Throughout 2020-2021, Artists Make Change explored the role of the artist in society, as a way to assess, and advocate for, how artists and art organisers can effectively work for change.
As part of this process, we invited artist Rebecca Davies to make a creative response to the project and reflect on the themes covered in the commissioned texts, case studies, group discussions, online conversations, ask-the-artist sessions and peer learning groups that formed this 12-month research and development project.
GET YOUR OWN SET - Artists Make Change: PROVOCATIONS
We're super excited to offer you the chance to have your very own set of PROVOCATIONS cards, developed by Rebecca Davies and the Artists Make Change leads (Rachel Dobbs & Glen Stoker).
Each card shows a different illustration from Rebecca's evaluation, and a prompt for conversation, inspired by the insightful contributions of a range of artists and practitioners from across the UK.
You can use these cards as a way to have new conversations with friends, co-workers, potential commissioners, students, or whoever you like!! Or, simply draw a card anytime you want to think about a new topic or challenge you (or someone else) may be facing.
Introducing ART CAREER SNAKES & LADDERS - limited edition 2 colour screenprinted textile!!
(The following text by curator Pamela Grombacher) "ART CAREER SNAKES AND LADDERS visualises the ups and downs of an artist’s working life using the format of its titular board game. In the traditional version of Snakes and Ladders, players roll a pair of dice to move across a grid board; the first to land on the “end” square wins the game. Along the way, players climb ladders, allowing them to jump ahead, and slip on snakes, causing them to fall back. It is a game of luck, where sudden leaps of progress and dismal setbacks are both inevitable and beyond the players’ control.
In this version, Rebecca Davies re-imagines this classic board game through the lens of artistic experience. The “ladders” represent small victories - successful grant applications, artwork commissions, media coverage. The “snakes” undermine these achievements - inadequate funding, broken promises, internet trolling.
s precarious artist-players move across the board, it becomes increasingly clear how their ability to navigate their career is limited by the art world’s funding structures and power dynamics. The emotional impact of this helplessness is best summarised by the board’s final square, where the winner “feels empty.”"
ART CAREER SNAKES AND LADDERS is a limited edition, 40cm x 40cm 2 colour hand pulled screen print with lovely rich orange and black inks, on a hand hemmed canvas.
Artists Make Change was a 12-month research and development project, carried out by a-n The Artist Information Company's Artists Council, designed to explore the role of the artist in society, and in particular to assess, and advocate for, how artists and art organisers can effectively work for change. The project aims to build an understanding of current contexts, to offer information and developmental support for artists, and, through a series of engaged, participatory activities, to find consensus, offer possibilities for and generate momentum to find more effective ways for artists to be considered as an integral part in shaping the future of the country.
Artists Make Change was led by Rachel Dobbs & Glen Stoker, who invited artists & arts workers from across the UK to present ideas, facilitate discussions, have conversations, answer questions and explore the potential of artists & arts workers to make change.
Our contributors included:
Array Collective | Barby Asante & Languid Hands | Katriona Beales | Dave Beech | Juliet Davis-Dufayard | UVW’s Designers + Cultural Workers | Caroline Gausden | Tom Goddard | Ellie Harrison | Tony Heaton & Terry Smith | Lubaina Himid | Ross Jardine | Jade Montserrat & Michelle Williams Gamaker | Sofia Niazi | Demi Nhandra & Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan | Jhinuk Sarkar | Lena Šimić & Tim Jeeves | Bob & Roberta Smith | The White Pube | and 6 newly formed Peer Learning Groups - Cerebration (Lydia Julien, Beverley Bennett & Shelley Rae), Three Points Press (Rabbits Road Press - London, Granby Press - Liverpool, and Tender Hands Press - Glasgow), Bristol Artist-Led Forum (Laura Bottin, Lisa Friedberg, Tim Knowles, John O’Connor, Anna Haydock-Wilson, Dan Petley, Fraisia Dunn, Katy Connor, Alyson Minkley, Deborah Weinreb, Caroline Vitzthum), Socially Awkward (Lady Kitt, Dan Russell & friends), Stair/Slide/Space (Jo Willoughby & friends) and The Peer-led Research Group
The project was supported by a-n The Artists Information Company and co-hosted by Airspace Gallery. Check out the Artists Make Change site to explore our findings!!