How to make it as an artist…

July 16th, 2013 | Posted by Annabelle in art - (Comments Off)

I follow these paths and still fail to make a living as an artist…..perhaps i just need to be a little more wierd, genetically modify my ivy and instead of saturating the web market go back to the local shop advertising board.

Fair Art

June 26th, 2013 | Posted by Julie in art | discussion | slideshow - (1 Comments)

G_ProtestFor the attention of anyone who has an interest in the display of any art in any environment at any time


Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost the perception that artists are of value. Art is seen as valuable, but somehow the process of creation, the energy and time of an individual are not.

Today, more than ever, we see artists being asked to provide their work and their services for free. This is not the usual cry of “woe is the impoverished artist” but rather a reminder that to ask someone to produce something for you for free is rude.

How can we begin to state the value of artists when the very people who love art, and want it to be a part of their lives either don’t even consider, or simply refuse to find money to support it?

For the avoidance of any doubt, the vast majority artists are freelance (not on a salaried wage). This means that when you ask for them to for their time and energy, they should be paid for it.

John Maynard Keynes, the first chair of the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1946, obtained government funds to promote music and the arts. As an economist he saw the value in encouraging cultural activities. We have a rich heritage of the value of our creative industries in the UK, and quite why artists are perceived in a different class we cannot understand.

You pay electricians to give you light, printers to print flyers, caterers to provide you drink, production and marketing companies to produce events. If you are paying for these professional services, why would you not pay the artists too? They are professional, working people.

Please do not put artists in the position of having to tell you that they cannot work for free. It is embarrassing. Your assumption that this is acceptable (for the glory! for the honor! for the exposure!), is not only wrong, but insulting, and you should stop perpetuating this. It is wrong.

To artists reading this – please think carefully about engaging in non-paid work. You are perpetuating the belief that artists are happy to work for free, and the message it sends out is that you view your skills as having very little value. The actions of one affect us all.

Please share this letter far and wide. Add this link to your email footer, to correspondence, to conversations, whenever this situation arises.

We hope this disrespectful situation, and this tired discussion, will fade.

Yours faithfully,

Market Project, for and on behalf of every artist that has been asked to work without recompense.



What are artists really worth? Funding, friction and the future of art. As artists find themselves at the end of the cultural food chain, Susan Jones suggests a new activism to reaffirm their status (Guardian) (“Did they promise you “exposure” or “a good portfolio piece”? [YES] “This is the most toxic line of bullshit anyone will ever feed you.”)

Making art Today

June 24th, 2013 | Posted by david kefford in art | discussion - (Comments Off)

making art today

I came across this on Facebook, but wanted to post on here for comments below

in conversation

May 20th, 2013 | Posted by david kefford in art | art education | discussion | event | gallery | research | venue - (Comments Off)

I will be in conversation with Judith Alder at the next Blue Monkey networking event on

Wednesday 29 May, 6 – 8pm

and offering 1-2-1 sessions with artists:

From the Towner website:

Introducing… David Kefford

We are pleased to welcome Cambridge-based artist, David Kefford, who will talk about his arts practice and projects he’s involved with including the artist run organisation, Aid & Abet which he co-founded in 2009. David is also a member of Market Project and a Trustee of Block 336, an artist run space in Brixton. He is currently a visiting lecturer at University of Hertfordshire.

Refreshments will be available (contributions welcome) or feel free to bring a bottle.

All welcome. FREE to Blue Monkey Network members; non-members £8.

We are pleased to offer artists the opportunity of a 1-2-1 session with David Kefford
to discuss aspects of their practice on Wednesday 29 / Thursday 30 May. Each
session will last around 45 minutes. To apply for a 1-2-1 please email
with the following information:
200 words about your work and what aspect of your practice you’d like to
discuss with David
a short cv (no more than 2 pages)
a link to your website if you have one

1-2-1s are FREE to Network members; £10 for non-members.
To book please e-mail:

A Little Patch of Ground

May 16th, 2013 | Posted by david kefford in art - (Comments Off)

How can you measure that art has an impact? In this brave new world, as circumstances drive arts organisations forward to become more business-minded and media savvy, we need to drill deeper into our understanding of arts audiences.

I have been thinking about how artists can really make a difference in the societies they find themselves in.  By the way when I talk of arts, I include music and drama not just painting, sculpture and crafts.  So after walking the dog to clear my head I am refreshed and hopefully raring to go!

I know from bitter personal experience that maintaining your own reflective practice in a utilitarian culture where your examination results justify your financial resources is extremely difficult.  Artists are the sector’s frontline, however it would appear that the basic working rights of this vital part of the workforce have been at best neglected, and at worst, ignored by those who are supposed to be our advocates.  In freeing the composer or artist to concentrate fully on their creative work, the effect is often to catalyse a whole scene; a whole genre or practice.

