Estate Agency is a project, designed and delivered by UK artist Anna Francis, exploring systems of culture led regeneration, via exhibitions in Stoke-on-Trent and London, plus a series of discussion events. It asks 'If councils and governments now recognise the value of arts and culture in developing places, what happens to these places, their communities and the cultural protagonists involved in the process, post-development?'
For many London based artists and arts organisations, the places and spaces they have been involved in developing for many years, are no longer viable and sustainable places to remain, due to rising costs and the want of ring fencing of cultural space within development contexts. Estate Agency aims to explore a sense that this commercial development activity and associated rise in land and property values is pricing artists out of London, while also engaging with the impacts of development on wider local communities.
Following the recent ‘closure’ of Campbell Works , the gallery will re-open as a high street Estate Agency. Instead of showing properties, and development opportunities local to Stoke Newington, all of the properties for sale or to let will be in Stoke-on-Trent, a Midlands city with abundant empty spaces and vacant properties and relatively low sale and rental values. Each property advertised is real life and real time and includes residential, commercial and artist studio provision.
From the opening night on 28th April and throughout the week, as well as the advertised properties, there will also be a series of creative 'shifts', undertaken by a team of Estate Agents, covering a variety of associated concerns - What happens to London if all the creative practitioners leave? If this is happening to artists, what are the effects for the other communities in these places? What responsibility do artists and arts organisations have in this process? Are artists complicit in the developers’ plans, or are they as much of a victim as the communities that are being forced out? How can artists use our collective creative agency to do things differently? As art organisations see the neighbourhoods around them change, do they need to change the way they work to reflect those changes? What can we learn from places, like Margate, where the processes of change are now well underway?
The Campbell Works Estate Agency looks to these two cities, London and Stoke-on-Trent, with their vastly different circumstances and fortunes, and will frame activity around the question of what happens to London in the context of rising costs of living and advocating for relocation to achieve a better quality of life.
Estate Agency - The Events
Estate Agency - The Discussion
29th April, 2017 12pm-5pm
for your ticket
This session will explore the context of Stoke Newington; with 7 estate agents on Church Street Stoke Newington, property is big business – and as described by Campbell Works ‘Every other conversation we have is about this,’ Artists and Other creative workers are being pushed out of the areas of London they used to inhabit, as the areas are getting developed, sometimes at breakneck speed. During this event we will hear from selected speakers and will explore the following questions:
- What happens to London if all the creative practitioners leave? And if this is happening to artists, what of the other communities in these places, What happens to them?
- The second part of this, is to consider where these artists are moving to – as we have seen in Margate (often now referred to as Shoreditch-on-Sea), areas of other places are now being colonised by artists, and the processes of regeneration are beginning again there.
- What responsibility do artists and arts organisations have in this process?
- Are artists complicit in the developers plans, or are we as much of a victim as the communities that are being forced out?
- How can we use our collective creative agency to do things differently?
- As art organisations see the neighbourhoods around them change, do we need to change the way we work to reflect those changes?
The event will include presentations by Anna Francis
on her Stoke-based practice, considering housing in the city, and a presentation by Rebecca Davies
on her long term project in Elephant and Castle. The day will also include presentations by Social Artist Dan Thompson
, Dr Ana Vilenica
- a researcher into art, urban renewal and housing, Neil Taylor
and Harriet Murray
of Campbell Works
on the precariousness for arts organisations, and how you can navigate the changes in your local environment and other invited theorists on Culture Led Regeneration. This event will be of interest to those interested in urban studies, regeneration and city planning, and to artists and other cultural practitioners concerned with housing, work spaces and the rising costs of living in London.
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Estate Agency - Conveyancing Forum
3rd May, 2017 2pm-4pm
for your ticket
Why are artists in London persuaded to stay despite the difficulties? What would persuade an artist to leave the capital and relocate to a new city? Could Stoke-on-Trent be that city? This conveyancing event aims to investigate the roles and responsibilities of artists in the regeneration process. When moving to a new city, what are the active ways artists can get involved, and how do we avoid the gentrification traps, where redevelopment, sparked by cultural activity, has become a top down process and is pushing out culture. How can an artist's practice connect to the city? Should an artist's practice connect to the city? and does the artist need to have an awareness of sustainable approaches to creative regeneration?
This is your chance to learn more about Estate Agency and the role you can play in shaping your future city. With our support and guidance we can assure you a smooth transition into your new peer community.
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Estate Agency - After Hours - a banquet
5th May, 2017 7pm-10pm
for your ticket
Eat. Sleep. Buy. Eat. Sleep. Buy! Move. Quick! Buy now! Penthouse. Suites! Showroom. Exclusive. Exclusive! Soak up. Invest. Imagine! Cleaning up. Coming soon! Create. Eat. Sleep. Create. Invest. Invest! Edgy! Unique. Historic. Sassy. Towering. Fast. Quick! Fast! Unique. Stature. Progress. Original. Don’t settle. Settle! Buy!
