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.