Artists Make Change
Ask The Artist

August – October, 2020
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As part of ARTISTS MAKE CHANGE, we’ll be asking a number of different artists about their own approaches and experiences of making change by asking them your questions.

ASK THE ARTIST is an opportunity to ask the questions you’ve always wanted the answers to!

We will be interviewing established artists and organisations whose practice involves long-term advocacy for change, and takes both practical and creative action towards addressing the problems they see in society. The interviews sit alongside existing project strands – including the Artists Make Change Conversations, Case Studies , Group Discussions and Texts – as ways to find out and share with others how and why artists make change.


Taking part is simple, just post your question with the #ArtistsMakeChange hashtag and tag @AirSpaceGallery or email us with your question. we will collate the questions and get the invited artists to answer as many as possible in an interview over video chat which will then be published on YouTube.


In our final Ask The Artist Interview, Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid talks openly and generously, with quiet power about a range of contemporary issues including - how winning the prize impacted on her career, working with the Guardian's archives and how they responded to her critique of their activity, and a range of other topics, including; curators and their roles, how artists need to be better at explaining what they do, the need for better welcomes and communications in regional arts spaces, how she's not such a good teacher any more - and lots more.

A full list of mentioned resources can be found in the info section on the YouTube page

Lubaina Himid is the 2017 Turner Prize winner and Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. During the past 30 years she has exhibited widely, both in Britain and Internationally, with solo shows that include Tate St Ives, Transmission Glasgow, Chisenhale London, Peg Alston New York and St Jorgens Museum in Bergen, Lubaina represented Britain at the 5th Havana Biennale and has shown work at the Studio Museum in New York, Track 17 in Los Angeles, the Fine Art Academy in Vienna and the Grazer Kunstverein.

Himid’s work can be found in public collections including Tate, the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Whitworth Art gallery, Arts Council England, Manchester Art Gallery, The International Slavery Museum Liverpool, The Walker Art Gallery, Birmingham City Art Gallery, Bolton Art Gallery, New Hall Cambridge and the Harris Museum and Art Gallery Preston.


Our second interview took place on September 22nd with contemporary art critics THE WHITE PUBE. A wide ranging, engaging conversation with arguably the country's most important voices in art criticism - posing crowd-sourced questions and covering topics from use and importance of humour in the arts, curatorial responsibility, what makes 'good' art, how to navigate institutional challenges and the importance of the 'local' in the overall arts ecosystem.

A full list of mentioned resources can be found in the info section on the YouTube page

The White Pube is the collaborative identity of Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad under which they write criticism. It is based at and on Instagram and Twitter at @thewhitepube. Since its launch in October 2015, The White Pube have gained an international readership and an involved social media following, due to their success in diversifying the identity of the art and game critic and empowering two writers as working class and a woman of colour. TWP write to:

demand artistic quality from practitioners and institutions
decolonise and democratise gallery audiences
encourage subjective criticism as an accessible and relevant form of art writing.


The first interview was conducted with artist Bob and Roberta Smith - An interview, fuelled by a series of crowd-sourced questions from members of the public, with acclaimed artist and activist Bob and Roberta Smith. In this hour-long interview, Bob covers topics such as radicalism, familial inspiration, activism, the arts and education, political campaigning, standing for election against Michael Gove, how artists might best make change, challenges for new-career artists and more.

A full list of mentioned resources can be found in the info section on the YouTube page.

NOTE: this interview was conducted over zoom and due to variable wifi connectivity, some of the video quality is not great - but the audio largely survived - so please bear with it - there is so much great content and insight.

Patrick Brill - better known by his pseudonym Bob and Roberta Smith - is an artist, educator, writer, author, musician and art education advocate. He was curator of the 2006 Peace Camp and created the 2013 Art Party (with Crescent Arts, Scarborough) to promote contemporary art and advocacy. His work often takes the form of painted signs, slogans, open letters and other ‘calls to action’, including: Make Art Not War (Tate collection), Letter to Michael Gove, the Make Your Own Damn Music radio show, Folkestone Is An Art School (Folkestone Triennial).

Bob and Roberta Smith see art as an important element in democratic life. Central to their thinking is the idea that campaigns are extended art works which include a variety of consciousness raising artefacts. Their on-going concerns include art education, the UK Government diminishing the role of all the arts and design in schools, and creative resistance to established power structures.

Bob and Roberta is collaborating with film maker Tim Newton to make “Art Party the Movie“, which will be released by Corner House in the summer of 2014. Bob and Roberta Smith see art as an important element in democratic life. Much of their art takes the form of painted signs. Central to Bob and Roberta Smith’s thinking is the idea that campaigns are extended art works which include a variety of consciousness raising artefacts.

Bob and Roberta Smith studied for his MA at Goldsmiths from 1991 to 93. He was an Artist Trustee of Tate between 2009 and 2013, and he is currently a trustee for the National Campaign for the Arts, and a patron of the NSEAD. He has recently been elected to be a Royal Academician. Bob and Roberta Smith is actually one man. Before studying Fine Art at Goldsmiths in the early 1990’s, Bob lived in Rome, New York and Wensleydale, and now lives between Leytonstone in East London and Ramsgate.