Burrell Road

August 12th, 2012 | Posted by Annabel in creative writing - (Comments Off)

We are moving soon out of the house that belongs to Bernard Reynolds’daughters. Bernard was a sculptor who worked for Henry Moore and made a lot of municipal sculpture, he also liked: ladies, moths, birds and skulls as is evident from the many physical traces he left in the house.

We are moving to Burrell Road. The first time we visited the house a forensic van was parked two doors down, the second time there was a drugs raid.
Our neighbours intrigue me. I met Sylvia the other day, her hand was soaking wet and she wore a lot of silver jewellery, her teeth were rotten but she seemed very friendly. The house next door to us I call ‘The Hairy House’. It looks as if it has been derelict for about twenty years and the EON man pointed out the cobwebs on the bins and the stacks of paintings on the sofa, grey with dust. Sylvia says ‘Oh no that’s Tony, he won’t answer the door’. There is a sound of constantly running water that reminds me of the Lake District coming form the back of Tony’s house and it’s green with moss. There are huge parts of roof missing and the garden is full of matted trees and brambles. Yesterday when I looked in our new back garden a child’s hula-hoop had been passed through Tony’s broken fence and placed on our flowerbed.

Apparently too there are three large underground tunnels that burrow under the road. They used to be used to store wine and were later used as air raid shelters.

Following her first publication, 12 Gallerists; 20 Questions (which Elaine blogged about here in 2011) Sarah Rowles has written another publication entitled – 11 Course Leaders; 20 Questions:

In this book Sarah Rowles asks eleven of London’s major BA Fine Art course leaders their views on the crisis (in art education) and how current pedagogical practice compares with their own art school education. She also talks to them about access, what they look for when selecting students, the processes they use in evaluating art, the benefits of art education, the importance of an institution’s reputation, where in art education the education takes place, and how art education influences the work we see in contemporary art galleries. The course leaders generously share their knowledge of the history of art education, the amalgamation of art schools into universities, and give their predictions on how the impending tuition fee increases will affect those who are thinking about studying art.

To find out more about Q-Art London there is an interesting article in  The Contemporary London:  an artistic community, an online platform and a commercial space


Book Launched

April 24th, 2012 | Posted by david kefford in books | creative writing | event | research - (Comments Off)

Market Project book launch, Monday 23rd April

April 3rd, 2012 | Posted by admin in art | books | creative writing | event | slideshow - (Comments Off)

Market Project is delighted to launch our first publication, comprising a collection of specially commissioned texts about each artist in the group. These insightful, critical and engaging texts have been written by a varied group of authors, including art critics, historians, journalists and artists. Our commissioned writers (with their artist subjects in parentheses) are: Iain Aitch (Alistair Gentry), Matthew Bowman (Elaine Tribley), Laura Havlin (Helen Judge), Martin Kemp (Julie Freeman), Mark Leahy (Martha Winter), Carol Mavor (Annabel Dover), David Rayson (Annabelle Shelton) and Cherry Smyth (David Kefford).

Each text is illustrated with full-colour reproductions of selected works, individually designed (in collaboration with Marcia Mihotich) and printed to enable the book to be produced as one complete object and also broken down into separate components. An introduction to Market Project and its activities over the last two years has been written by Market Project’s curatorial member, Laura Earley. The complete book is a limited edition of 250.

Please join us for our book launch on Monday 23rd April 2012 at the Contemporary Art Society in London, 18.30-20.30. RSVP transactions [at] marketproject.org.uk.

Why don’t artists support art?

February 16th, 2012 | Posted by Alistair in art | creative writing | discussion - (Comments Off)

Although the linked article relates to literature and to aspiring writers, the principle is similar in other creative fields. A small US publisher has instigated a new rule: to submit work to them for publication, you must prove you’ve bought a book from your local bookseller. Why? The article explains:

“The publishing industry faces an odd set of supply-demand imbalances. Supply of printed books outstrips demand, which is why remainder tables get piled sky-high, publisher layoffs abound, and author advances have wilted. Supply of writers also outstrips demand for their services, which is why the statistics about getting an agent for your book are so dismal.

But wait. There is a glitch in this economic equation. If so many writers are desperate to be published, those same “so many” should also be reading books, right?—doing to unto others, and all that. Theoretically—or common-sensically—each writer is also a reader, and thus there should as healthy a demand for reading material as there are writers who want to be published. Even more, you have to read in order to write. So it should be a big traffic circle—writers to readers, readers to writers, of supply and demand. Right?

Clearly not. Literary magazines, which traditionally are great places for new writers to break in, receive enormous numbers of submissions—thousands more than they can accept. Yet these same magazines sell barely enough copies to survive. This can only be so if people do not buy the publications into which they seek entry (although some of them may be reading them at the library).

What we have is a glut of people who want to be writers, who do not buy the consumer products of the industry they are seeking to join. This is not exactly the same as everyone wanting free content online, though it is analogous to, say, thousands of wannabe newspaper reporters never shelling out 50 cents for the local paper, or graduates of magazine feature writing courses refusing to pay for magazines.”

(read the whole thing by Anne Trubek at http://www.good.is/post/why-don-t-more-writers-buy-books )

Having worked in fiction editorial and looked at writing submissions, I can confirm that it is not only common but near universal for people who claim they are (or want to be) professional writers to have barely or never looked at, let alone bought or supported, anything by the publisher they’re expecting to work with. (more…)

Market Expansion

November 21st, 2011 | Posted by admin in creative writing | R&D | research - (Comments Off)

We’re pleased to announce that Matt Roberts is joining Market Project to work on developing new opportunities for us all, and on the long-term strategy and survival of Market Project as an artist-led group. We’ll also be keeping in touch with and possibly working with some of the other applicants for the Advocate role that we advertised a few months ago. The standard of applicants was very high and we’d really like to sincerely thank everyone who took the trouble to make a proposal.

