The symposium I went to last night. Panel of speakers included Marcus Harvey, Rosalind Davies, Katie Goodwin, chaired by Sharon Kivland.
Tonights discussion danced between the differing stories/opinions/experiences and ways that these three artists sustain themselves as artists.
Here are my notes from last night's talk:
Sharon Kivland opened with:
Artist's time - how and when does an artist 'clock off' - are we always working?
Grayson Perry quote: 'put the hours in, turn up, and be nice'
Katie Goodwin's talk took us through a diaristic journey of the last two years since graduating, including the highs and lows of being able to call yourself an artist when you're working or being paid, versus needing to get a day job to live and suddenly feeling like you're not an artist. She shared her successes in applying for open submissions and obtaining a grant from the Wellcome Trust enabling her to make an art film she wanted to make, through to invitations to show work both nationally and internationally.
Katie is premiering her new film made in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust on Tuesday 17th September at ArtLacuna - please join us for the opening night + there is a symposium on Saturday 21st September, see here: Small Wonders
Rosalind Davies: Approach curators who might like your work, make your own networks and opportunities.
Rosalind sells works, and spoke of nurturing relationships, and has directly contacted people who have shown an interest in her work or bought her work.
Rosalind's key points: EXPAND your network and RESEARCH. Offer to do more than has been asked of you; promote, add bonus things, offer a talk to go with your/a show.
The three *R's: Be: Resourceful, Reliable, Responsible - ENGAGE
Marcus Harvey then blew most things out of the water: Being an artist is not a career choice; you're born like that, it's a compulsion. There is a lot of *shit* out there. Sustainability becomes commercial and this can be problematic. Your compulsion is what sustains you. Slippery knot of self expression. Commercial - can be distasteful and can be beautiful.
It's different now (to when he graduated), life is much more difficult - monetisation has such a central presence. How within that can you explore your practice; what you're interested in; conceptual models? Studios are expensive. There's too much emphasis on a financial trajectory on leaving art school & colleges don't work. Get a job (make a job? - my notes) Your commitment will get you through.
Marcus - told us he got his degree 30 years ago, after a while he got a job and then got a studio and began making work when time permitted. DIY era now due to economics partly. Publications with good critical content have collapsed in a way. Make it work yourself. Foster support networks. Look after and maintain your own peer group. This is Gold.
In the question time, these are some of the other nuggets I picked up:
SK: oppositional space is where good art can flourish (not tainted by commercialism)
MH: Don't worry too much about getting it out there and being seen, make the work, people will find it/you through the ether/vibration - if someone wants to find something out they will seek it, one doesn't need to push things in people's faces
RD: if you call yourself an artist, educate people as to what this means, show you value yourself and the work you do as an 'artist'
Please note, these are my notes scribbled down whilst sitting in the audience and attempting to catch all in my auditory net. I'm not quoting verbatim, but gathering the gist of words and ideas shared last night.
Thought I would share with you.