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?

Sluice 2012, 22-24 October

October 18th, 2012 | Posted by admin in art | books | event | exhibition | gallery | notice | slideshow - (Comments Off)

Exhibition of works for sale in a silent, blind and anonymous auction; these have been donated by over fifty artists (including Market Project’s Annabel Dover and Alistair Gentry) to contribute to the return of the artist-led and artist-centred Sluice Art Fair in 2013. Alistair was on Sluice Art Fair’s discussion panel in 2011, with his Market Project hat on. Our David’s Aid & Abet is also involved, as is our former guest Cathy Lomax’s Transition Gallery.

See the work Monday 22 October- Wednesday 24 October, 12-6 daily. Then come to the book launch and reception at Hanmi Gallery, 30 Maple Street, London W1T 6HA from 6-9pm on Wednesday 24th to see who has been lucky enough to walk away with the work they bid for.

PS: Hanmi has a sister gallery in Seoul, which is in fact Gangnam Style.


August 31st, 2012 | Posted by david kefford in art | notice - (Comments Off)

In light of the massive (but tasty) can of worms opened by this post about Debut Contemporary, I thought I would remind people that the provision of paid services by any company in England is covered by English law. London, where many British artist-related organisations are based, is in England by the way.  Duh, you might say in both cases, of course it is.

My point is that having read or heard some of the recent accounts about the appalling way artists are treated by various organisations to whom they have paid a fee for services, one might like to devote special attention to aspects of English law such as those pertaining to misleading action, deliberate omissions, aggressive sales, etc:


And the law pertaining to invoices for payment that are mysteriously much higher than expected, “cowboy” services, charlatanry in general, and so forth:



Artists can also find legal information relating specifically to their profession and arts services at www.artquest.org.uk and www.a-n.co.uk. Obviously neither this quick post, nor any of the other resources linked here are any substitute for common sense and keeping your wits about you, or for consulting a proper legal representative where necessary. But knowledge is power and you are certainly not powerless in the face of bad practice if you know your rights and assert them fearlessly. If you’re paying for a service, you are a customer. It doesn’t matter if you or somebody else calls it mentoring, a residency, or whatever. If you’re paying, you’re the customer and you have a customer’s rights. The rest of the UK, Europe, the USA and most other developed countries have very similar systems of legal redress for customers wronged by service providers. Wherever you are, I suggest that you start using them.

10 Things

June 16th, 2012 | Posted by david kefford in art | notice - (4 Comments)

… That Should Never Be Said to Artists (But Still Are)

1. Can you do the artwork/design for this event for free, it will be a good promotional piece for you. Get you some word of mouth advertising.

2. Mom Look! That painting is just like that picture you downloaded from the internet and got framed for the living room.

3. Wow. You charge THAT much? You make it look so easy.

4. If you don’t make it so detailed… just scribble something down… Can I get it cheaper?

5. If you use that piece from last year and change it a little can I get it cheaper? You already have most of it done.

6. I can use a Photoshop filter to do the exact same thing.

7. You are lucky… you don’t have to work, you just have to sit down and draw/paint all day.

8. Can you do the design/illustration for my {event} invitations? I’ll get you in for free.

9. Wow… you are a REALLY good automotive/architectural/landscape/floral artist… can you paint my dog?

10. My son/daughter is 9 and is a really good artist just like you.

The Market Project book is now available to buy. It’s a limited edition of 250. It costs £20 + £5 postage and packing, from art book shops (soon) or directly from us. Contact transactions@marketproject.org.uk to buy one. We’ve been told it’s rather beautiful by people who know what they’re talking about…

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). The texts are as diverse and unique as the artists themselves, with scholarly critical examinations joined by frank interviews, fairy stories, or other poetic, creative responses.

Read more about the book or read excerpts from the commissioned writing by clicking the PUBLISHING menu above.

Recommend reading this paper by Reyahn King, first published: a-n.co.uk April 2012; Written in September 2011 when King was a 2010/11 MLA Clore Fellow.

Reyahn King explores the role of galleries within professional development for visual artists. In the current climate, how can professional development for visual artists be continued and improved? This paper suggests that one answer lies in the relationship between publicly-funded regional galleries and visual artists becoming wider, deeper, and more strongly valued.

Read the whole article here

Market Project, Aid & Abet at the next a-n AIRTIME event

May 11th, 2012 | Posted by admin in art | event | notice - (Comments Off)

Members of Market Project will be at a-n’s latest AIRTIME networking and advice session, which takes place at Aid & Abet in Cambridge on Thursday 17th May, 3-5pm. Come and say hello, ask us about working as an artist-led research group over the past two years and our plans for the next two, our careers as professional artists, our dealings with the art world, why flaccid genitalia or brown paintings are commercial suicide, or anything else that’s on your mind. Free to a-n subscribers, but you need to book a place.


Inside the Index: Private Funding

January 24th, 2012 | Posted by david kefford in art | data | notice | research - (Comments Off)

In the second part of Simon Trevethick’s five part investigation into the UK Arts Index he focuses on Private Arts Funding (first was Public).

Interesting to read that the East of England received an increase in contributions from Trusts and Foundations – 88p in 2007/08 to 94p in 2009/10 – an encouraging statistic given the climate of recession, but still alarmingly far behind London in terms of financial backing.

Read the whole article here


January 17th, 2012 | Posted by admin in notice - (Comments Off)

The site is being updated and restructured this week. Hopefully disruption to the site will be minimal, but some parts of it may be temporarily unavailable or move somewhere new.