We have also commissioned eight writers for our forthcoming publication: Iain Aitch, Laura Havlin, Andrew Hunt, Martin Kemp, Mark Leahy, Carol Mavor, Cherry Smyth and Paul Wright. More details on who they are, what they’re writing, and links to their work soon. In the case of potential writers, too, we were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of applicants for these commissions: again, there are writers we couldn’t commission on this occasion but will definitely be keeping in touch with.

Artist beware

October 5th, 2011 | Posted by Alistair in art | creative writing | research - (Comments Off)

Writer Beware is an excellent mini-site warning of the scams, psychological tricks or outright lies of people and companies who prey upon the ambitions and enthusiasm of aspiring writers. Do not under any circumstances be put off by the fact that this is overtly aimed at writers, or that it’s under the aegis of  a membership organisation called the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America: this site gives solid, sensible and unhysterical advice that applies across all the creative genres and media, particularly with regard to contests and awards. They offer a sensible series of questions to ask of anyone who is offering you what may just be, as Writer Beware puts it, “an ‘opportunity’ to spend more money.” The site also emphasises the importance of knowing the law (especially copyright and intellectual property law), knowing your rights and sticking up for those rights.

They also name and shame without any compunction at all, which is exactly what the art world needs. Obviously this kind of business is also targeted at artists, as I’ve previously described on this site and as is evident to anyone who regularly looks at “opportunity” listings for artists in magazines or online. Unsurprisingly, it also seems that Writer Beware has almost immediately provoked (anonymous and trollish, obviously) backlash and pushback from “concerned individuals” who want to justify these rip off merchants and (brilliant phrase) contest mills and don’t like having a spotlight shone on them.

Comment below, if you like, with the names of particularly scammy “competitions” or galleries dedicated to milking artists. We’ll happily publish them all. Somebody should.

Reasons to be [t]here

August 31st, 2011 | Posted by Alistair in art | creative writing | discussion | exhibition | slideshow - (Comments Off)

In October, with my Market Project hat on, I’ll be taking part in a panel discussion at the contra-Frieze, artist-led Sluice Art Fair in London with Jasper Joffe and our own former guest Cathy Lomax of Transition Gallery. More details about this event on the site very soon.

Meanwhile, I’ve just returned from a visit to Venice and la Biennale. I’m writing extensively about that trip on my own blog soon, but for discussion here I thought I’d share something from the Romanian pavilion. It was scrawled on the wall outside the pavilion, to be specific.  The indoor exhibition itself was ghastly… just so, so bad. I don’t know why they bothered. Not that they seem to have bothered a great deal, anyway. GCSE level stuff.

It was hard to tell from the vague, rambling documentation precisely who was responsible for this text, so for now I’ll give credit to the artists Anetta Mona Chişa and Lucia Tkáčová who seemed to be the main artists responsible for perpetrating the exhibition. Corrections or clarifications about authorship are welcome from anyone better informed. Despite the dreadfulness of the actual “art”, I thought this cheeky, blunt graffiti nailed a number of the thoughts that buzz around in the heads of artists or curators at these things, although they’re rarely admitted to or articulated so frankly: (more…)

Too Many Writers?

August 27th, 2011 | Posted by admin in art | creative writing - (9 Comments)

Never mind Too Many Artists, our recently advertised paid writing commissions have uncovered a massive swathe of people desperate to write professionally about art and artists, but rarely or never given the chance. More about this interesting phenomenon at a later date, especially with regard to how difficult it is for new writers to scale the walls of art magazines and publishers.

To reduce the drudgery of sending out literally hundreds of emails, the detailed application information for the writing commissions and the advocate role are now available (in a single document) for direct download on the JOB MARKET page. Applications are still due by October 1st and we will get back to applicants during the month following the deadline.

Please note that each artist is assessing their own applicants on a rolling basis, so it’s possible that a writer for a particular artist may be appointed early. We’ll try to let you know (definitely here on the website, personally if we can) if this happens. Several of the artists are currently in negotiations. In other words, we will consider anyone with the right qualifications and experience but don’t leave it until 23.59 on the 30th of September to make your application.

Advocate applications will be assessed by all nine members of Market Project after the October 1st deadline.

PS Most people’s applications are appropriate, but a few are not. Please don’t apply blind. Follow our guidelines, look at the web site and research the artists. Please read the guidelines we have laid out for your benefit and our sanity, read our website, see the Facebook page, and follow on Twitter, etc.

PPS Edited slightly on 29/08 for clarity and neutrality in light of Dr. Goett’s comment.

The crowded Job Market

August 18th, 2011 | Posted by admin in art | creative writing - (Comments Off)

We’re extremely pleased with all the expressions of interest for the writing and advocate posts we’ve been advertising, but as you might expect we’re being deluged with emails. We will get back to everyone in due course with the detailed brief, but please bear with us while we process all the messages. The deadline for applications is October 1st.

And don’t bother selling yourself too much at this stage, we’re sending the brief out to you all so we don’t waste too much of your time if your skills and ideas don’t fit with our aims at the moment (or vice versa and we’re not right for you). We also won’t accept or ask for texts written on spec- you’ll be offered the writing commission and a contract, then you’ll work with the artist to write something about them. That’s how things should be…