Workweek Prize

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The sixth annual Workweek Prize will award £1,000 to a critical, risk-taking project taking part in Art Licks Weekend, open to independent artist-led spaces, and independent curatorial projects without a fixed venue.

Artquest initiated this prize in 2013 when Art Licks Weekend began, and now award a prize of £1,000 to be shared amongst the organiser and exhibiting artists.

Art Licks Weekend supports and promotes artist-led and small-scale exhibitions and projects in east and south-east London. The Workweek Prize celebrates and encourages artist-led and independent curatorial projects and their support of the local and international art scene.

Applicants to the 2018 Art Licks Weekend who opted-in on the application form were considered for the Workweek Prize. The shortlist will be published here, and judging takes place on the weekend of exhibitions and events, 4-7 October 2018. Follow us on Instagram to join our judging.


The winner of the Workweek Prize is the shortlisted candidate who presents, in the judges’ opinion, an exhibition / project that:

  • Displays a high level of critical awareness of current artistic practices
  • Engages with a broad range of publics, outside of the traditional art world
  • Produces work that is risk-taking, innovative and timely, and displays the strong collaborative approach that helps artist-led activity succeed

2018 shortlist

12ø Collective / jus chatting

Thursday 4 – Sunday 7 October: various times and locations for booked discussion sessions

12ø (Lou Macnamara and Eva Duerden) are offering ‘arts sector services’ and any skills they’ve gained from being in an ‘arts organisation’ as bookable hourly sessions over the course of the weekend. Taking themselves outside the ‘formal’ curator role 12ø will use all of their hats: whether as a peer mentor, fellow ranter, friend, comrade, outside-opinion-fresh-eyes, (assistant) curator, artist, film maker/editors, posing as Adobe Creative Suite experts, facilitator, cheerleader or odd-job-jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none.

Taking place across London they will meet ‘participants’ in their choice of location: ideally visiting Art Licks Weekend events, studio visits or other locations, and they’ll get the coffees (or equivalent alternatives).

Influenced by The White Pube’s practice of Art dates and John Freyer’s Free Hot Coffee, with nothing ‘physical or tangible’ produced, the works will be created from encounters with people over the weekend, the conversations had, skills shared and friendships founded. This project was devised from FOMO: having taken part in Art Licks Weekend for the last 3 years, 12ø has never been able to fully experience the events as a spectator and they got jealous.

fivehundredthousand gallery / The World Tour

Saturday 6 October, 6pm: send-off event

As a response to moving out of their Dalston location and being temporarily unhoused, fivehundredthousand gallery have negotiated a world tour. With hosts in 18 countries across Europe, USA, South America and Asia, they will show work in more locations than Larry Gagosian to become the largest gallery in the world. Each venue will curate a show of work posted to them from London, enabling artists to show abroad, while meeting and working with people from places that cannot be visited due to financial constraints.

For Art Licks Weekend, a send-off event, as if a maiden voyage, will take place, with work packed into a specially constructed shipping crate and picked up by our van driver to be taken away. It will act as a public event marking their attempt at establishing a global community, and an event of meeting for those attending.

MilesKm / La Guarida

Saturday 6 September, 6-9pm: exhibition opening
Sunday 7 September, 3.30-5pm: seminar, followed by communal potluck lunch

MilesKm presents La Guarida, an event to showcase the history of their collaborative research programme, discuss current strategies for collectivity, and launch their next project, Tregua.

Itself used to navigating and existing on the periphery – be it on the peripheries of the art world, the arts education system or the geography of the spaces that they have inhabited – MilesKm produces research and residency programmes that challenge models of how arts-oriented groups should aim to exist. MilesKm has never tried to operate in the centre of the bubble, more interested in finding opportunity and collaboration on the fringes. Operating locally while thinking internationally, it has developed tactics to work without the funding or support that limits expectations: instead, it constantly overstretches itself in its desire to think and act big.

For Art Licks Weekend, MilesKm will create and screen a film that addresses the groups’ seven-year existence, illuminates wider group working practices, reflects on their challenges, and records what they have learned. The exhibition will include a participatory seminar bringing together collective practices from London and across Europe to discuss new economies in the periphery, followed by a communal lunch and the launch of Tregua.

Optimistic Foundation / HSCB (Hoe Street Central Bank)

Friday 5 October, 7-10pm: launch event

HSCB (Hoe Street Central Bank) is open in the former Co-Op Bank on Hoe Street in the London suburb of Walthamstow. Hoe Street Central Bank is the centre of a cultural act of citizen money creation. A crack team of local people have been working to print £50,000 worth of artwork/banknotes on which, in place of the Queen, feature leaders of the local foodbank, homeless kitchen, youth project and primary school. As they are exchanged for pounds sterling, they raise money for each cause and the HSCB debt abolition fund – enabling the purchase and literal explosion of £1 million of local predatory debt.

The bank is a key part of the feature documentary film Bank Job bringing together a community to examine how money and debt are made in our current economic system and look for alternatives that may work more in the public’s favour.

For Art Licks Weekend, HSCB opens its doors to host a public production line printing bonds in the collectively owned and distributed explosion of debt, an installation exhibition of all work produced in the bank and events exploring art, documentary film and social change.

Our guest judge for 2018 is Helen Nisbet. Helen is a curator working on independent and partnership projects across the UK and internationally. She is Artist Advisor on Syllabus IV with Wysing Arts Centre, S1 Art Space, InIVA, Studio Voltaire, Spike Island and East Side Projects; a Visiting Lecturer at the RCA and a member of the Arts Council Collection’s Acquisitions Committee. Previously she was Curatorial Fellow at Cubitt Gallery from January 2017 – June 2018 and has worked with organisations including Open Source, Creative Time, the Contemporary Art Society and the Arts Council Collection where she organised a series of 8 commissions to celebrate the collection’s 70th anniversary in 2016.


Previous winners of the Workweek Prize are:

Art Licks Weekend: Peripheries

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