and critical perspective. A partnerships between Artquest and New Work Network (now closed). Mixing It Up addresses the similarities and differences between the contexts, modes and conditions of their respective artistic practices from the generations of some of those who practiced through the late 60’s up until now. These films also interrogate the sustainability of these practices (financial, motivational, environmental, political) and create opportunities for intergenerational learning between the artists as well as a better understanding of these practices for audiences.
IP for Curators
A talks series on IP issues for curators organising exhibitions with newly commissioned or existing work, hosted by Chelsea College of Art and Design. Both talks included a presentation by a law specialist who considered the issues from a legal perspective.
- Organising an exhibition with existing work, on what you need to consider when putting on an exhibition using existing works of art, including loan agreements, clearing rights, licensing for promotion, merchandising and publications. With David Hall, Collections Registrar for Artists Rooms at Tate
- The commissioning process, on best practice when commissioning artists to produce new work for a show, moral rights and what you should consider when you develop a project collaboratively. With independent exhibitions organiser and curator Hannah Liley
A report and debate on internships in the visual art sector which led to our AWP Internships programme.
In May 2012, Artquest published Intern Culture, a literature review of 23 reports, guidelines and policy documents since 2008, along with a summary of our findings. These sometimes conflicting and contradictory guides have served to inform – and confuse – organisations looking to hire interns, as well as interns themselves, leaving low-paid workers vulnerable to exploitation and unaware of their rights, and organisations in danger of breaking national minimum wage legislation. Our report and web resources provide interns with information on their rights, and organisations seeking interns an understanding of the legal context within which they operate. It was researched and written by Dr. Sophie Hope, Lecturer, Department of Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck, University of London and Joanna Figiel, then a PhD candidate at Centre for Cultural and Policy Management, City University London.
To celebrate the launch of the report Intern Culture and extend the conversation into the sector, Artquest chaired a debate at The Showroom during The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON in October 2012, encouraging artists, arts professionals and representatives of art organisations to participate with their experience and opinions. At the end of the debate action points to promote change were compiled by the audience. Speakers at the debate were Dr. Sophie Hope, Director of Q-Art Sarah Rowles, and former social worker and artist Tracey Smith.
Research and interviews published on a blog on artists attitudes and experiences of money, later used as the basis of our revised Money advice and information section.
Artists are always thought to be ‘not in it for the money’, but we all have bills to pay, holidays to go on and sometimes children to raise. How do you balance work, life and practice without selling out? Money Talks took the form of a blog and aimed to bring you useful and practical insights from practising visual artists, makers and cultural commentators. Money Talks emerged from research in 2009, The Funding and Finance Needs of Artists (PDF), where we asked 300 artists to tell us their experiences of funding and finance – where they get income, what they spend money on, and their general attitudes to loans, grants and other forms of income generation. The report, by Claire Antrobus Consulting, uncovered some startling results:
- 45% of respondents felt strongly they don’t have the funding or finance they need to make and develop their practice.
- Only 16% of respondents sell work.
- 66& of artists make less than £15,000 per annum.
- 68% spend less than £5,000 on their work per annum.
- 48% of artists make their primary income from non-arts related work.
- About 80% of respondents applied to Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts fund (replaced in 2018 by Project Grants) with just under half being successful.
- Personal finance and informal lending and donations from friends and family form a significant part of the artists’ economy.
- 93% of artists are ‘not sure’ of their loan finance options.
- 60% of artists plan their finances less than 12 months ahead.
A series of craft focused films, explored many of the legal issues that makers face when showing, selling or distributing their work
Own-it TV was a collaboration between Own-it (now closed) and Artquest. This series of craft-focused films, explored many of the legal issues that makers face when showing, selling or distributing their work, presented through actual craft practice in a range of specialisms. Videos include presentations by jeweller Angie Boothroyd, ceramicist Jo Heckett, jeweller Ruth Tomlinson, and ceramicist Helen Johanneseen.
10 films to mark Artquest’s 10th anniversary in which we asked artists for their survival tips and how Artquest impacted on their careers. These films now form the basis for a number of our Artist Voices section.
Museum for Skills
A one-day conference in May 2012 examining the role and value of skills in the crafts, and how we go about acquiring the skills we need. As humans we identify the need, invent and then develop the skills and tools to make. Man has come a long way from the rudimentary stone tools of the Palaeolithic period of 2 million years ago to the ability to make and use the rapid prototyping machines of today. As arts professionals what skills do we need and value? What skills do we want to preserve for future generations? And what are the skills we need to acquire for the future? Where are the depositories for collecting valuable knowledge and intangible know-how?
Museum for Skills brought together thinkers and practitioners from outside of the arts who each have specific interests in skills, their development and future. The resulting talks and discussions aimed to provoke new and unexpected thinking on what skills the arts sector needs for the future and how we can use them.
Speakers were Dr Iain McGilchrist, author, former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and former Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital, London; Professor Trevor H.J. Marchand, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS, University of London and former architect; and Professor Roger L. Kneebone PhD FRCS FRCSEd FRCGP, former surgeon and Professor of Surgical Education at Imperial College London. The conference was chaired by Jørn Mortensen, Dean of Visual Arts at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO). Breakout discussions were led by Professor Neil Forrest of NSCAD and KHiO; Rosy Greenlees of the Crafts Council; Professor Jorunn Veiteberg, Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen; textile artist Franz Schmidt, curator Daniel Charney; jeweller Sigurd Bronger amongst others. Museum for Skills was a collaboration between Norske Kunsthåndverkere, Artquest and ArtProjects and Solutions. The conference was generously hosted by the British Council.
Talks series as part of graduate week that looked at the key areas graduating artists need to focus on the develop their careers.
Research residency for jewellery designer and choreographer Sarah Warsop at The British Library
Interview series with Columbian artist Juan Pablo Echeverri on the art scene in Colombia compared to that in the UK.