Literally, Art Wash
Her name is Literally, and she comes from a town called Art Wash.
Literally invites you into her luxury apartment where she will serve a suitably luxurious 3 course banquet dinner, alongside friend and fellow young professional, Totes. It’s as if one of the development hoardings from anywhere and everywhere across the city has come alive and you are sitting right in the middle of it. As the night unfolds, so do their egos – getting more and more pompous, sinister and ridiculous; They just about manage to serve their audience, their character and costumes enlarging by the hour.
Sitting uncomfortably? Maybe you should be.
This evening is created and delivered by Rebecca Davies, who will perform with Estate Agency creator Anna Francis. Hand crafted and painted ceramics have been created especially for the occasion. The tableware is a unique, site specific collection Rebecca Davies has created in collaboration with KANA LONDON.
Menu TBA. There are very limited spaces so booking is essential.
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Estate Agency - The Artist Soup Kitchen
6th May, 2017 12pm-2pm
for your ticket
AirSpace Gallery's enduring critical discussion series, the Artist Soup Kitchen goes on tour to London. We have noticed that some of the best conversations happen over a good hearty meal, and so within the Estate Agency Project, we want to be able to provide a space for artists to really discuss the issues they face in making a life work. This discussion will be presented by Anna Francis
and will explore the general questions raised by the Estate Agency project and it's week in the capital.
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Estate Agency is designed and delivered by Anna Francis, funded by Arts Council England, Staffordshire University and Artcity, and with support from AirSpace Gallery, Campbell Works and Butters John Bee.
For more information about Estate Agency, including the full programme of the week’s activities please visit the website at www.estate-agency.org or contact AirSpace Gallery at www.airspacegallery.org , Campbell Works at www.campbellworks.org or Anna Francis at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Estate Agents
(r > l)
is an artist and researcher whose practice aims to rethink city resources, through participatory art interventions. She creates situations for herself, the public and other artists to explore places differently: often experimenting with leading and instruction by creating manuals, kits or leading guided tours. In recent years the interventions which Anna has worked on focus on the city of Stoke-on-Trent, and use an action research process to recognise untapped resources, plan a response to site, take action to change the way the site is viewed, and potentially, make changes, which can be temporary and sometimes permanent. Through this, Anna aims to gain an understanding of the role of artists and arts organisations in the development of places. Anna is a Director at AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent's contemporary, artist led exhibiting space, where she has been leading on projects which engage with city and location since 2007. Anna is Associate Professor of Fine Art and Social Practice at Staffordshire University.
▶︎ is a socially engaged artist who seeks to explore the relationship between participatory arts, perceptions of place and community action. By forging new relationships between art, people and place, Nicola believes that art practice can have a lasting effect on communities. She is particularly interested in engaging people who have no arts background and finding ways for art practice to improve their quality of life.
With a background in 2D and 3D public art, Nicola has collaborated internationally with artists, makers and members of the public to make work that engages the public at large in art practices, for this she often works in partnership with artist Sarah Nadin as Winstanley & Nadin. She has most recently been working solo alongside academic researchers to evaluate the impact of 'place' on individuals and communities. Nicola has 7 years workshop and public consultation experience, as well as having designed and managed large scale public art projects.
is a Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire University and previously worked at a senior level in the public and voluntary sector. She is actively involved in community organising, supporting communities to get their voices heard, and has led on a number of projects in Stoke-on-Trent which have led to lasting change. She has extensive experience in community development, regeneration and public service improvement. She is a regular volunteer, musician/singer and photographer.
► is an artist working within a participatory practice through illustration, performance and event. Rebecca graduated Royal College of Art in 2010 with an MA in Communication Art and Design, where she received the Sheila Robinson Prize for Drawing and was short listed for the Helen Hamlyn Design Award. She is an Associate Artist at Artsadmin, receiving their ‘Interference’ award in 2012 to create the Beau Belles Ice Cream Van. Rebecca is from Elephant and Castle, where she has made work for over 8 years. She co-created Peoples Bureau with artist Eva Sajovic, a project which is now an associate of Tate Exchange. She has run the Whitechapel Community Workshops for three years, and was lead artist of The Art Already Made, a programme of work made in collaboration with City Gateway. She represented London in the 2015 Mons European Capital of Culture with her project The Oasis Social Club, which then toured to Stoke On Trent, Preston and Hull seeing her collaborate with a range of UK wide partners. Her film, The Landlady, made in response to the tour, was screened at South London Gallery as part of The London Festival of Architecture in 2016.