Tag Archives: contemporary art society

What’s the Point?

When my son was small, if he was asked to do something he thought was irrelevant – such as: darling….would you like to make your bed today? – his answer would invariably be, what’s the point?  He was right of course.  If he wanted to leave his bed unmade, then that was his responsibility.  Since then, this question has become a family catchphrase.

(experimental poster no.2)

Now, at this very juncture in my life, I find myself asking the same question.  What is art for?  What’s the Point of it?  Why do I feel compelled to ‘make’ art?  Where exactly in the ‘bigger picture’ do I fit in?  What is the importance of art and artists in the cultural context of today and could we all live without it / them?

Firstly, as Paul Hobson ( Dir. Contemporary Art Society) said, there is no doubt that artists are the ‘oxygen’ of the art market.  Without them (us), there would be no art industry at all.  It helps pump life blood into the networks that support the galleries, public and private collectors, residencies, critics, writers, teachers, art schools, public art institutions, technicians, designers etc – not to mentions other branches of the creative professions, such as choreography, film making or acting etc. – and helps to turnover billions of dollars in the world economy.

However, like small UK dairy farmers today, most artists are at the bottom rung of the ladder in terms of earning potential.  Only a handful of artists are destined for stratospheric stardom with eye-popping incomes to match.  There is no doubt that the more successful artists do possess a high degree of self-belief.  The question is, why do so many of us take up such a precarious existence?  A conservative estimate by Arts Blueprint1 for workforce development drawn up by Creative and Cultural Skills (CCS) suggested there were 28,490 visual artists in 2009.   I shall be pondering this for my next post.  In the meantime, dear followers, please let me know if you have any ideas on the subject.


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Filed under Personal Philosophy, Posters, The Art Business

‘Art and Money’ Event (2/3)

On Monday, and thanks to Jane’s invitation, I attended the Art & Money event at Plymouth College of Art.  It was a fantastic professional development day and a great networking opportunity aimed at critically engaged artists.  The event was presented by Visual Arts South West in partnership with Plymouth College of Art and Creative Skills with support from Contemporary Art Society. (See the link to find out more).  The last in a series of three Art & Money events is coming up next week in Bridport (check out the programme) and which I would like to attend……already raiding the piggy bank for petrol money!

Two tiny gems from the day that stick in my mind are:

  • never approach a gallery – wait for them to find you!
  • never lose sight of the fact that its always about the work!

I even managed to dash back to Falmouth in time to attend the last of the Summer’s MA Lectures given by Cornelia Parker, an artist I greatly admire.  What a fabulous day!

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Filed under my sketchbook pages, Professional Development