I am presently preparing to put on an exhibition of contemporary art and film in my local shopping centre which is completely self-funded and with no support from the local arts services whatsoever.  The current government’s idea of volunteers doing everything in the community for free (and by the way, who is now expected to co-ordinate, train, and ensure safety of these volunteers and the vulnerable people they are helping now that those jobs have been eroded too!? Nothing is for Free) will only fuel expectations of community artists doing things for free.

This complex attempt to metabolise or integrate multiple modes of experiencing oneself and the world both points to and reflects the very struggle of art making.  I have always found this experience fascinating and illuminating.  More experience does not equate with better decision making.

A text by Robert Good


The Seventh Marketeer

April 7th, 2013 | Posted by Alex Pearl in art - (1 Comments)

I think I’m the seventh anyway.
Hello, my name is Alex Pearl, I am a blogger. It is a while since I have blogged regularly but I thought as I had been invited to join this esteemed organisation that I would try to get on it with greater frequency. Nearmiss
I feel like a car starting in the cold.
We visited London yesterday to see Laure Provoust’s lovely film of her holiday in Italy. Laure is my facebook friend so I feel close to her, and like her work. Although at this point, it should be noted that I am also friends with Anita Zabludovicz, someone who claims to be an executive director of Debut Contemporary, a number of young ladies who keep asking me to look at their websites and say “lol” a lot, and many other folk who clearly think it would be great to be “connected” to me. Networking and trying to be an artist have been closely “connected” in the last few years with lots of opportunities to “connect” advertised everywhere. In fact there are many courses, run by other artists, teaching more artists how to become more “connected”. Its a bit of a dirty secret but I used to be considered somewhat of an expert in this field myself.

On the way home from London I showed Annabel Richard Serra’s public sculpture “Fulcrum” outside Liverpool Street Station. It is now possibly the biggest pissoir in the world, which just goes to show how things can set out to be one thing but turn out to be something else entirely.

Palace Art Fair

March 20th, 2013 | Posted by Annabel in art | event | exhibition - (Comments Off)

Come along I will be showing work in this with Renée Pfister


This ‘Me’ of Mine

February 25th, 2013 | Posted by Annabelle in art - (Comments Off)

Discovered today our own Annabel Dover is one of the artists participating in this project.

I like this project!

Annabelle Shelton

Some Fantastic Things

January 15th, 2013 | Posted by Annabel in art - (Comments Off)

Some lovely things I have seen recently:

Sankta Lucia at Westminster Cathedral.

Mindy Lee’s ‘buffet’ at WW Gallery.

WW Gallery shop.

Eleanor Moreton’s portrait painting in Ceri  Hand Gallery, the perfect place for it.

Inshore Fishing at Rokeby Gallery.

The incredibly intricate cut paper flowers of Mrs Delany (born 1700 died 1788) who took up her craft in her seventies.

Hugo Jeager’s photographs of Hitler’s apartment, for Time Magazine

Georgia Hayes show at Transition Gallery.

photo 3(1)

photo 1(2)

photo 5

photo 1(1)

photo 2(1)

photo 4(1)photo 4

Full of Eastern Promise

December 11th, 2012 | Posted by admin in art | discussion | notice | research - (6 Comments)

We’ve been quiet for a while because our official first programme of events and projects has ended, but we’re now thinking about what to do next. In January/February 2013 we’ll be publishing our first policy document, gathering some of our conclusions about what we’ve discovered over the past two years and sharing information we think all professional artists need to know, what best practice might look like in an ideal world, and who are the wrong ‘uns to always avoid (and why).

Two related possibilities are firstly the expansion of the group to include more professional East Anglian artists in the very successful learning, career development and peer support activities we’ve been doing on a small scale; secondly to facilitate mentoring by and for artists, not just on day-to-day career matters but on ethical, economic and personal matters (e.g. the gender pay gap, or managing a career as an artist when you have children) similar to some of the issues we’ve covered on this blog and at our live events. We know already that many artists are grappling with these issues on their own. We’d also like to bring artists together to address some of the failures, omissions and mis-steps of institutions in the region with regard to artist support. We already have some horror stories of our own– mentors who did it in a spirit of ego and competition instead of a spirit of generosity, so-called “experts” who provided totally basic (and sometimes wrong) information as if it was a great revelation, advisers who didn’t even bother to find out basic information about the person they were meant to be helping, lazy old handouts or Powerpoints about general matters, artist groups that are all talk and no action, and so on. We want to do this right, so help us by sharing how you think it should be done.

Some background information and research material:

Case studies from the Cultural Leadership Programme, including our Julie:

Julie Freeman

Helen Carnac

Members of Market Project will be discussing possibilities and experiences with mentoring and artist groups here, but everyone with an interest is encouraged to comment and contribute especially if you’re an artist who’d like to become part of an artist-led support network, or if you’d like to learn from or mentor other arts professionals. What knowledge or contacts do you think you need but don’t know how to get? If you’ve been mentored, critiqued or been critiqued, or worked with a group of artists or studio group, what were the good things about those things and what were the things you thought were wrong?